BE4ALL (Belonging and Excellence for All) lauched in December 2021. The initiative envisions a diverse, inclusive and unionized sheet metal industry that is welcoming and fosters belonging for all. This work includes a human side — where individuals take pride in the work they do and value the contributions. It also includes a business side, where workers and contractors work together to achieve the highest standards of performance and excellence in their technical skills and crafts.
When SMACNA, SMART and ITI (International Training Institute) lauched BE4ALL, they wanted the effort to be more than just words on a piece of paper. It was important that the initiative be backed by research and best practices. Here are five reasons why this work is important.
1. Sense of Belonging
Employees who feel a strong sense of belonging in the workplace work harder, are more productive, stay longer at their job and come into work more often. An article called “The Value of Belonging at Work” from the Harvard Business Review cites research that showed that when employees felt a strong sense of belonging there was:
- 56% increase in job performance
- 50% drop in turnover risk
- 75% reduction in sick days
2. Financial Incentives
That same article says for a 10,000-person company, this would result in an annual savings of $52 million. Employees with a strong sense of belonging also saw a 167 percent increase in their willingness to recommend their company to others and received more raises and promotions.
3. Attract and Retain Talent
An article in the Wall Street Journal titled “The Business Case for More Diversity” reported on research conducted with companies in the S&P 500 index, looking at the age and ethnicity of each company’s workforce, the percentage of women in leadership roles, whether the company has diversity and inclusion programs in place for employees and the makeup of the board. The research showed that the 20 most diverse firms were able to attract and retain talent and were more financially successful.
The article quotes David Taylor, CEO, president and chairman of Procter & Gamble Co. who said: “A diverse team supported by an inclusive environment that values each individual will outperform a homogenous team every time.”
4. Diverse Leadership Leads to Innovation & Improved Financial Performance
A 2018 study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) suggests that increasing the diversity of leadership teams leads to greater innovation and improved financial performance. People who come from different backgrounds and life experiences bring different solutions to the same problem, increasing the odds that one will be successful.
The BCG study reports that companies with above-average diversity on their management teams also reported innovation revenue that was 19 percentage points higher than that of companies with below-average leadership diversity (45 percent of total revenue versus 25 percent).
5. Workplace Performance and Culture
The business case for diversity in the workplace is strong:
- Ability to attract a talented workforce
- Reach a wider, more diverse audience
- Increase creativity and innovation
- Better decision making and problem solving
- Greater cultural and language competencies
- Save money on recruitment and training
- Lower turnover rate
- Lower rate of absent workers
- Lower rate of discrimination lawsuits
For more information about BE4ALL, please contact Jen Squirewell at firstname.lastname@example.org.