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To compete in a market place experiencing significant demographic changes, businesses
must implement diversity management strategies to attract and retain the best global talent,
according to facility services company ISS.
As a term, diversity refers to the differences among people such as race, gender, religion,
age, sexual orientation and political affiliation.
“As a management practice however, it involves much more than just a set of HR policies,”
explains ISS. “Diversity management is about the culture of the organisation and the source
of its strategic thinking.
“In a world where globalisation has brought a diverse set of customers to companies that
previously dealt with a homogenous customer base and where innovation is one of the key
competitive advantages; composing a diverse workforce has become a necessity.”
The reason behind this is simple, says the company. No one can genuinely understand a
culture or a customer segment better than the person with the same background. Likewise,
no other workforce can keep a company innovative than the one that is composed of people
possessing different assumptions and ways of doing things.
Yet, despite its importance, a diversity strategy can be difficult to implement in the workforce.
“Once in place, they often do not deliver the benefits they promise,” observes ISS. “One
reason is the attitude of the company. Diversity programs are likely to fail if they are set up
because it is perceived to be the right thing to do without reflecting a true commitment to
creating a work environment that fosters the best workforce.”
Another reason is that many companies underestimate the time and effort required
to implement such strategy. Rather than working towards integrating diversity into the
organisation’s strategy and all HR activities, companies often see it as just another stand-
Large companies especially often fail to address the more hard-wired aspects such as
management style, hierarchy and culture. Because of that, the implementation often fails.
To work around these obstacles, ISS recommends following best practice experience, such as:
• Involving the entire top management team
Senior leadership must be involved throughout the whole of a diversity project. Senior leaders
should be visible at workshops, training programs and during Q&A sessions on diversity.
• Adapting the organisational structure
Organisational structures must support diversity efforts. This can be done by creating a
diversity office and appointing a Chief Diversity Officer.
• Communicating the initiative on continuous basis
Communicating why diversity is crucial for the success of a business must be plentiful and
include a variety of channels such as social media, newsletters and meetings.
• Creating a formal project plan
Create a formal project plan to support the diversity strategy with measurable objectives
that is integrated with the rest of the company’s strategic objectives and operations.
Implementing a diversity
strategy in the workplace
• The temperature range promoting rapid
bacterial growth is 5-60 degrees Celsius
• The correct sequence of hand washing as
‘wet, soap, rub, rinse and dry’
• The importance of reporting issues to the
client – particularly lighting
• The importance of compliance to cleaning
and client requirements
• The consequences of non-compliance for
the client and the cleaner
• The overall Broadlex food safety program
Although the cleaning process is often
one step removed from the food handling
process it is important that the HACCP
system is clearly explained in relation to
food processing activity. Naturally, having
completed my food safety qualifications
within the dairy industry I have a preference
for that industry. In relation to the diagram
below I like to walk cleaners through each
step in a dairy processing plant.
As a simple example, this may include
the laboratory testing of raw milk at the
intake area. It may then involve retesting
the milk again once it’s moved through the
pasteuriser for bacterial numbers (if any).
It may then involve random sampling of
product from the lines (such as the 1.5 litre
carton section) prior to its distribution.
This testing regime should also extend to
testing of silos, vats and lines to ensure an
effective cleaning and sanitation process
throughout the plant.
Clearly one can see the relationship
between effective cleaning and a quality
based HACCP program to produce a high
quality product that is safe to consume. In
this industry where ‘use by dates’ are of
vital importance since milk processed in
the afternoon may often be on cornflakes
the next morning. There is no room for
error and distribution of a safe quality
product is essential.
Broadlex Services already maintains
external management systems certification
to quality, environment and safety
management standards. Compliance to
these three management standards in
addition to the overarching ISO 31000
standard for risk management is the crux of
Broadlex’s integrated Quality, Environment,
Health and Safety (QEHS) system.
Broadlex has found that where HACCP
is strategically implemented into a cleaning
process alongside the elements of ISO 9001
then innovative outcomes are regularly
identified as a value add within the cleaning
process and the clients overall operation.
*Dr Denis Boulais is the national risk
manager at Broadlex Services.
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