The diversity matrix: Responding to the benefits preferences of a diverse workforce

By Daphne Woolf
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 07/18/2001

Twenty to 25 years ago, a uniform benefit offering typically met the needs of most employees. At that time, the workforce was more homogeneous, there were fewer double-income families, same-sex spousal coverage was the exception, not the norm, and companies were not as global as they are now.

Today, companies are faced with the challenge of having to meet the needs of a widely diverse workforce. One-size-fits-all benefits plans no longer cut it.

Benefit plans and total reward strategies, which include cash, incentive plans, vacation, retirement benefits, perquisites and so on, need to embrace the broadness of workplace diversity as it exists today and which can be labelled as the “diversity matrix.” This matrix manifests itself in the following four categories: geographic, demographic, societal and cultural.