Diversity & inclusion: having a seat at the table
A seat at the table. That’s what we all want. Ever since grade school we’ve wanted to feel like we belong and know that we have a voice. When I first started Synergis I knew I wanted to be different than other companies. I wanted my company to be one that puts people first.
Diversity and inclusion in the workplace have significant importance and, in fact, can be a competitive advantage to organizations that truly embrace an inclusive culture.
We’re a professional services firm that specializes in deploying IT and creative talent and other workforce services to some of the world’s most admired companies. For much of the past two decades, our revenue and net income growth have outperformed our industry. There are several reasons for that, but I believe that a critical factor contributing to our performance is the diversity of experience, perspective and thoughts of our people. For us, it really is about the people.
Here are two ways I think valuing diversity has contributed to our success and that of many of our clients:
Diversity can solve the talent shortage
Yes, there are still millions who are unemployed or underemployed because of the pandemic. Yet there is still a shortage of talent in many specialized fields, such as STEM-related ones. Yes, we still seek industry and functionally experienced people residing in our local markets, but those pools of talent are limited.
Today we also actively seek out talented individuals with diverse experiences outside of our industry and with less regard to where they are from and what their background is. Yes, we often must provide some additional training, remote workplace tools or arrange for visas and sometimes relocate people. But frankly, business changes so quickly that we would likely have to do that anyway to keep pace.
Helping employees to grow and develop new skills, to work how and where they work best and creating a culture that fosters inclusiveness also makes us an attractive place to work. And talented people have a choice of where and for who they can work.
The result: Recognition as a best place to work and 130+ new hires within the past 90 days.
Diversity contributes to innovation
Imagine if everyone at our company (or yours) had the same background, experience and knowledge. We might continue to do things the same way, use the same tools and deliver the same products and services that we always have. If that were the case, how quickly would we become irrelevant?
Whether we’re talking about Gen X, Millennials or Gen Z, studies show that today’s workforce wants to work in an environment where they can contribute. Creating a diverse and inclusive culture encourages engagement. Smart, engaged people solve problems. Problem-solving leads to innovation.
In our own company, we encourage everyone to act as if they have “a seat at the table.” Rather than operating in a top-down hierarchy. Many of our best ideas and improvements come from the bottom-up.
These innovations cover the gamut: New service offerings that have led to new revenue; new tools and methods to improve operational performance and customer and employee experiences; compensation and benefits enhancements that have improved recruiting, retention and satisfaction results.
Diversity and inclusion allow for our individuality to shine. And yes, we still have work to do. But at Synergis, we strive to create an environment where everyone, no matter their gender, sex, race or background has a seat at the table. While our business advantages that come from our diversity are a plus, it’s the sense of belonging that makes us most proud.
About the author
Founder and President, Doug Ross, guides the overall strategy and operations of Synergis. Leveraging a 30+ year staffing industry career, he has led the company’s expansion since 1997 by way of new markets—Silicon Valley and Los Angeles—and introduced new and innovative services to meet the demand for Information Technology, Creative/Marketing and Instructional Design talent. He also developed a Managed Services model for Enterprise clients. Doug is active in the industry through his affiliations with the American Staffing Association and Technology Association of Georgia. Doug actively and enthusiastically supports numerous worthy organizations including the March of Dimes, Habitat for Humanity, the American Heart Association, the Atlanta Food Bank, the Atlanta Mission and his church.
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