According to a new report from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), there needs to be “better leadership and management of people and organisations, increased employee engagement and more transparency about the value of people to business success” to support future economic growth. The recent statement outlined a number of key suggestions for organisations in the country, but it is this point in particular that really sticks in my mind.

The reason this stands out is that, in my view at least, the final point on the value of talent is actually already true.  I’m in constant contact with HR Directors and even business owners across the UK and I have to say, almost everyone I speak to recognises that people are a company’s biggest asset. And these professionals are completely open about this fact with me, the wider HR and business community and, perhaps more importantly, their own staff.

If there is a problem, I would argue that it is not a case of organisations failing to see the true worth of staff, but rather that HR teams are still finding it challenging to develop truly strategic workforce plans that demonstrably impact bottom line figures.

For example, one of the key elements of such strategies is employee engagement, but many businesses are struggling with this element. There have been numerous reports to suggest that existing staff are increasingly looking to make a career move – indeed, a report from Staffbay revealed that 87% of employed professionals in the UK had hoped to leave their job at some point in the last year. Clearly, then, talent retention is likely to hold business growth back. So what can HR teams do to better engage with staff?

There will, of course, be numerous options to suggest here, but I would argue that, in order to create a truly engaged workforce, businesses need to develop a culture that fully embraces diversity. In fact, in our Talent Activation Index, which surveyed 750 global HR and talent management professionals, we found that 69% of leading businesses rate their ability to “empower workers of diverse cultural backgrounds to work in their own styles while contributing to common business objectives” as “very effective”. This is compared to just 5% of poor performing organisations – that reported the same sentiment.

What this really demonstrates is that embracing cultural diversity can be hugely beneficial for employee engagement and, ultimately, business success, in the next year.