The benefits of a more diverse and inclusive organisation are clear, but how do you actually go about implementing a diversity and inclusion strategy?
Businesses are more focused on diversity and inclusion (D&I) than ever before. A McKinsey research report from 2018 shows that greater diversity in the workforces results in more profitable organisations. Here are some top tips for implementing a D&I strategy.
Lead from the top
D&I is not just an initiative that is owned by HR. For real change to happen, the whole management team needs to buy into D&I. The culture of any firm starts with the management team, who should set the example for others to follow.
Everyone in the firm, regardless of
how large or small it is, should understand their role in the businesses and should be encouraged to share ideas, speak up and get involved.
It’s about more than quotas
Many businesses have set diversity targets but quotas won’t automatically create an inclusive culture. Of course, businesses need to hire from more diverse talent pools, but they must also hire the right people in terms of their fit with the culture of the firm.
Inclusion is ongoing
D&I is not just a one-off training session. Training has its place and it’s good to teach your team members about what it means to be inclusive, how to manage unconscious bias etc.
However, being a more inclusive organisation requires a change in behaviours. New habits must be created. Honest, open and healthy conversations should be encouraged, by everyone in the firm. The best firms give everyone the opportunity to get involved in projects, encourage them to share ideas and to challenge themselves.
Brand and culture are connected
A firm’s brand and its culture are intimately linked. After all, your brand is what people say about your firm (not what you tell them your firm is). Consider what is happening both inside and outside your firm. How does your brand illustrate the culture of your business? Do your employees see the organisation the same way that your customers do?
If not, then try to make the link, involve your employees in projects which improve the customer experience and that also allow them to have a bit of fun along the way. After all, the best businesses encourage a bit of enjoyment and positivity as well as hard work.