Have you got 2020 vision?

Having a diversity & inclusion strategy can be a powerful way to create a culture of inclusion within an organisation. The key to success is not only having a strategy but, also having the support you need for your strategy come to life.

As 2019 comes to a close have you started to consider what your diversity & inclusion strategy will look like in the new year? Our award-winning team of diversity and inclusion experts have worked with many leading brands to support their work on diversity and inclusion. We recently sat down in the boardroom and discussed some of the things businesses should be considering when taking a strategic approach to diversity and inclusion.

Having worked with so many high-profile clients, we thought we would share some of our thinking.

Leadership

One of the most important factors for ensuring a successful approach to diversity & inclusion is having the support of senior leaders. Inclusive leadership is about having a growth mindset and being prepared to consider diversity and inclusion as a tool for growth rather than simply as a matter of compliance. So many great articles have been written about the business case for diversity and the importance of inclusive leadership that it is worth considering how you will get senior leaders to support your strategy.

Business Need

When you set out to create your strategy around diversity & inclusion, just pause for a moment and ask yourself this “Do I know how we are performing at the moment?” Being aware of the gaps, opportunities to improve and understanding the current challenges that your organisation has is essential before you go about putting a strategy in place.

Conducting a diversity needs analysis is a powerful way to address where you can add the most value, overcome any barriers and is a great way to get that all-important leadership support.

Workplace Diversity Solutions have created a free online tool that you can use to start the process of conducting a diversity needs analysis.

sitting down in an office to create a clear diversity & inclusion strategy. An image of an office worker sitting at a desk with their computer and a notepad to write down their thoughts on a diversity strategy.
sitting down to think about strategy is important

Engaging Staff

So, you have your leadership support and you have a direction, that’s all you need, isn’t it? Not quite! Diversity and inclusion strategies are only as good as the people who live and breath it. What you should be looking to do is make your diversity and inclusion strategy part of everyday life within your organisation. What good is a strategy if it just sits in the corner of your office gathering dust?

Talk to your staff about the areas in which they would like more knowledge, are they confident around diversity? do they think you offer an inclusive environment? Make sure that staff involvement is a key aspect of your strategy development. Making your staff part of the process is what moves you from simply having a strategy to make real and lasting change.

If your staff are looking to learn more, make sure the learning you provide is engaging, relevant and adds value. You may need to consider using a blended learning approach that has different methods such as eLearning and classroom-based courses.

Our award-winning team has created eLearning content for large clients. Try our eLearning demo for yourself.

Our eLearning is available in over 200 languages and is ideally suited to global environments.

An image taken from our diversity eLearning. Diversity & Inclusion strategy development should consider the needs of staff development.
An example screen from our eLearning solutions.

Accountability

All too often, we see businesses renewing diversity and inclusion memberships to forums, networks and campaign groups. Whilst these can be useful and sometimes have brilliant resources, make sure you are getting value-these membership schemes can often be expensive. Are they adding value to your diversity and inclusion agenda?

If you do decide to renew memberships or remain part of a group, especially if you have to pay to ask them how they will support you in identifying the value they have added and how they intend to measure their impact. Build some degree of accountability into your plans and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Diversity Events

Holding events as part of awareness weeks or months is all well and good. In October, for example, we have seen Black History Month and World Mental Health Day, these can be a great opportunity to stimulate discussion and raise awareness but, don’t fall into the trap of just focusing on it for a day or a few weeks and then leaving it to sit in the back of peoples minds.

Dragging out the buffet table, putting on an event for a few hours and posting it all over social media does not constitute meaningful action on its own.

We’ve done something for Black History Month so, we can forget all about race now, Right? No, if you are to become truly inclusive you need to have a longer-term view on things.

Review

Once you have a plan in place, do remember to review your progress and share findings with your team. Think about the points we made earlier on about staff engagement and getting your people involved.

Finally, go back to the results of your diversity needs analysis and congratulate your business on areas where you can show a clear improvement.

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