It’s a priority, it’s something you know you need to work on and make progress. Yet somehow your diversity and inclusion work is stalling. You’re not making clear progress, and everyone including you is frustrated at the lack of progress.
You’re also struggling to recruit, some of your employees are leaving, and your latest marketing campaign did not create the impact you wanted. And when you think about why, you and your team are struggling to think of new ideas, and new ways to do things.
Does any of this sound familiar? It’s a common story. There might be initial interest in doing something, but then people wonder what to do and that initial enthusiasm fizzles out.
We work with so many organisations who know they want to work on diversity and inclusion, they know it’s a priority, but they don’t know how to get started, or what to do. And you’re not alone in this, in a survey of small to medium businesses, 51% admitted their company has work to do. In another survey, 40% of leaders admitted they are failing on diversity and inclusion. These are likely to be the same leaders who are struggling to recruit, struggling with new ideas, and wondering why they are not engaging new audiences.
So here’s some help from us to get things moving:
Where are you starting from?
Have you worked out what your starting point is? What are you actually trying to change? And have you got the information you need to get started? This is often where diversity and inclusion work fails. Without working out where you need to start, it can feel overwhelming and confusing.
Think about the steps you need to take to gather the information. You need data to understand your current situation and where the gaps are. You will also need feedback and qualitative data to give you a clearer picture of where things are. People will have stories to tell about the current situation, and these will be people in your organisation, and also externally. Consider your external reputation, the information job seekers are seeing and more.
It’s easy to skim over this stage, but this is where the success of your project lies. To make changes, you need to figure out where you are starting from and what needs to change.
It’s a lot of work, and you will need help with this. Our Inclusion Audit takes an organisation through this stage engaging widely to understand where you need to start. Watch this video to find out more:
What are you trying to achieve?
Gathering feedback and data is the initial stage. There are plenty of teams who get this far, and then stall at what to do next. Several things can happen at this point; people sometimes feel that this is the work, and the actions are for someone else to do, or there is a lack of clarity about what is going to happen next, or often it’s time, people are busy and nothing really happens.
To get things moving at this stage, needs some people involved to objectively look at the data and feedback and work on priorities. Many organisations have employee resource groups, committees or diversity and inclusion working groups. Often this is what needs to be set up to work out priorities and what the organisation wants to achieve.
A key part of this stage is a vision and goals for the future mapped out by timelines.
We can help with this too! Our Activation Workshops are designed for this stage, to get things moving with some clear goals and actions.
Do you have the resources you need?
Linked to all of this is resourcing. There might have been some budget set aside initially, and some people engaged in working on this. As time goes on and you move to the next stage, it’s easy for people to leave this work to one side. One of the most common issues we see is at this stage. So here’s some things to think about around resourcing:
- Leadership – there needs to be senior level engagement and leadership in a project like this for it to succeed
- Time – if people are asked to do this without being given the time to do so, you are setting them up to fail
- Budget – it will take money to make some of these things happen, if you don’t allocate any budget, the project will stall
- Engagement – have you engaged a wider team at different levels? Without this, the project will not move
- Skills – as well as engaging a wider team, have you thought about what skills gaps you have to do this work?
Not all of these things will take huge budgets, it could be that people need things like spaces to work in, or committed time allocated in their diaries as the resources to make things happen. Work through where you have got to after the initial phase to see where things might have got stuck.
All of these stages take time and will need to be prioritised to progress. Have a look at our Inclusion Audit to see how we take people through this journey to get this work moving