Workplace diversity enhances organizations in a myriad ways, boosting innovation and improving financial performance. Diversity increases organizational intelligence, expanding the insights, approaches and ideas applied to problem solving, optimizing solutions and bolstering the bottom line, according to a 2018 study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
As Sheldon Gordon writes in “Busting down barriers” in this Human Resources-themed issue, a diverse workforce is also a way for credit unions to reflect the communities they serve. This includes people with mental and physical disabilities, who have been chronically underrepresented in the employment sector. But when it comes to hiring the disabled, it isn’t enough to simply show them their new desk. An organization must also undertake workplace accommodation by adjusting the office setting to ensure employees with disabilities can do their jobs properly, in accordance with human rights legislation. Numerous credit unions have initiated such measures and Enterprise looks at how these employees have been made to feel welcome and valued.
In our other Human Resources feature, “All aboard,” we look at the increasingly innovative ways that credit unions are using to try to attract and retain workers. We analyze such things as bonus pay in addition to other incentives such as cultural synergies, the ability to contribute in concrete ways to community and the opportunities for developing leadership skills. With unemployment being at a 40-year-low, all organizations have to pay attention to the needs and wants of employees — young and old — essentially absorbing the credit union brand of “people before profits” within the structure of the organization itself.
Our regular columns offer up a variety of interesting stories. Close Up profiles award-winning human resources guru Sheri Hamilton of Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union (SASCU) in British Columbia. Hamilton reflects upon how dramatically HR has changed since she first entered the field. Work Life looks into what credit unions can do in order to start tackling the destructive effect of plastic waste on the environment, while Marketing Maven analyzes the importance of creatively engaging the public with evocative storytelling, as well as showcasing the Canadian Credit Union Association’s exciting new national branding program. ◊