5 ways organizations can ensure Diversity and Inclusion
'Only where sum of parts makes the complete whole, lies the success of ‘Mother Nature!’
During this pandemic while all of us pondered for a better world, one word struck me hard was ‘COEXISTENCE.’ Coexistence – is the ultimate principle of survival in this chaotic world which brings balance and harmony in nature. In the self-declared prophecy of superiority and selfishness the Human animal has forgotten this principle long back and ‘Mother Nature’ has punished us time and again to make us remind but in vain. We all need to come together and realise that the pristine joie-de-vivre of being alive is to survive in coexistence in symbiosis & consonance of each other.
Being inspired by this principle of Coexistence and focusing on the most relevant topic in today’s Corporate world - Diversity and inclusion, I feel we can imbibe a lot from the same philosophy - Only where the sum of parts makes the complete whole, lies the success of ‘The Organization.’
Over a few decades now, we have been discussing & debating on Diversity & Inclusion – concepts, philosophies, impacts, benchmarks etc. but when we assess the real-time data and organizational reports still a lot must be improved. From the time I have seen the Diversity & Inclusion agenda in action, I have seen some meaning & remarkable actions but most of them are Leader-centric and once the respective leaders and agenda are passe things come back to ground zero. I purposefully, refrain from using any data and benchmark here because I really feel as we the Corporate leaders know and understand that we all have just started and are far away from where we want to be in terms of Diversity & Inclusion, and we have just started …miles to go before we sleep.
In my opinion, the first steps towards Diversity & Inclusion is not only to talk about it and chase it during annual audits, KPI reviews or while planning to participate in the Converted Awards Ceremonies on Diversity & Inclusion but feeling for it through-out the year.
In my opinion following are the five simple ways organizations can ensure Diversity & Inclusion:
- Philosophy & Concept - ‘Knowing the why’ is the first step towards achieving the objective. All initiatives on Diversity & Inclusion topics must be well-deliberated and the readiness & maturity of an organization defines their overall success and longevity. It can’t be taken just as an option and only a lousy Cross-Functional team works on it with limited empowerment rather, every leader and stakeholder must feel the Philosophy & Concept of Diversity & Inclusion and should be very clear with the ‘why’.
- Strong resolve - In many organizations I see that there is a lot of energy in the initial period of ideation & conceptualization stage of Diversity & Inclusion strategy however, the tempo & momentum is lost somewhere in between, where it is laid-back in the KPI sheets of only limited few HR folks. Till, every stakeholder in the organization from a mere Human Resources team member to People Manager to Head of Department to Functional Heads to Top Management every one is standing with the strong resolve of Diversity & Inclusion this agenda can’t be ensured.
- Robust Action-plan - Once the ‘Why’ is clear and the resolve is deep, a strong phase-wise action plan is needed. Not every activity can be concluded in a limited time frame; it takes time and a successful Diversity & Inclusion strategy will take ample time to be successful.
- Implementation - The next step is a dedicated implementation, governed and reviewed by the leaders at all echelons. The Diversity & Inclusion agenda and action-plans are perennial in nature and hold an angle in all People strategies and initiatives.
- Impact study - I always feel a well deployed strategy must have metrics and analytics to supplement the outcome. The impact of Diversity & Inclusion strategy on the overall organization’s efficiency & effectiveness if not calculated from time-to-time and updated to the top management, it eclipses the jeopardises the continuity of any further Diversity & Inclusion step as the quantum shits lacks or is vague.
I strongly feel though these steps are simple and cliché if implemented with complete control it will surely ensure Diversity & Inclusion in organizations and the real meaning and value of Workforce equality and Diversity & Inclusion will be achieved.
Only where the sum of parts makes the complete whole, lies the success of ‘The Organization.’
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake
- Rabindranath Tagore