After implementing their recognition program, mteam, the strength of networks in each Meijer store location increased. Companies need to embrace D&I for an improved employee experience. Furthermore, an increasing body of evidence suggests that organizations that maintain their values and commitment to employees during economic hard times are the ones that continue to thrive. There will always be growing pains when attempting to change your company culture on such a broad scale. Hiring more diverse individuals is crucial in attracting more interested, qualified applicants. Research suggests that a lack of diversity and inclusion in the workplace can promote discriminatory behavior. Today, millennials make up the vast majority of the workforce. You need to follow up and take action to ensure that you’re using insights to strengthen your approach and impact. You can break down your workforce by gender, race, geography, etc. Establish a sense of belonging for everyone. A lack of inclusion and compassion in the workplace may affect your company’s pride, productivity, and finances for years to come. Dangers of Ignoring Inclusion. When there is a lack of acceptance of the diverse culture and beliefs among employees, conflicts may arise. At least many organizations … Do inclusive training every year: This is costly for a lot of organizations. Required fields are marked *. Usually, this translates to an annual survey, but that’s simply not enough. This is not surprising when you consider that most diversity and inclusion initiatives are developed to comply with corporate governance and self-regulation (often under the heading “Corporate Social Responsibility” or CSR). When you establish your ERGs, leverage every internal platform to promote them. The aforementioned Harvard Business Review article concludes, “In the context of the workplace, diversity equals representation. Surveys and continuous feedback platforms give an opportunity to hear information directly from employees. They cater to the status quo. Diverse teams can also better identify products and services that fit the needs of emerging customer profiles. Sometimes, enterprise companies can feel so big and isolating, so these groups can help everyone feel more comfortable and included in giving feedback. Although diversity and inclusion (D&I) offers clear benefits, it’s difficult to implement. Better representation among workers can translate to a better understanding of customers, leading to increased profitability. I am the author of the books:  Leadership in the Age of Personalization, The Innovation Mentality and Earning Serendipity. Diversity problems in the workplace can stem from bias or prejudice. … Know what opportunity diversity and inclusion solves for. It’s about just getting out there to sell, sell, sell. Your email address will not be published. Every employee should be open and conscious of bias they might bring into a meeting or one-on-one session with a colleague. Ask yourself, “How are my employee networks and other D&I initiatives guided by an overall D&I strategy?” At Achievers, we have a D&I steering committee that acts as the primary advocate for all things D&I, with a mission to drive D&I initiatives to success. They look and sound great. Once you’ve garnered adequate support, ask critical questions about your company’s workforce. - How HCM Technologies Can Scale Inclusion in the Workplace by Gartner. The Illusion of Inclusion - Roadblock #1 Diversity − Inclusion ≠ Success Successful diversity programs require comprehensive inclusion initiatives. Diversity and inclusion requires diverse and non-diverse leaders to work together to create a culture that embraces diversity of thought and deploys the required best practices, development tools, and resources to maximize talent engagement, advancement, workplace performance, and overall satisfaction. The Harvard Business Review found a statistically significant relationship between diversity and innovation outcomes. We need to create real belonging in our culture.” In her own business, Brown has gone so far as to reframe diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts as DEIB, which stands for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging. There are myriad ways to start incorporating diversity into your workplace. First, it’s helpful to define diversity and inclusion. Employees who don’t feel included easily become depressed and withdrawn, making them uninclined to offer solutions they believe will be ignored or rejected. Make sure they have the wherewithal to acknowledge their own bias, and ensure they’re hiring fairly. Harvard Business Review also discovered that diverse companies are 70 percent more likely to capture new markets, which, in turn, yields higher performance. Building employee resource groups (ERG) or networks is a fantastic way for certain groups of people to connect and meet each other at work. People working in inclusive workplaces also tend to have better physical and mental health and take less leave for health issues. Companies with significantly more racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to outperform competitors. Here are five ways to rethink and reinvent the way you lead diversity and inclusion as a growth strategy: 1. One example is to kick off virtual coffee chats, which connect two employees at random to meet and talk about anything they want. For an individual who is part of the majority group, such as a white male in a workplace staffed almost exclusively by white males, the lack of diversity in his workplace means he has few or no opportunities to understand other groups’ perspectives and … As Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg stated in the Harvard Business Review, this is exactly why companies are bad at figuring out what their problems are and end up solving for the wrong things: “What they struggle with, it turns out, is not solving problems but figuring out what the problems are. Public recognitions are very impactful because they give a sense