Miranda Warmington – Hiring Staff that Reflect the Nation’s Make-up: The Importance of a Diverse and Inclusive Team in the Modern Public Relations Consultancy
The world we live in is diverse, and so should be our workplaces. Public relations consultancies, in particular, have a responsibility to reflect the communities they serve, and the best way to achieve that is by having a diverse and inclusive team.
Diversity and inclusion in the workplace are essential because they bring together people with different backgrounds, experiences, perspectives, and skills. Diversity enhances creativity, innovation, and productivity, and ensures that different groups of people are represented and their voices heard.
The modern public relations consultancy should reflect the diversity of the nation. That means hiring staff from different ethnicities, races, genders, ages, religions, sexual orientations, abilities, and socio-economic backgrounds and making this a pro-active requirement. For a real-world example of this, Jargon Group has a policy of requiring 25% of candidates coming through recruitment firms to be of BAME origin – this ensures that we receive the details of potential employees which might otherwise pass us by. Jargon Group also use the Taylor Bennett Foundation to seek and recruit placement students each year. The Taylor Bennett Foundation is a UK-based charity that aims to promote diversity and inclusion in the communications and PR industry.
The foundation’s primary objective is to increase the number of ethnic minorities in the communications industry by providing training, mentoring, and support to talented individuals who might not otherwise have access to such opportunities. The foundation offers a range of programs, including a flagship PR training program that provides intensive training and work experience for graduates and young professionals from diverse backgrounds.
I have outlined some benefits of having a diverse and inclusive team in a modern public relations consultancy:
- Creativity and Innovation: Diverse teams bring fresh and varied perspectives to problem-solving, which leads to creativity and innovation. They also challenge the status quo and bring new ideas to the table.
- Improved Communication: A diverse team can communicate more effectively with different audiences. They understand cultural nuances and can tailor their messages accordingly.
- Enhanced Reputation: A diverse and inclusive team can improve the reputation of the consultancy. Clients want to work with consultancies that understand their target audience and can provide tailored communication strategies.
- Increased Employee Engagement: A diverse and inclusive workplace leads to higher employee engagement, job satisfaction, and retention rates. Employees feel valued and appreciated when their differences are recognized and celebrated.
- Increased Business Performance: A diverse and inclusive team can improve the bottom line. A study by McKinsey found that companies in the top quartile for ethnic and cultural diversity in their executive teams are 33% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the bottom quartile.
Hiring a diverse team is just the first step. The consultancy also needs to create an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and can contribute their best. Listed below are some tips on how to create an inclusive workplace:
- Provide training for all employees to raise awareness of different cultures, customs, and experiences. This will help them better understand and appreciate differences.
- Encourage open communication and provide a safe space for employees to express their opinions and concerns. Listen actively and take appropriate action when necessary.
- Celebrate diversity and create opportunities for employees to share their cultural traditions and experiences.
- Offer flexible working arrangements to accommodate different needs and preferences.
- Hold leaders accountable for creating and maintaining an inclusive workplace. Ensure that they lead by example and set the tone for the rest of the organisation.
For the Jargon Group, a company which aspires to represent all clients’ interests to the best of our ability, diversity and inclusion are key. If we do not strive to represent the communities in which we live – whether in Manchester, Cardiff or Reading – then we are failing to deliver the best 360 degree service to our clients.
In conclusion, a diverse and inclusive team is essential in the modern public relations consultancy. It brings together different perspectives, enhances creativity, and improves communication. It also leads to improved reputation, increased employee engagement, and better business performance. The consultancy needs to recruit staff that reflects the nation’s make-up and create an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and can contribute their best.