Challenging times call for introspection and proactive actions. The recent events in which voices against discrimination and racism are urging for calls for action are prompting organizations to take a closer look at their employment practices, especially in the area of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I). It is time to reinforce your approach or kickstart your diversity and inclusion initiatives in order to take meaningful actions and make meaningful changes. To help, we have put together some guidelines for developing a successful D&I program.
Commitment from Top Management
When you are planning to develop a D&I initiative or program, one of the most important things you need is commitment. Commitment should stem from top management.
Consistent & Clear Communication
When senior management is committed to building an inclusive workplace these sentiments and efforts should be communicated clearly and consistently. Developing strategic objectives and a diversity statement will set the tone for your D&I initiatives. It shows that you are committed and accountable to the cause.
A D&I audit or assessment is an analysis of data, policies, and processes that will give a clear understanding of an organization’s specific needs and challenges. A thorough assessment is a crucial step in developing a D&I program.
Plan a Strategy
Once the areas of concern are identified, the next step is planning the strategy. It is essential that the D&I strategy align with the business objectives – organizational, social, and personal.
Implement the Strategy
When implementing a D&I program, adopt an approach through which Diversity and Inclusivity initiatives become an integral part of your organizational fiber. Integrating the initiatives throughout the employee life cycle is an approach that inculcates and reinforces D&I best practices throughout every process and system. To achieve this, identify and use effective strategies and tools that will help you realize your goals. Some examples are:
- Diversity recruiting
- Addressing conscious and unconscious bias
- Employee resource group
- Leadership training
- Mentoring opportunities
- Sensitivity training
- Employee engagement
Measure the Outcomes
It is important to measure the results or the impact of the D&I initiatives you have implemented. Without that, you would not know if these efforts are translating to the outcomes you envisaged. Some aspects of diversity are easily measurable. There are several ways to do this. For example, if it is diversity recruiting or representation you are measuring, HR metrics can be used. Other measurable parameters include job satisfaction and employee retention rate.
Keep it Going
Implementing Diversity and Inclusion initiatives in your organization (e.g. diversity recruiting, employee resource groups, or training) takes you a step further in realizing your D&I goals. I must emphasize that D&I initiatives are not a one-time effort or exercise. It’s more of a journey than a destination.
For more tips and guidelines for developing a successful D&I program, see our recent blog: Is Diversity in the Workplace Enough.
If you choose to go on this journey and need assistance with designing, implementing, and/or promoting Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) initiatives in your company or organization, we can help. We provide HR consulting, training, and recruiting services tailored to the needs of your organization. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.