of belonging and offer company-wide visibility. Another Covid-19 College Semester Begins, Working Parents Need Companies To Start Caring, Parler: The Business Ethics Of Framing And De-Platforming, What You Need To Do When You Hit The Pandemic Wall, Why It’s Easier To Get A New Job When You Have A Job (And What To Do If You Don’t). Discover how to strengthen connections across your organization. They may be well meaning, but they are misguided in their approaches. If you take a look at the organisations across all industries that are at the forefront in this area, one thing that they share is that they all have senior leaders driving this agenda forwards. Upper management needs to allocate resources to D&I efforts, even in the face of uncertainty. Taking these steps shows employees that upper management is taking D&I to heart. The two concepts, though inextricably bound, are distinct and require … Expanding your recruitment searches to more diverse candidates—including background, ethnicity, age, etc.—widens your talent pool and increases your chances of finding the best hire. Bias training is especially important for hiring managers. This is especially true during times of crisis. If you’re unsure where to start, try Meijer’s approach and start leveraging the power of employee recognition. Establish a culture where people feel empowered to flag situations that are alarming, or even just uncomfortable. In particular, gender-diverse teams outperformed individual decision makers 73 percent of the time, and teams diverse in geography, gender, and age made better business decisions than individuals 87 percent of the time. Why? What we need to do, argues Wedell-Wedellsborg, is reframe the problem. According to Deloitte, diverse companies enjoy 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee. Furthermore, many diverse employees have faced significant adversity in their life. A fundamental value that contributes to a successfully diversified workplace is respect among workers and employees. Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace: Benefits and Challenges. Workplaces that ensure psychological safety and trust help employees to speak up. If you aren’t changing the way your recruiting process is structured, you’ll always get the same type of people. While managers can lead the way, employees should still receive D&I training to help avoid and overcome biases. Acceptance fosters mutual respect and prevents conflicts from arising. 5. Popular HR influencer, Brene Brown, says, “we need to do more than diversity and equity and inclusion. All that requires leaders to take ownership of an innovation mentality mindset. A major issue is that many companies believe they’re already promoting a diverse and inclusive culture. Diversity and inclusion initiatives must align with your organizational goals and company values. Good! You can focus representation, reputation management, and abide by the right metrics, but without thinking about individuals you were thinking about the business defining the individual, not the individual defining the business. Start by setting up diverse panels of interviewers who will select candidates based on skills and experience. By and large, diversity and inclusion initiatives focus only on recruitment, reputation management, and “checking off the boxes.”  That does not make them bad. The pattern is clear: Spurred by a penchant for action, managers tend to switch quickly into solution mode without checking whether they really understand the problem.”. I help organizations build high-performance leaders, teams and cultures focused on inclusion and the power of individuality. For instance, if your employees or data tells you there is a noticeable lack of employee appreciation in a particular department, identify the obstacles and provide resolutions. When employees who are different from their colleagues are allowed to flourish, the company benefits from their ideas, skills and engagement, according to SHRM/Economist Intelligence Unit research. The retention rate of those workers also rises. A company’s policies and practices should be available to all workers at all times. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Gartner found that inclusive teams improve team performance by up to 30 percent in high-diversity environments. Consequently, leaders gain new perspectives and inspire employees to make a difference. Offer diversity and inclusion training. In other words, diversity is the representation of a range of traits and experiences in a company’s workforce. Before deploying a recognition program, Meijer, a family-owned superstore based out of the U.S. Midwest, was aware that silos between teams or groups within an organization can severely hinder collaboration. By and large, diversity and inclusion initiatives … Lack of Diversity Can Cause Discrimination. Move people to the center of your organization’s growth strategy. The first is to look at the Inclusion Climate—the equitable employment practices, integration of differences, and inclusion of decision-making. This also applies to all employees. This report explores inclusion and exclusion in more concrete terms by examining employees’ daily workplace experiences and finds: Invisibility: Experiences of inclusion are often invisible—challenging to describe, difficult to pinpoint, and, yet, in many workplaces, the expected norm. Pro tip: Jeff Cates, CEO and President of Achievers, shares 11 employee networks to consider for your company to build an inclusive culture. Only 1 in 5 HR and engagement leaders agree that their employees deeply trust their company leaders. As the new year approaches, you … If you’re not already, try leveraging pulse surveys to regularly capture your employee’s input and gather the pulse of engagement. Silos become dangerous because they encourage exclusivity rather than inclusivity, decrease productivity and productivity, etc. These challenges forced diverse employees to hone their expertise and develop excellent problem solving skills. But