The mission, vision and values reflects the robustness of the organisations. They are the construct of an Organization and the legacy is in the hands of every employee who gets associated with it.
Of late, Diversity and Inclusion forms an integral part of every organization to bring diverse talents and also to create competitive advantage in the industry. This also integrates perspectives and respecting unique needs and demands commitment, Intent and Divergent Thinking by the Leaders to create culture of inclusion.
According to Malcolm Forbes- “Diversity is the art of thinking independently together.”
To achieve this let’s ponder how much organizations are ready to take on this responsibility.
I have purposefully used the word READY instead of friendly.
The readiness includes acceptance, and the level of mindset shifts of Leaders and their own trainings of unconscious bias.
The culture and leadership flows Top to Bottom - and as it is said – “Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.”
The organizations will have success with D&I only when they prepare themselves and get ready to take on responsibility of retaining Diversity.
There might be metrics on the ratio of woman being hired, LGBTQ, Veterans hiring and PWD.
Yet, the career growth of these diverse resources reflects the readiness of the Organizations.
A simple way to check whether your organization is ready or not?
While you hire and position the diverse resources, where are you positioning them?
If you are ready with their talents then are you positioning them appropriately where they can use their values, talents and experience?
And the organizations are not ready; they will hire them to place them at entry level positions aligned to their peers who would be just beginning their career.
The success of this pillar depends on the readiness of these Organizations. The employees will be psychologically protected only when following metrics are also well thought along with the execution-
- Are all underrepresented ethnicities given a conducive environment and maintainable consistency?
- Are these metrics hold some grounds of positioning at all levels?
- How many of them are in the critical roles ?
- Are Organizations accountable for biases associated with them.
- Essentially, the metric of Pay Parity should be maintained to give them growth in their career.
It’s a thumb rule the employees always wait for the leaders to understand the coordinated layout for any initiative and the same is applied on D&I as well.
If the positioning of diverse resources is not done mindfully by the leaders based on their Human Skills and Leadership the second element of this pillar “Inclusivity” will always be unachievable.
What are the principles of diversity?
- Having Dynamic Leadership
- Knowledge based Culture of Respect- Knowledge to know the varied needs of the Diversity.
- Active Training to reduce the degree of biases.
- Conversationally Q - To Handle Difficult Conversations to have conscious awareness of not labelling people.
- Fixing Performance Evaluation
- Building culture of T T R- Trust, Transparency and Respect.
Strategic perspective of hiring diversity
Having D&I as one of the core values also integrates your business level strategies and accordingly action should be taken to gain Competitive advantage in the industry.
As a Cost Leadership Business Strategy the focus is to maintain and have a check on the costs.
The costs of hiring and majorly their retention phase reflects the cost in the organisation. The Performance of diverse resources reflects the training and culture of Inclusivity.
As a focussed strategy while hiring D&I all the above mentioned questions should be well thought of. Business has to care about the diversity to reduce their lawsuits and cost related to it.
It is interesting to see that Human Capital also affects the cost to the organization in an intangible way by directly affecting its Brand Equity.
According to Steven Covey-“Strength lies in the difference and not in similarities”.
Embracing Diversity is a way forward. The Organization needs to be committed to integrate principles of D&I.