Diversity in an organization is nowadays a reality and a necessity. Workforce diversity has been a strong contributor to innovation, organizational performance, and strengthening trust in an organization.
Diversity however can quickly become a double-edged sword, if not managed well. This can result in poor social integration, communication gaps and conflicts that can impact individual and organizational performance.
For the D&I strategy to be successful, it must be owned by the organization.
The organization can do well by defining and adopting clear diversity goals. The same can be communicated as part of organizational vision.
The goals cascaded to the employees would make everyone accountable towards build a more inclusive workplace. This would help employees to participate by understanding the goals, describe accountabilities associated with these goals and would provide managers and employees with tools to continue building inclusion throughout the organization.
Striving towards more balanced representation.
While establishing D&I goals, organizations need to review their current employee base and compared it to the overall race and gender balance in the countries /geographies they operate. They must factor in strategies for building a long-term pipeline and set the goals accordingly. For a multi-national / Global organization, a question that’s pertinent is if they have the leadership distribution as per the geographies they are operating in.
To achieve these new D&I goals, the organization need to …
- Support leaders and hold them accountable for achieving our goals
- Review people policies and practices to ensure that they are fair and free from bias (hiring, promotions, performance management, talent reviews, work flexibility, etc.)
- Provide inclusion & unconscious bias training to all people managers & employees
- Establish programs and processes to embed D&I into our everyday systems and practices
Driving Business Performance Through Diversity & Inclusion
Diversity and Inclusion is not a program, it is a strategy to drive business performance. Together, employees need to believe that embracing diversity, inclusion and a global mindset will be a key enabler of our success.
As the workforce continues to change, research has shown that sustainable diversity and inclusion encourages diversity of thought, boosts employee engagement, and increases financial results. Every employee is required to be an important part of our sustainable Diversity and Inclusion efforts. The success of the organization is dependent on participation across levels.
Moving Strategy to Action
- Formation of Diversity and Inclusion Committee: The Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Committee is a group of senior leaders that drives the organization towards creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace.
- People Process Review: Review the organization’s Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, Performance Management and Compensation practices to promote inclusion.
- Employee Resource Group (ERG): Participation of Employees ensures success of any initiative. Facilitate formation of ERGs that would drive employee participation and inclusion. (Eg. Pride, LGBTQ+, Transgenders, Women, etc)
- Communication: Effectively use established communication mechanism (Yammer/ Blogs, etc) to share best practices and enhance employee participation.
HR Director – South Asia, Middle East & Africa at The