when I ask the executives what their plans solve for, they often say “diversity and inclusion.” That’s as tautological as you get. As mentioned above, management is a key component of a successful D&I program. How well do you practice diversity of thought? Consider adding other typical D&I KPIs like the percentage of employees belonging to minority groups, average tenure of employees based on age or ethnicity, etc. Diversity needs to be baked into your hiring practices. Diversity refers to political beliefs, race, culture, sexual orientation, religion, class, and/or gender identity differences. Tools Workplace accommodations for mental illness are typically low cost and easy to implement. The positive impact of diversity and inclusion is no longer debatable. The c-suite is responsible for making major business decisions; those that actively seek minority voices learn about the issues that diverse employees face. Sincere ignorance: Start talking to the people who put them together, and more often than not you realize that the details and depth of strategic thinking behind them is as thin as the paper they are printed on. Part of the disconnect organizations encounter with workplace diversity after hiring occurs because they fail to understand howdiversity differs from inclusion. When diversity and inclusion initiatives are weak, one-off tactical approaches without strategy or follow-up and little depth, the result is some initial success followed by an immediate flat line or regression. It means that we understand we can be our authentic selves (within reason, workplaces are also a place of compromise) without fear of reprisal, judgement or negative consequences. Businesses can utilize diversity training, mentorship and creative hiring strategies to create more inclusive workplaces for … Employees feel more comfortable in an accepting and supportive workplace, increasing engagement. Meet as a team to openly discuss these criteria, and build collaborative actions plans together to avoid unconscious bias as much as possible. This gauges employees’ sense of belonging and authenticity. That’s what happens when you fail to operationalize diversity and inclusion by moving people to the center of your growth strategy – when all employees (not just diverse populations) are disconnected from being influential. Leadership must support diverse populations – activating and leveraging their full potential – while avoiding any tension that may disrupt engagement, their overall performance, and thus growth. In addition to employee networks, think about your overall D&I strategy. That’s how companies end up solving for the wrong things at the wrong time – thus widening opportunity gaps. As a result, initiatives such as employee resource groups (ERGs)  – are viewed as cost centers (expenses), rather than as profit centers (investments) to drive influence in the workplace and growth in the marketplace. My goal is to prepare organizations to lead in the age of personalization– to achieve maximum growth and significance in the workplace and marketplace - as the individual defines the business. These elements must go hand-in-hand in the workplace in order to truly make an impact. Coming up with diversity KPIs is relatively simple. To do this, initiatives designed for “cultural competency” aren’t enough. In the end, the HR department and individual managers are responsible for enacting change and sustaining a D&I-centric culture. The second measure is the Perceived Group Inclusion Scale. To determine whether or not your strategies are working, look at the change (or lack of change) in metrics. The days of taking a one-size-fits-all approach are over, never to exist again. The Future of Inclusion. As the landscape of America’s workforce continues to shift, there’s been a great deal of research on the topic of inclusiveness in the workplace, and how it’s important in a multi-faceted way, including economically. Diversity and inclusion initiatives must align with your organizational goals and company values. Great Place to Work assessed hundreds of publicly traded companies before, during, and after a recession. Only then can we be courageous enough to steer away from like-mindedness through assimilating people’s differences (melting pot) and towards like-mindedness through honoring those differences (mosaic). When it comes to employee networks, our D&I committee helps with the following: drive awareness and education of employee networks, provide strategic guidance, and share industry research and best practices. Every manager should build an inclusive team environment by listening to their employees and recognizing them for their everyday efforts. Take the following assessment and find out. A significant majority of white respondents also said workforce diversity is important. Cloverpop, an online decision-making platform, examined 600 business decisions made by 200 teams. Most leaders cannot and, as a result, have no idea how big the opportunity gaps are let alone which ones need to be solved for first. Simply put, people invest in respect. Inclusion is the only scalable way to build diversity within an organization. Thirty-nine percent of all respondents say they have turned down or decided not to pursue a job because of a perceived lack of inclusion at an organization. When employees accept the differences between each other, it results in a sharing of ideas and effective collaboration. But a vast number of these initiatives prove ineffective or fail within a year or two. A diverse, progressive, and inclusive workplace culture can no longer be treated like an optional, industry-specific perk. This requires training management on what the company’s D&I goals are, why they’re important, and what’s expected of managers’ interactions with employees. Frequently embracing and recognizing differences can motivate employees to continue bringing their best self to work. Move diversity and inclusion out of human resources. When employees feel included, they’re more engaged. Some recognition