With the rise in conversations about diversity and inclusion, it’s easy to think the conversation is all about ‘soft skills’ or that it’s a box-ticking exercise. The reality is that it’s imperative to work on being inclusive for your organisation. Diverse teams are more productive, innovative, make quicker decisions and more profit. And people are looking for diversity and inclusion when they decide who to work for. Those who don’t address this will be the organisations who fail. Here’s our thoughts on how you could be approaching this.
It has to start at the top for any changes to have effect. Business leaders, senior leaders and strategy leads need to commit to making changes and enable those things to happen. It’s not good enough to ask someone junior to look at a diversity and inclusion project to do this in their spare time. That is setting them up to fail, and it’s not giving enough focus to something so crucial to your organisation. This is a strategic objective and needs to be prioritised and communicated in that way. If you want your organisation to survive and your teams to thrive, you need to lead on this and decide how you are going to approach this.
A common problem for organisations is recruiting people. Many people talk about the challenges of recruiting different types of people. Worse than that, some organisations don’t do anything about it and end up with teams where everyone is the same. This then means that they lack creativity to innovate with new ideas – as everyone is the same and coming at it from the same perspective.
To make any changes to the people who are attracted to working in your organisation is no quick fix. It takes analysis and work to think about how you are going to approach this. You will need to look at things like your employer brand – what does your brand say about what it’s like to work at your place? You will need to look at job advertising, recruitment methods, and how candidates are shortlisted for roles. Doing things in the same way you have always done them will not help here. You will need new ideas to reach out to wider communities to attract people. Everyone needs to work on this, every person, every team leader and every senior leader.
And it’s not simply about who leads and who participates either. You will need to think about the methods and processes you use to make sure the work is as inclusive as possible. Think about how to get inputs from everyone without using the tired old meeting formats. Think about how to engage everyone in your organisation to see this as a priority. Work on clear actions, timescales and goals with an overall vision. And make sure you communicate well about quick wins, and longer-term achievements as you go along so that people can see how you are progressing with making your organisation more inclusive.
And if all of this sounds daunting, talk to us, we can help! We will work with you on a roadmap to create change and we have simple training courses to help get you started.
Sign up to our workshop on 23rd February to learn how to make meaningful changes that stick
Try one of our e-learning training courses to learn about how to embed diversity and inclusion in our organisation
Or email firstname.lastname@example.org to talk to us about how we can help