Businesses leaders count diversity as top priority to improve productivity

More than a quarter (28%) of UK business leaders said increasing diversity and inclusion was a top priority for them in the first half of 2020 in order to improve workplace culture

Research from recruitment business Robert Half UK concluded that most businesses (98%) are actively working to improve their workplace culture to seem more appealing in a competitive hiring market.

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of all respondents reported that diversity, with regards to gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and ability, had already increased in their business over the past three years.

The aim now is to further improve diversity among the workforce to increase productivity, encourage innovation and boost company reputation.

Other improvements business leaders said would improve workplace culture were offering mentorship, training and development programmes (50%); encouraging team communication and collaboration (43%); offering flexible and/or remote working options (39%); setting clear goals and rewards for employees (33%); and deploying new technologies (32%).

Matt Weston, managing director of Robert Half UK, said: “It is clear that more and more businesses are subscribing to the mentality that a happy workplace is a productive one, with the majority of leaders actively seeking to improve culture.

“Focusing on enhancing diversity and inclusion is one way to achieve this, as well as providing increased potential for innovation and reputational benefits to boot.”

Weston added: “As businesses look to attract the best and brightest in a competitive market it is no longer enough just to offer a competitive salary.

“Prospective employees are looking for a well-rounded package with wider incentives, such as flexible working and healthcare benefits, as well as an attractive workplace culture – and it’ll be the businesses that understand and prioritise this that come out on top.”

The study was developed by Robert Half UK and conducted in October 2019 by an independent research firm among 600 C-suite and business leaders in the UK.

Further reading

The age of engagement and inclusivity

Discrimination costs the UK £127 billion a year

Why firms are embracing neurodiversity

How to fight diversity fatigue