Employee Engagement and Diversity Satisfaction Linkage Identified

Does employees´ satisfaction with workplace diversity positively impact employees´ overall satisfaction with their jobs?

Chicago, IL - February 28, 2006 - Does employees´ satisfaction with workplace diversity positively impact employees´ overall satisfaction with their jobs?  Consultants and academics alike have long believed there to be a relationship between workplace diversity and employee satisfaction. But, many questions regarding the legitimacy of this relationship have largely remained unanswered. 

Kati LaBeaume, Senior Statistician with HR Solutions, conducted a study using extensive employee data (from over 10,600 completed Employee Opinion Surveys from 18 organizations, all surveyed within the last three years).  Using three of its most popular diversity survey items, Ms. LaBeaume discovered a correlation between diversity satisfaction and Overall Job Satisfaction/Engagement.  In fact, the findings indicate that a positive and significant relationship does exist between job satisfaction and employees´ satisfaction with diversity.  (Please see the chart below.)   

Employee Opinion Survey Items - Pearson Correlation*

OUTCOME VARIABLE:  Overall Job Satisfaction - Pearson Correlation: 1.000

- Diverse customers (differences in race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, etc.) are treated fairly at     this organization. Pearson Correlation: 0.415

- Diverse employees are treated fairly with regard to their career advancement at this organization. Pearson Correlation: Pearson Correlation: 0.410

- Diverse employees (differences in race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, etc.) are treated fairly at this organization. Pearson Correlation: 0.400

*Correlation Coefficient (r) - is a value between +1.00 (positive correlation) and -1.00 (negative correlation).  A positive correlation signifies that as one variable becomes larger, the other variable becomes larger.  Alternately, a negative correlation signifies that one variable becomes smaller as the other variable becomes larger; therefore a perfect correlation would yield a score of +1.00 or -1.00 and the absolute lack of a correlation would yield a score of 0.0.

Mr. Kevin Sheridan, CEO of HR Solutions, declared how employers should take these factors into consideration while looking into employee job satisfaction.  "Brushing off the importance of workplace diversity is a thing of the past; this study provides ground-breaking evidence that diversity satisfaction is a key component of employee satisfaction."

Each of the three diversity items in the study centers on the idea of fair treatment or equity.  Other research findings on the subject of equity and diversity parallel HR Solutions´ findings.  For example, David Pollitt (2005) found that in environments that foster inclusion (of which equity is a large part) were found to:

- Promote innovation.
- Create a safer work environment.
- Drive employee engagement, commitment, and pride.
- Positively impact customer satisfaction.
- Benefit financial performance.

"Given the clear relationship found between employee satisfaction with diversity and employee engagement, the future focus should hinge on increasing employees´ perceptions of diversity efforts, thus leading to increased levels of employee engagement and reduced turnover," notes Kevin Sheridan, "Chief Executive Officers and General Managers who have discounted the importance and value of diversity efforts can no longer afford to do so."

Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) was a key part of HR Solutions´ study. Ms. Terri Dorsey, Director of Organizational Development with Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Atlanta, GA, commented on their diversity efforts. In fact, for the last four years BGCA has conducted annual diversity-related training, put a formal mentoring program in place, added tuition reimbursement, and added an employee suggestion program with cash awards.  They have also encouraged staff members to lead diversity celebrations such as Latin American Heritage Month, Black history Month, Women's history Month, Disability Awareness Month, etc. Finally, they created a leadership development group which consists of mid-level managers selected by the senior management team for special development in hopes of retaining them and preparing them for future positions of even greater leadership.  BGCA has focused on supervisor training because so much of an employee's experience is dependent on the environment the supervisor creates.

The employee survey which HR Solutions, Inc. conducted for BGCA was also part of this initiative.   "We recognized, several years ago, that our diversity initiative was really just about creating an environment where all employees could do their best work.  As an organization that serves youth, we already knew that our strategy for kids was to create a positive place that promotes a sense of competence, belonging, influence, and usefulness. We realized those principles should also drive the environment we create for our staff members. Over the past five years, we have focused our benefit programs, training programs and our employee relations programs on creating just that environment.  While we are not there yet, we were pleased to see that on our last employee satisfaction survey, we scored in the top 92nd percentile of organizations. I believe our diversity efforts, focused on creating that positive environment for everyone, have much to do with our current success."

Noted for its comprehensive research and actionable data, HR Solutions, Inc. is an international Human Capital Management consulting firm located in downtown Chicago, IL.  Specializing in Employee, Management and Customer Satisfaction survey design and analysis, HR Solutions, Inc. offers a wide variety of products and services for the HR Professional including expert survey design and analysis, professional consulting services, comprehensive articles on current industry topics and trends and executive search and staffing services. For more information, please visit our website at www.hrsolutionsinc.com, or call 312-236-7170.
Contact: Julie Skuturna
HR Solutions, Inc.
25 East Washington St., Ste 600, Chicago, IL  60602
(312) 863-6134 / julies[at]hrsolutionsinc.com

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