A diverse workforce offers more creativity since more ideas are garnered from different people. A diverse workforce helps understand the foreign markets and its customer needs, enhances customer service thus leading to customer satisfaction, adapts to new market changes and increases organizational flexibility thus leading to enhanced competitive advantage
The business challenge:
Aegis has grown multi-fold into a global organization with footprints across 9 countries, 43 global locations, 75 nationalities and 38 languages. Hence a focused approach was essential to leverage on the potential of this diverse resource base in order to channelize their efforts in a concrete way. With a widespread customer base, the organization has recognized that it can best serve different customer groups in many different markets with help of a more diverse workforce. In geographies where different languages dominate, the organization benefits from hiring employees who speak the dominant languages.
Regular tracking mechanism and metrics assist in decision making but it’s not just about increasing the representative numbers. A greater challenge is in understanding the individual differences in the people we work with and utilizing the same for the benefit of all. Systematically establishing a model and percolating it to all levels for each one to manifest the concept and get the best from the teams is difficult. Leveraging on the prevailing differences and working to enhance the quality and outcomes requires true commitment from all the stakeholders in letter and spirit. The key business metric that was suffering due to lack of a well-drafted blueprint on diversity & inclusion were Revenue and profit growth, client satisfaction, employee engagement scores, overall people health index, absenteeism, voluntary attrition and overall brand image.
The alternative Aegis chose:
The six facets was a unique proposition and it clearly was meant to give us a competitive advantage over other companies. By adopting six streams of diversity, Aegis endeavoured to craft a work atmosphere that would provide everyone an equal access to progress, development and opportunities. By construction of an inclusive workplace, we pursued to leverage our global team of people, which is rich in diverse experiences, aptitude, talent, ideas and philosophies. Both of these strategies would ensure enhanced employee motivation and business growth. Aegis followed a multi-pronged approach to build a business case for getting buy-in from all stakeholders. The first step was to define external drivers which influenced the necessity of promoting diversity & inclusion in the organization. The second step was to define internal drivers such as retention, attrition rate, employee morale, grievances and employee suggestions. The third step was to conduct key stakeholder analysis and analyzing how would they adapt to changing demographics. The last but the most important step was to identifying key gaps such as missed market opportunities, skill shortages, turnover, etc. and its implication on business growth, profitability and long-term sustainability.
To list a few of the important impacts the six facets approach had, there was a significant increase in Revenue and Profit growth encompassing global presence and diverse customer engagement models. 40,000 employees with 92 nationalities serving a diverse client base of 1000. Average tenure of top 15 customers is 7 years with 50% increase in share of wallet from top customers.
The focus on Diversity and Inclusion has ensured seamless integration of all entities with a 100% success rate in all mergers and acquisition deals. At the employee level, there was a significant increase in the Global Employee Engagement score from 65% in 2011 to 78% in 2014. Lastly, there was an increase in Customer Satisfaction (CS) and Net Promoter Scores (NPS). Other peripheral benefits as a result of this intervention include improved corporate culture, helped in yielding a competitive advantage in labour markets, helped to gain insights into consumer markets by way of knowing workable leadership behaviors. In other terms, it enhanced the ability of the organization to perceive uniqueness of the market. It also helped in creating a workplace which is self-managing.