Canada

Bringing culture into your workplace

INSIGHT ARTICLE  | 

Creating a supporting and welcoming space for all

At RSM, culture, diversity and inclusion (CDI) is how we thrive – not only because these are part of our values, but because it's how we foster an inclusive workforce, help the middle market address an ever-changing world and generate better business results for our firm and our clients. 

To continue strengthening the workplace culture, RSM Canada is introducing a CDI program to the Toronto office; through employee network groups (ENGs), CDI brings together our professionals with diverse backgrounds and similar interests and provides them opportunities for education, professional development, volunteering, mentorship and networking. ENGs are for you if you:  

  • Would welcome a chance to learn from other working parents tips and tricks to handle child-care responsibilities, particularly during busy season;
  • Want to stay in touch with your ancestral language and culture, reducing the generation gap and learning from each other;
  • Feel strongly about giving back to the community, developing a better understanding of other cultures and traditions, or;
  • Are an employee who values your career advisor, but would like some further mentoring from someone who shares your background.

In addition to promoting diversity and multiculturalism across the firm, ENGs serve as a sounding board for its members and a resource for communication and advocacy.

Eating together, sharing a culture

As a senior manager in the audit practice, I have personally experienced the benefits of a workplace culture that values diversity. Recently, when an opportunity presented itself to celebrate my Hong Kong Chinese heritage with my colleagues and clients, I pursued it head on.

I was pleased when RSM decided to get involved in the biggest festivity of the Chinese calendar – our Lunar New Year, in February 2019. RSM sponsored a table at the annual gala of the Hong Kong Canada Business Association, held in Richmond Hill, Ontario. Some of the senior members of our firm attended and we invited both our current clients as well as our key contacts from the Chinese business community.

We extended invitations to some of my colleagues below manager level to provide them the opportunity to directly interact with senior leadership among our clients. Our clients particularly appreciated having a chance to connect through something we all share and value – our Chinese heritage – outside the work environment.

Opportunities, like this one, are valuable to cultivating stronger client relationships as well as furthering our own professional growth.

Employee network groups celebrate and build on diversity

After a robust history in the United States, RSM is bringing employee network groups to our Toronto office, where this initiative will further enrich our workplace culture. The ENGs offer unique ways for all employees to grow and learn, while they celebrate all walks of life, genders, interests, experiences and backgrounds. As a supporter of this initiative, I am excited to co-lead an ENG dedicated to promoting Asian culture and heritage and building deeper connections with our clients who share a similar interest.

A key benefit of ENGs has to do with breaking down the too-comfortable “silos” that we often find ourselves tending to stay within. ENGs will reach across those silos, giving our employees from many parts of the firm a chance to get to know people they otherwise wouldn’t interact with. They’ll discover common interests, and in the course of that will learn about each other’s work. This builds internal understanding of RSM’s skillsets and offerings as a team and equips us to more broadly communicate the value-add we could offer to our chosen mid-market client base in various situations.

By investing in this initiative, RSM shows how much we value a strong workplace culture by building it through integrating the cultural heritage and diversity of our workforce.

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