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Turn Diverse Hiring into Diversity Inclusivity

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Diverse hiring is important for an organization’s growth and success. A Harvard Business School article on ‘How and Where Diversity Drives Financial Performance’ stated, “Diversity represents a tangible missed opportunity and significant potential upside for most companies…worth up to 12.9% points of innovation revenue.” You’ve adjusted your hiring policies to support a more diverse organization. Now how do you retain employees of diverse backgrounds and create a culture that practices diversity inclusivity?

Policies in Writing

Create and publish a code of conduct and a formal communication plan. Share the law and note variations that exist state-by-state. Make sure your written compensation and benefit policies and employment and termination policies are regularly communicated and available to all staff and emphasize diversity inclusivity.

Zero Tolerance Policy

Off-color jokes, stereotypical slurs should be reported and carry a penalty. Management and human resources should encourage people to report this behavior and have a clearly communicated grievance policy and procedure for dealing with it.

Executive Buy-in

All employees should be treated with respect and any favoritism to a particular group avoided. Support of diversity inclusivity should be consistently communicated at company-wide meetings. Swift action at the senior level should happen for a diversity breach. Create a culture that values honesty and open communication where people are not only willing to speak up, but that it is expected that they will do so.

Team Inclusivity

Once an offer is accepted, start to include that new employee in the team. Inclusivity should be involved in every element of the employee experience. Be comfortable in the uncomfortable. How do individuals progress in your organization? How does someone get the opportunity to grow? Who gets to lead meetings?

Invest in Sensitivity Training

Years of working in a non-diverse environment does little to prepare one for a diversity inclusivity work experience. Help staff to examine and adjust their perspectives about people who are different than they are. Help them learn how to appreciate the views of others and understand what is offensive. Teach them how to communicate calmly if someone offends them and how to apologize if they unknowingly offend someone. It isn’t easy. Depend on professionals.

Smith Hanley Associates’ Market Research and Consumer Insights Executive Recruiter, Daniel Wilberschied, dwilberschied@smithhanley.com.

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