Diversity and inclusion have been long-standing issues in societies. Diversity and inclusion have also been difficult matters to address in the workplace. Did you know that while 65% of senior executives – 32% of whom were in HR or talent management – believe diverse recruitment is a priority, only 35% said ensuring diversity in the workplace was a priority? Further, 29% said developing a robust pipeline of diverse talent and 28% said managing cross-generational issues were a priority. Diversity and inclusion are typically in the foundation of a company’s mission, strategies and best practices. However, to successfully implement adequate diversity and inclusion policies and practices, it must be a top-to-bottom business strategy – not just an HR program or initiative.
Developing a Top-to-Bottom Diversity and Inclusion Business Strategy
Collect and Analyze Data. The first part of your business strategy should look at the data to identify the problem(s). Pulling reports of demographic information on current employees can provide insight to diversity, as well as potential areas of concern or trend. Demographic data that may be useful to analyze include:
- Ethnicity/national origin
- Family status
- Veteran status
If this information is not readily available to employers, employers may want to consider a diversity and inclusion initiative that utilizes a voluntary self-identification employee survey. There are third-party providers who can provide such survey services. Other initiatives may include evaluating personality type (i.e., Myers-Briggs) and thinking/learning style (i.e., DISC) that can shed some light on ways to improve understanding of employee perspectives and increase employee engagement. Incorporating exit interviews can also offer employee perspectives of what works and what doesn’t, such as insight to employee productivity and turnover.
Identify Business Objectives. Based on what your data showcases, it is important to interpret what issues are prominent. Asking you and your team important questions, such as, “How can we add diversity to management roles?” “Why is the Client Relations team mostly women?” “Are employees at location X more diverse than location Y?” From there, you can begin brainstorming ways to address the problem. For example, if you’d like to add diversity to management roles, communicate with the entire organization that individuals in other roles are encouraged to apply.
Align Strategy with Business Objectives. Depending on your business objectives, it is important to implement a process that sets you and your company up to successfully obtain those objectives. Steps may include revising job descriptions, adding or modifying employee handbooks to incorporate diversity and inclusion provisions, or adding training or seminars on related topics to educate, as well as promote skill building that contributes to improving inter-company relationships. Other topics that might need to be addressed include employee referral programs, bias, overall company culture, and political preferences.
Implement the Strategy. Start implementing the strategy through initiatives and delegate responsibilities and action items to designated teams or individuals across the company. Be sure to track the progress of the initiatives, such as completion of diversity and inclusion awareness and competency training, team-building exercises, dialogues during team meetings, etc.
Audit the Strategy. Through progress tracking as you implement the strategy, it is critical to designate time to review and adjust your strategy as necessary. Resurvey your employees to see what is working and what isn’t. This should be an ongoing effort to continuously seek improved policies, procedures, and practices.
If you’re looking for ways to incorporate or review your diversity and inclusion provisions in your employee handbook, contact Human Capital. Our team of HR specialists are equipped with industry expertise and resources to assist with training employees on relevant issues. From DISC training and Myers-Briggs tests to exit interviews and revisions to employee handbooks, Human Capital HR representatives are happy to find effective business solutions customized to your needs.