D&I Blog 7.25

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.

D&I Blog Post 7.20

A corporate culture is a whole story about how a company wants to operate and work. This is one of the most public and highlighted ways to state clearly what your stance on diversity and inclusion is. Defining an inclusive culture not just about taking a stance in public, but it is a personal commitment of leadership down. Management has to not only communication but to engage and motivate employees and customers with forward-thinking (#DiversityForward) ideas that take organizations from diversity to inclusion to include women, the LGBT community, IWD (Individuals with disabilities), minorities and veterans.

Unfortunately, in many instances whenever someone mentions talent diversity initiative, people follow up with a simple statement “We want talent over diversity” as if the diverse talent is synonymous with inferiority. The uncomfortable truth is the job market is drenched in business practices that claim to have a diverse workforce while not fully accepting the inclusion initiative.

According to a Deloitte Research, most mandates for diversifying the workforce rarely include creating an inclusive workplace. Although diversity is at the forefront of many industries only 11% have actually managed to establish themselves as inclusive workplaces. The Research by the National Center for Women & Information Technology stated that diverse and inclusive hiring is not just good for the people being hired but also good for the employer. Without inclusion being the goal, companies stand the danger of limiting their scope and insight.

A strong sense of purpose and value can galvanize the workforce and enable you to draw strong customer support. Gap and Levi Strauss focused on diversity and inclusion by standing up for the rights of the LGBT community, an issue that matters to millions of people worldwide. This was an action that could have affected their profits, but it highlighted their values and gained public praise regarding the Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Take time to listen to your talent and be transparent about your successes and challenges that underrepresented groups face and what stands between them and being employed by your company.
And don’t just listen passively but really do something about it.

Consider partnering with a talent solutions firm, like 360HR, who do  more than provide diversity through inclusion services but is a part of the communities you wish to engage and include.

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