Benefits of a diverse workplace
Research has shown that a more diversified workforce leads to recruitment and retention of highly qualified workers, creativity and productivity, high employee morale, less absenteeism and higher overall performance and leadership styles. Employers are recognizing the benefits of a diverse workplace and the trend is catching on.
KBO Tech Electric & Controls Ltd, an electrical contracting company based out of Saskatoon, sees the value of diversity and are proactively building a diverse workplace. KBO was established in 2017 by Shannon Chyz, a Human Resources professional, and Wade Heuscher and Jamie Rheault, journeyperson electricians. Shannon, Wade, and Jamie believe that, “diversity in the workplace is important to encourage creativity, learning and community.”
“A diverse workplace gives us the opportunity to think of solutions that are outside of the normal industry way of doing things,” Chyz says. “Hiring people from all walks of life brings us different views, experiences and ways of problem solving.”
So, how are KBO diversifying their workplace? According to Chyz, “The most obvious way we are diversifying our workplace, is by setting the expectation and example from the top down.” The ownership group includes Shannon, the Office/HR manager and she looks forward to making connections through Sask Polytech and hiring more female tradespeople.
In addition to leading by example, KBO partners with the Sask Polytech Women in Trades and Technology (WITT) program. This partnership allows them to network with students and promote opportunity to women interested in pursuing a career in the trades.
What can other employers do to diversify their workplace? According to Chys, “Being open-minded and supporting new ideas is the best way to encourage diversity in the workplace. Change should start at the top.”
Employers, like KBO, understand that developing a more diversified workplace which reflects the community and customers it serves is not only the right thing to do, it also makes good business sense for a current and competitive employer.
For more information on Sask Polytech’s Women in Trades and Technology program visit saskpolytech.ca/witt.
This article was originally published in the Saskatchewan Construction Association's We Build magazine.
Published October 2018.