Over the last decade, discussions surrounding diversity and inclusion have manifested into studies and programs that support organizations in their quest to remove bias in the workplace and their recruitment processes. As the approach has changed, people have come to view diversity differently, and it is now something we embody. As a result, we are constantly evaluating, implementing, and re-evaluating efforts to ensure inclusion, which gives everyone a voice and a feeling of something greater than our daily tasks. It adds value and purpose to one’s career, as well as a sense of belonging.
The advantages of inclusivity are endless - more revenue generated per person, more talented staff, and more innovative employees – all resulting in an organization that is more capable of change and transformation. Although it can be challenging path to inclusion, it is extremely rewarding.
If your organization is lagging in its diversity initiatives, it’s going to be behind the ball when it comes to recruiting talented employees. Assuming that we could all do better, the following is a 3-step guide to get you to diversity and subsequently to inclusion, which are key components of the recruitment process.
A pledge of diversity begins with a commitment to hiring the best fit for a position by remaining neutral. The next step is to implement an equal opportunity employment policy that follows EEOC guidelines, and then, make it visible. Options for visibility include, but are not limited to:
The beautiful thing about inclusion is that it also enhances brand awareness. When you embody your diversity commitment in written language, people are more inclined to share the content and/or tell their friends and family members that your organization seems like a great place to work.
Taking it a step further: Create content surrounding how your organization encourages your employees to drive change. Engaging employees in a visible setting, such as your website, sends a message that you embrace internal diversity and inclusion, and recognize the value that these concepts bring.
Maintaining momentum after your commitment pledge is crucial because it adds action to the language and a guideline for the future. Oftentimes, this momentum is generated through the following:
If you haven’t yet begun to incorporate a formal program, start small and be specific. For example, launch a women’s initiative aimed at addressing issues in the workplace, and fostering growth and collaboration. Then, take the apparent issues and roll them into diversity training for the organization as a whole. “Dot the i’s and cross the t’s,” by posting open positions on diverse job boards and using exit interviews as an opportunity to address and improve company culture. Emphasize to employees that these programs rely on honesty and transparency in order to:
After you’ve gathered the data and evaluated what is working and what isn’t, and have (hopefully) made adjustments based on the findings, it is time to sell your diversity and inclusion accomplishments and initiatives to potential new hires. Discussion topics during the interview process include:
The above also demonstrate that your organization has taken a long-term approach toward building upon the initial step one of pledging your commitment. They also give employees continuing opportunities to share their experiences and be actively involved in defining your organization’s culture and helping it to achieve objectives.
Whether you are at Step 1 or 3, it’s imperative to keep moving forward and redefining what it means to be diverse and inclusive. To be frank, this is a continuous process. Each train of thought works its way down the knowledge funnel where it ultimately becomes a program, only to be put back through the funnel again to further refinement.
Time and time again we, as a society, approach different sides of diversity and grapple with creating a sense of belonging and acceptance for all. Therefore, we start small. First with ourselves, and second, with our workplace.