tools offer digital celebration cards to celebrate new hires, work anniversaries, birthdays, and milestones. Try experimenting with a variety of team-signed celebration cards to help foster a sense of belonging and make employees feel included from day one. Diversity refers to who’s at work: who is recruited, hired, and promoted by a company. Objective criteria reduces the chance of bias or prejudice. Give your employees the ability to tie each recognition to a particular company value supporting D&I. This steering committee should consist of all types of employees from all areas of the business who can provide suggestions, share best practices, and encourage their teammates to participate in D&I activities. I review corporate diversity and inclusion plans for companies all the time. They assume existing and potential employees targeted by these programs must change to fit into the current workplace culture. Ask specific questions related to D&I to get employees’ thoughts on how to build a more inclusive work environment. If we keep asking that question – or any question – over and over again, why should we expect a different result? A diverse and inclusive environment establishes a sense of belonging among employees. When employees feel more connected at work, they tend to work harder and smarter, producing higher quality work. Nevertheless, many companies exclude their employees from the decision-making process. My organization, GLLG, helps companies build high-performance leaders, teams and cultures focused on inclusion and the power of individuality. … Join our email alert list so you never miss a post. Without inclusion, however, the … These training sessions need to show that you’ve done your research and you know about the current biases in your workplace. "From a leader’s perspective, a tool like recognition should be used to promote inclusive leadership." Start reaping the benefits of the Achievers platform by requesting a live demo. But what really limits them is where they live: in HR and CSR – on the fringe and disconnected from enterprise wide growth opportunities. For example, more diversity can result in increasedemployee engagementand reduced turnover, as employees who feel included, accepted, and valued are happier and more engaged. A great platform, however, tackles D&I from many angles—it helps support your ERGs, rewards employees working on D&I initiatives, offers public and inclusive recognition, and even infuses specific values around D&I into your program. When companies support D&I initiatives, a whopping 83 percent of millennials are actively engaged in their work. At the heart of an inclusive workplace is respect and trust. In a BCG study, companies with diverse management teams had a 19 percent increase in revenue compared to their less diverse counterparts. It’s more than just a money issue, of course. Princeton and Harvard found that women are underrepresented in the American workplace by as much as 46%. Move diversity and inclusion out of human resources. Diversity deals with the characteristics inherent to each employee (as well as customers), such as race, gender, age, and sexual orientation. Below are some of the top challenges that organizations face when it comes to leveling up their diversity and inclusion strategies. The bad news is that lack of inclusion is a real problem in the workplace. Companies that promote diversity and inclusion also usually see a boost in their brands. Additionally, businesses that are in the top quartile for racial, ethnic, and gender diversity have a 25 percent greater likelihood of being more profitable than the national median for their respective industry. The State of Workplace Diversity & Inclusion. The Achievers platform delivers on all fronts. If you have a recognition platform in place, look at your recognition activity dashboards to immediately identify any teams or individuals that might feel underappreciated - ensuring everyone feels appreciated on an everyday basis is key to building an inclusive culture. Give diversity and inclusion visibility. However, only 40 percent of employees agree that their manager fosters an inclusive environment. Take full advantage of an engaging recognition and rewards program that encourages your workforce to celebrate their peers’ strengths, but also their uniqueness. Build a multigenerational workforce. ... the only torch-carrier in this work. As a result, organizations that adopt D&I practices see huge gains in the form of business results, innovation, and decision-making. These characteristics include gender, race, physical ability, religion, age, and socioeconomic status, among others—or, as defined byGallup, “the full spectrum of human demographic differences.” This higher engagement has a ripple effect on profitability, team morale, and retention. They are usually well-meaning too. Managers have a direct impact in the way that employees interact with one another on a day-to-day basis, so they must make inclusion a priority in how they lead their teams. Recognition tools should be used to promote your company values, especially the ones that speak to your company’s D&I initiatives. During that period, equality acts around the world … In the workplace, diversity means your staff consists of individuals who bring new perspectives and backgrounds to the table. A study by Deloittewhich reported that inclusive teams outperformed their less inclusive peers by 80% in terms of busines… The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) concluded that harassment, which is a form of discrimination, is more likely to happen in the workplace with a lack of diversity. In fact, Harvard Business Review found that more diverse companies report 19 percent higher revenue. These groups should receive training to understand new HR policies and practices. This means you need the right tools in place. Be ready to take action on feedback—this is critical for employees to provide feedback in the future. 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