Going Beyond a Diversity Statement to Embracing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Did you post a Diversity Statement on your website in 2020? It seemed like the thing to do, even if your company lacked a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (D, E & I) strategy. Making a public statement about the company’s embracing of people of all backgrounds, while admirable, lacks meaning without intentional action.
Be sure to attend the Webinar “Human Resource Essentials & Trends” May 20, 2021 at 2:00 PM EST. Register Here.
How do you build a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy from ground zero? Here are some tips to get things rolling:
- Assessment. Begin by conducting a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis focused on your current state of diversity, equity and inclusion in your organization; and be sure to look beyond your employees and look to those that your organization partners with to do business such as third-party providers, strategic partners and affiliations. Look at your demographics; compensation and employee development/progression practices; and, the level of engagement and intentional activities to draw all employees into the organization’s strategies. Understand where your gaps are, where your team is relative to those of other demographics in compensation/benefits/opportunities and who are those regularly called upon to contribute. Use an anonymous survey to learn details about the various demographics and insights of employees regarding the organization’s D, E & I practices. It’s a good idea to solicit the support of an outside agency or individual with specialized experience in building and conducting the survey to protect the integrity of both the survey and the process.
- Build the Team. Organize a committee of cross-functional and cross-demographic representatives of the organization to contribute to a D, E & I strategy team. Fuel this team with opportunities for growth and evolution in the field of D, E & I by supporting their participation in training, expansion activities and outreach to outside organizations that can support the development of the committee’s understanding of their role.
- Develop the D, E & I Plan. The plan becomes the roadmap for what the organization envisions the future to be in relation to its’ diversity, equity and inclusion practices.
- Create the Initiatives. These are the action items that are identified to address the gaps in the assessment that are necessary to achieve the vision of the D, E & I plan. The committee will be instrumental in identifying the initiatives, creating the action plans and championing the plan roll out.
- Buy In. Leadership must be all-in on a D, E & I strategy and support the efforts of the committee in executing the initiatives. Accountability is also key here and Leadership must hold others in the organization accountable for D, E & I efforts as a strategic priority of the organization.
- Implementation. Implement the plan and measure the results along the way. Be transparent with the team about what the metrics are, what the initiatives and timelines are and how the organization is performing to these metrics, objectives and timelines.
- Refine and Reinforce. As initiatives are implemented and changes take place, it is important to revisit the plan, adjust as needed to reflect current conditions and reinforce the importance of the plan through communications, learning opportunities and redirecting individuals that may be inadvertently undermining the plan.
Why should I focus on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in my organization?
Business Case for D, E & I:
- Social Justice – It’s the right thing to do!
- Economics – tapping into a broad talent pool makes organizations stronger and more efficient. In addition, it can also reduce expenses associated with a lack of D, E & I such as turnover, legal claims, lost productivity, etc.
- The Market – organizations with diverse leadership and that embrace D, E & I are more likely to understand the needs of a diverse client base; and, are more likely to gain new/repeat business from diverse client groups.
- Results – diverse groups outperform non-diverse groups in terms of producing results, problem solving and overall increased productivity.
To learn more about strategies for improving or implementing D, E & I be sure to attend the Webinar “Human Resource Essentials & Trends” May 20, 2021 at 2:00 PM EST. Register Here.