There are three main aspects to a good Diversity and Inclusion strategy:
In order for these three aspects to be synergistic, a business must assess everything ranging from its mission statement all the way to its vision from entry to executive level.
The first step is to ensure that there’s a solid foundation on which to build from – typically, this starts with the business plan or annual plan.
A company’s business plan allows the employer to review and modify his or her existing policies and even help determine what the type of recruitment process will be best for the company. The CEO’s vision and management accountability play an important role in determining how and what the leadership looks like on an executive level.
With regards to management, it’ll be up to the employer to determine whether it will be better to personally create and execute the Diversity and Inclusion strategy in the workplace or if creating a council will be a better fit. In addition to this, training and managerial resources will need to be created and provided in order to prevent or eliminate any unconscious bias. The better quality of education available to executives in your organization, the better they’ll be prepared to delegate and engage with employees, as well as arm them with the tools they need to work in positive office culture and space.
As for the recruiting process and policies, it’s recommended to have a mission statement in place that clearly helps understand D&I’s role within the company. The purpose of this is to establish your role as a diversity leader versus a planner. In fact, while diversity is important to 72% of founders, it was found that only 10% had actually taken action. It’s easier to say that your business promotes diversity and inclusion as opposed to demonstrating it. Having this mission statement set up will also help you assess the different perspectives, demographics, and skill sets that will take your business to new heights. By understanding the core values of your organization, you’ll have a better understanding of the people that will help you scale it.
Setting up the culture is the next step. The purpose of Diversity and Inclusion is to create a business environment where all employees feel valued and accepted. By creating a path towards a more inclusive culture, you’ll need to consider the following:
- Gender in the workplace
- Culture of genius
- Mental Health
While Diversity will constantly remain a priority to many businesses around the world, it can’t succeed without Inclusion. Employers must arm themselves with various points of knowledge and perspectives to better understand the employees he or she is hiring. Gender wage gaps, ageism, lacking a sense of acceptance, and the demonizing of mental health issues when 1 in 5 Americans suffer from them are all items that should be considered when creating the culture.
One of the tangible benefits to the promotion and execution of D&I can be seen in as high as the C-Suite. According to a Gallup survey conducted last year, 45% of Americans have suffered from discrimination and/or harassment. Once businesses began implementing a strong D&I strategy, they saw positive changes in their representation towards shareholders, outperformance in productivity and engagement, increase in innovation revenue, and a visible surpassing of peers in the same industries that lacked the diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
It’s recommended to also provide training and educational resources to employees in order to further develop their skills and capabilities. By allowing employees to grow within the business, there’s a higher retention rate as well as the aforementioned benefits.