Page 5: Benefits of a diversity strategy
Tesco’s diversity strategy brings many benefits to the business. It means, for instance, that Tesco is always aiming to recruit from the widest possible talent pool, helping it find the best person for the job. The workforce will have a better understanding of customer needs as it reflects the same diversity as the customer base. It also opens up new ideas and opportunities that may arise from different cultures.
Having a mixture of different age groups within the workforce can also help to raise morale. The mix of young and older people brings a broad range of knowledge, experience and social skills to the company. A diverse workforce is more flexible, since it consists of a wide range of people from all walks of life, all able to work together to deliver the best service in all circumstances. It also leads to better performance and lower costs, since employees are able to offer a variety of expertise that enables jobs to be done effectively, improving productivity and reducing waste.
Disabled or disadvantaged groups
A key part of the strategy is Tesco’s aim to employ people from disabled or disadvantaged groups. Tesco offers an interview guarantee to candidates from Remploy, Shaw Trust and Whizz-Kidz - three organisations that work with disabled people. This guarantee means that where Tesco has a vacancy and any of these groups has a suitable candidate, he or she must be interviewed. The interview guarantee does not mean a job offer will be made, but in many cases applicants from these partners get the job as they are the best candidate. Tesco also offers work placements to give candidates the experience of working in retail.
Former Tesco Chairman Sir David Reid is chairman of the Trustee Board at Whizz-Kidz, a charity that supports and empowers young wheelchair users. Tesco therefore has a strong relationship with the charity. Whizz-Kidz was chosen as Tesco’s Charity of the Year in 2006. Research conducted by Whizz-Kidz showed that many young wheelchair users found it hard to develop adult skills and outlooks, so the charity provides training to help young people become more confident and independent.
Tesco is backing a five-year project, launched by Whizz-Kidz and also supported by the National Lottery, to set up a network of clubs for young wheelchair users. The ‘Kidz Unlimited’ project provides a chance for young disabled people to socialise and raise issues that are important to them. It also provides training, work skills, advice and access to work placements.