Most organisations are becoming increasingly aware that they need to do something about diversity and inclusion. There has been growing demand for change from employees and from society as a whole, and the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement in particular has pushed forward an awareness of the need for greater equity in our workplaces – recent research by Multicultural Britain found that diversity and inclusion drives have almost trebled since the protests in 2020. The world is now waking up to the value of diversity and inclusion for organisational success.

But where do you start?

We work with so many organisations who know they want to do something but are bewildered by the breadth of work they could be doing, and overwhelmed by the scale of the challenge. So these are the top tips we give them for figuring out where to start.

1. Get clear on where you are now

You can’t take any steps forward until you know where you’re starting from. Having a clear view of your current situation will help you identify the pressing gaps and opportunities.

The key to that is data – collect as much quantitative and qualitative data as you can that tells you, not only about the diversity of your current team, but about their ability and willingness to contribute, collaborate and engage, and about the diversity of your recruitment pipeline and the perception of your external brand.

2. Figure out where you want to go

What does “inclusion” mean to you as an organisation? There is no one way to be inclusive, and so much will depend on the specific culture and values of your organisation. So spending some time really getting to the heart of those values, and of how they translate into day-to-day actions, and designing the kind of future that you, as a team, want to work towards, is vital.

3. Get everyone on board

Your whole team need to be engaged with this process if it’s going to have any success. You need to make sure they feel part of the future vision you’re creating, and that they’re clear on why this is happening and what the benefits are to the organisation. Taking the time to listen to your employee’s hopes, needs and concerns around all of this right at the beginning will not only give you valuable insights to shape your path, but will prevent all manner of roadblocks from developing further down the line. As you move forward, you’ll need to keep them informed as to the actions being taken and the progress being made, with mechanisms in place for them to input their ideas and considerations.

4. Plan your resourcing

Any diversity and inclusion work you take on will fail without adequate resource and investment. That means having at least one person, but preferably a group of people (depending on the size of your team), to lead on the work and take actions forward. Those people will need dedicated time allotted to this work – if it’s simply an add-on to their existing to do list, they won’t have capacity for it and they’ll soon lose motivation. Think about who you can give that space to and what else they will need to make this project work.

Want help getting started with diversity and inclusion? Our audit process is designed to help you get clear on exactly where you’re starting from and where you want to go. We help goals that will drive meaningful change, and break those down into manageable actions within a measurable timeframe. Get in touch, and let’s get going!