There’s some pretty compelling evidence from multiple studies and sources which support the theory that a diverse and inclusive workforce is more productive and innovative. In other words if your company is more diverse and more inclusive it is likely to outperform your competitors!
The conversation has clearly moved on from the needs to meet legal obligations or to spread positive PR. HR professionals now access case studies and reports which justify investment for inclusion and diversity initiatives. In many ways this is the easy bit.
The real challenge is what to tackle next!? – There are so many facets to how an organisation can evolve to become a more inclusive and diverse place to work. Where do you start?
In terms of attraction and recruitment there are many obvious things to do; review the places where you normally advertise, change the message or image in your ads, review your reasonable adjustments process, review your assessment materials, train your hiring managers on unconscious bias to name a few.
But more importantly what about the culture of your organisation? – If the changes to your recruitment helps you hire a more diverse workforce, what is going to happen next? The culture of your business will ultimately shape the experience of employees and how they progress. Perhaps the first thing we can all do is simply listen to what our existing workforce has to say, how do they feel, what are the changes which could be made to support a diverse environment? Do you have employees who could become diversity ambassadors? Do they have positive stories which they can bring to life, this is potentially the most powerful strategy which any organisation can build!
There isn’t a magic wand or whizzy piece of kit which can solve all of the challenges overnight. It’s a long term strategy that should never stop evolving and one that belongs at the heart of every company culture and EVP.