D&I Blog 7.25

From Workforce Diversity to Workplace Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion are not synonymous or interchangeable terms. Did you know that you needed to transition your action plan regarding diversity management and shift it to inclusion? Although diversity is a great start for your company, for future strategic planning, inclusion should be your primary objective.

For success to become a reality, the organization needs both diversity and inclusion to recognize the full potential of the people employed by the company. While your organization might be focused on numbers, it may be lacking the business imperative of inclusion of the acceptance and appreciation of inclusive workplaces where unique traits and vantage points of the workforce are valued.

Diversity means different. By our individual human experiences, we are all different but too many organizations are trying to build out diversity programs and leaving out what the goal should be, inclusion.

Inclusion is where you bring all the differences together for a greater good.  People want to be valued, appreciated, respected and accepted for who they are and that is where the benefit to organizations lie. When the ideas, perspectives, and backgrounds of diverse people are harnessed together, it translates to business success for consumers, employees, and prospective talent.

The transition from diversification to inclusion starts when the organization identifies the number of actions it is committed to take to promote an inclusive work culture, where people from all beliefs, backgrounds, capabilities, and talents are leveraged for performing and learning and are welcomed as a part of better business practices.

For inclusion to become a reality, an inventory must be performed by viewing the macro-characteristics of the workforce, communications, supplier diversity, philanthropy and social responsibility. The organizational structure must be re-examined to identify the level of equitable access each employee will gain.

Other strategies and key processes will also need to be revisited, reinvented and then implemented to promote complete alignment of the processes and organizational systems if any chance of transformation is to be attained. Identifying gaps and barriers is also a milestone that must be covered before reaching organizational inclusiveness.

It is crucial to understand how inclusion can overcome deficiencies, address and support the decision-making process and support better business practice in any of the above-mentioned areas. All the findings highlighted from the inventory research can be used to formulate an action plan for transitioning the company to total inclusion.

Preparation of a well-documented plan of action can help complete goals and objectives faster. Small manageable tasks can be broken down to help employees realize change because achieving an all-encompassing inclusive work environment is basically a culture transformational initiative, which requires active, strategic, participation from leadership down.

Incorporating diverse and inclusive principles across all business units of the organization and creating intersectional teams are imperative for any inclusion initiative to be successful.

Most companies fail to understand that the problem is not only diversity, the reason they are not attracting, recruiting and most importantly retaining diverse talent is the workplace is not inclusive and welcoming.

360HR can assist your organization in building out an inclusive initiative that shows you are dedicated to transitioning and progressing from a diverse workforce to becoming an inclusive workplace.

About Author:

At the helm of 360HR, with over 15 years experience in the Staffing/Recruiting industry, Tonie is a Social-Impact Entrepreneur and Chief Diversity JobMingler. During her own search for employment where she could bring her “entire self” to work, 360HR was founded. Her element is educating clients in understanding diversity is ONLY the first step, inclusion is the goal. Tonie believes in a high touch candidate experience and her realm of expertise lies in diversity sourcing/recruiting candidates in Tech, Healthcare, Chemicals, Biotech and Oil/Gas industries. When she is not connecting with people and opportunities and mingling the two, she enjoys conversing with family/friends and trying out new recipes or eateries. Most often, you will find her spending time at home with her partner, “The Brilliant One” and their furbabies, Bryndie Sou and Daizee Mae

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