What Drives Your Diversity Efforts?

Julie Shenkman
Posted by in Human Resources


Human resources should lead the way when it comes to diversifying your workplace. However, caring and passion aren't enough to drive your diversity efforts. You should approach this facet of your recruiting with a commitment to excellence in the same way you would approach a long-term business strategy. Diversity should be a major talking point for the whole company, not just an afterthought when it comes to filling out statistical forms for the federal government.

Know Your Why

Human resources must know why you have diversity efforts in the first place. Business leaders and diversity-related jobs at old school organizations may not fully understand what diversity and inclusion truly means when it comes to why the firm pursues these goals. Oftentimes, a phrase that says "must display a passion for diversity" comes up in a job description for diversity-related jobs, even though companies don't know how to define this passion.

Knowing why your diversity efforts should be a top priority means you place these efforts as part of your corporate strategy. Diversity becomes something your company can't live without. Your culture must include diversity automatically until it becomes second nature. When you don't expand your efforts to something beyond passion and caring, you develop problems.

Understanding Three Problems

Rather than seeking clarity, effectiveness and results from your diversity efforts, passion and caring lead to three major difficulties. First is that your energy may be misplaced, according to HR consultant and diversity expert Susana Rinderle of Susana Rinderle Consulting. Someone in a disadvantaged group, such as women, minorities or someone in the LGBT community, who spearheads your firm's diversity and inclusion may only cater to people like them. This may alienate a large segment of your firm.

The second problem is that you can't measure passion. How do you show passion for diversity? When you hire a diversity-related position, that person should know how to quantify results. Otherwise, your company may not know if your diversity campaign is successful.

Third, passion and caring are just two ways in which your diversity initiatives come to fruition. Your goal isn't about caring or passion, but rather instilling behaviors that create an equitable hiring process for everyone.

Solutions

Diversity efforts must be a part of your corporate culture, and that means approval from c-suite executives who take the initiative. Executives must support diversity and inclusion, and they must impart this knowledge within the company's overall strategic goals. Most of all, this culture needs to remain consistent after leaders move on to other opportunities. Your company's diversity need to remain long after the initial push.

Your strategy must have a few aspects beyond passion and caring in order to succeed. Create measurable, meaningful goals for diversity while remaining accountable to these goals. You must also hire someone who has a fantastic track record with proven results when it comes to a diversity and inclusion leader in your company. The job title of this person should clearly state that this person is the go-to worker for diversity in your firm.

Your diversity efforts should be targeted, direct and obvious to the point that it becomes ingrained in everyone's consciousness at the office. Once this happens, your company should see an improvement in customer service, revenue and profits.


Photo courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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