How Can Organisations Make Diversity and Inclusion a Key Business Strength?

June 9, 20168:25 am2355 views

Although a diversity and inclusion initiative has become a must-have for today’s employers, success is often contingent upon having a clear plan and framework that resonates with diverse talent and aligns with overall business goals.

Just as important is developing an effective method for measuring diversity and inclusion and tracking what can be done to further strengthen this business priority. Doing so will set organizations on a path of continuous improvement, while keeping diversity and inclusion an integral part of the workplace experience.

Randstad Sourceright, a global talent leader, today announced the release of a new white paper, “Turn Diversity and Inclusion into a Talent Strength: A Six-pack Strategy for Driving Measureable Improvements.”

Authored by Peter Vermuelen, head of HR Americas for The Linde Group, with commentary by Audra Jenkins, senior director, Diversity and Compliance for Randstad Sourceright, this new research presents a six-part strategy for measuring and improving in key areas of diversity and inclusion.

It further provides an in-depth exploration of what companies can do to create a successful diversity and inclusion strategy through a six-step, data-based approach.

“More companies today recognize the value of a strong diversity and inclusion strategy and its role in creating an effective and competitive workforce; the challenge, however, lies in applying meaningful metrics to drive performance and accountability,” said Vermuelen.

“To truly leverage the power of a diverse workforce, companies must not only figure out how to attract diverse talent, but also focus on the inclusion aspect – creating a high-performing team of qualified individuals who want to stay with the organization for the long term, feel a part of its culture and see the opportunity to continually grow and advance their careers.”

See: High-Impact Talent Management: Aligning Diversity and Inclusion Practices to Business Objectives

  • Acquiring diverse talent: Simply counting the number of new hires who fit into different diverse groups isn’t enough; companies must understand which groups are underrepresented and how to reach them. Leveraging data about the workforce and its makeup will help to reveal where diversity initiatives should be focused.
  • Developing and advancing talent: Once diverse talent is brought into the organization, it is important to support their ability to develop their skills and grow professionally. This involves tracking the advancement of each diverse group against the progress of others, ensuring diverse high-potential employees are given the opportunity to advance through the ranks.
  • Retaining diverse talent: A company may struggle to keep its diverse talent for a number of reasons. Filtering retention data by business manager, worker type or department can reveal any disparities and identify the causes of poor retention of diverse employees, such as too few involved in development programs or not enough employees receiving opportunities to advance.

“Improving organizational diversity has become a top priority for many organizations, but it’s important to understand that creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace doesn’t happen overnight,” said Jenkins.

By taking the steps to identify what may be impacting diversity hiring and retention, and introducing the strategies to address these hurdles, companies can achieve a state of continuous improvement. A diverse workforce is more than a nice-to-have idea; it is essential to business success.

It drives innovation and effective decision making as organizations strive to stay connected to a diverse customer base. It helps foster new business opportunities, and it is critical for attracting and retaining quality talent in a global market of talent scarcity.

In short, an effective and competitive workforce requires a strong diversity and inclusion (D&I) strategy, but the question remains: how can a company strengthen its D&I position in a way that is meaningful to the business? The answer lies in the ability to quantify, measure, manage and improve. In D&I, as in any business practice, the time-tested adage is true: “What gets measured gets done.”

Also read: “Diversity and inclusion is at the core of our winning strategy”: HR Works at Dell

Image credit: cbp.gov

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