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How to Get it Right – Tips from Experts

If your Diversity & Inclusion Policy is struggling to gain traction, then the following information is sure to be of interest.

Search on Google for a Diversity & Inclusion Policy, and there is no shortage of examples to download.  From Government Departments to employer bodies and private enterprise of all sizes, if you are looking to develop a Diversity & Inclusion Policy or mobilise an existing policy, there is no shortage of material and ideas.

But, if you want to bring your Diversity & Inclusion Policy to life and have it achieve the purpose and objectives that underpinned its creation, then there is a lot of work to be done.

We spoke to a Senior Leader in Diversity & Inclusion within a large Australian financial institute to ascertain their approach and they shared the following tips for a Diversity & Inclusion policy to succeed:

  • Set your organisation’s sights to achieve Level 3 on the Bersin Diversity Inclusion Maturity Model; this will lead to an inclusive culture at Level 4 (see image below)
  • Consider how you will engage with internal employee networks to create inclusive teams through conversations and shared experiences
  • Be ahead of the ‘resistance’ by understanding the climate within your organisation; be prepared for the backlash and be forever vigilant for any ‘undercurrent’ of subversive behaviour
  • Understand that ‘inclusive’ is not just about the integration of newcomers;  inclusive means including all employees to be part of the journey
  • Ensure that education supports all your efforts; and collaborate across the business, particularly with departments that have a high influence on hiring for diversity, such as line managers with hiring authority and internal recruitment
  • Establish some quantifiable outcomes for your Diversity & Inclusion policy and embed them into a dashboard of calibrated performance indicators
  • Be sure to promote Diversity & Inclusion as part of your Employee Value Proposition

This next point may be obvious but let’s get it out anyway. The Diversity & Inclusion objectives to be included in the policy must be aligned with whole-of-business strategy.  They must be embedded in company culture, supported by process and evident in regular practices.  Most importantly, Senior Leaders must be committed if you are to achieve Level 3 “Leader Owned D&I” (Bersin Diversity & Inclusion Maturity Model)

Bersin’s Diversity & Inclusion Maturity Model

Still Trying to Build a Business Case for Diversity & Inclusion?

If you are still trying to convince internal stakeholders and decision makers about the value of Diversity & Inclusion, the reasons for its adoption are compelling.  There is much to gain for organisations who adopt diversity wholeheartedly and authentically.  In 2015 Dennis Nally Chairman of PWC 2009-2016 wrote about the 5 reasons why D&I matter to every business – and every employee.
(summarised)

  • D&I is the right thing to do
  • It’s good for business
  • Organisations who don’t manage diversity properly will get left behind
  • Diversity plugs the talent gap for business – and it’s good for society
  • D&I bring us all opportunities to learn from others and grow

 

Even more compelling evidence was published in 2017 by Deloitte “The diversity and inclusion revolution – Eight Powerful Truths” by Juliette Bourke & Bernadette Dillon.  (Thoroughly recommended reading)

Research Stats for Your Business Case

Published in the above and referenced to “Which Two Heads are better than one” are the following research outcomes for a case for an inclusive culture.

Onboarding Inclusions for Diversity & Inclusion

Unfortunately, regular onboarding processes may not always prove to be inclusive.  Hiring for diversity means being able to accommodate the individual needs of the new hires.  This means accommodating a range of learning needs, languages, competencies and comprehension; just to name a few considerations.

Most onboarding programs will focus on Compliance and Clarification, while “proactive” onboarding will also incorporate Culture and Connection (4 C’s of Onboarding – Senza Carta’s approach to maximising the Employee Experience).

With a focus on rapid deployment prioritised over inclusion by a regular Onboarding program, it will be more about the process than the experience.  In doing so, Onboarding fails to really connect new hires to an inclusive culture and environment.

We talked to Andrea O’Halloran MBA who coordinates Diversity & Inclusion Forums in Queensland for the Australian Human Resources Institute and is a Diversity Champion and Leader within the HR Profession about how to create an Onboarding experience that aligns with a company’s Diversity & Inclusion Objectives.  Here are Andrea’s tips:

  • Hold team events with new arrivals to foster inclusion
  • Share organisational commitment to Diversity & Inclusion initiatives – explain what the team does and how the team communicates as a whole to promote Diversity & Inclusion
  • Give new arrivals space for settling in – not everyone learns at the same speed or the same way
  • Consider and support line Managers to understand and the best working environment, processes and tools will be required for optimum productivity
  • Ensure that Diversity & Inclusion is part of the CEO’s welcome message – whether on video or through a personal message
  • Include a check-in point after starting to get feedback from new employees as to how they are travelling

 

A Final Word From Us

From Senza Carta’s experience, we have known that you can’t afford to build an expectation through the Onboarding process that won’t be delivered after commencement.  Also, Onboarding alone won’t make or break the success of Diversity & Inclusion objectives.

At Senza Carta, when we design an Onboarding experience for our clients, we make sure that activities, information and the method of delivery for the employee experience are aligned to the outcomes being sought.

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