HUMAN Capital - Winter 2013 - (Page 32)

FEATURE How to Make Diversity and Inclusion More Than Just Lip Service A Roadmap to an Inclusive Organization BY DEBBY CARREAU, MBA,CHRP So how does an organization get real traction in this area? Senior Level Commitment First, it has to start with support from the CEO and senior leadership. They can show that commitment in a variety of ways by making diversity a priority. Stating that diversity is a key strategic imperative and getting all senior leaders to participate actively in initiatives sends a strong message. In too many companies, the managerial ranks lack role models for women, people of colour, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered/transexual (LGBT) communities. Senior level role models need to be involved. For example, the CEO and other senior leaders can chair the organization's diversity task force or lead a mentoring circle. This also allows senior leadership to see how the organization can support diversity and inclusion initiatives in a meaningful way. Have the diversity leader report directly to the CEO; the most current research shows 32 O only 20 to 25 per cent currently do so. Having that direct line to the corner office can give the initiative more importance and visibility. When a CEO visibly stands for diversity and inclusion, it sends an essential message to the organization. Encourage your CEO to look to your board of directors for support. At public corporations, the CEO does not have the ability to select the board of directors. However, he or she often holds a lot of influence over the board's profi le. Not only do diverse boards perform better, they are more likely to support diversity within the organization and help allocate adequate resources to make a difference. Confront the Brutal Facts Understand where you stand today on diversity metrics both internally and externally. What are the industry best practice statistics? What is your staff saying? Is your workforce made up of a team that reflects your consumer? Take a hard look at yourself and set some transparent targets and timelines. Acknowledge to your employees where your organization stands today and that it is a priority to address this. for consumers or clients who are choosing to give their business to organizations who are displaying strong values and ethics. Dedicate Resources Leadership can demonstrate commitment by allocating funds for diversity and the time for training. The reality is that in order for initiatives to gain traction there needs to be a clear plan, budget and time set aside for execution. Without adequate resources, the organization runs the risk of not properly executing on their commitments which can be worse than doing nothing at all. Create a Disciplined Plan Start from and stay aligned with your organization's business purpose. Build a comprehensive plan for advancing diversity and inclusion. It's not enough to have a diverse workforce; organizations must know how to leverage the differences within their workforce. Challenge leaders to strengthen their understanding of potential biases from recruiting to performance management to assignment of projects and opportunities. By following best practices, and senior leadership's example, these biases can be overcome. Declare Your Intentions State your goals publically, both internally and externally. Few organizations are bold enough to have their diversity initiatives reviewed by external executives but for those who are, this can be a key point of competitive advantage as both an employer of choice and Integrate diversity throughout the organization do not treat it as a stand-alone initiative that will only serve to alienate diverse groups. Organizations need to show their diversity commitment with actions. Diversity and inclusion need to ISTOCK/THINKSTOCK EVERY HUMAN RESOURCES LEADER wants a CEO who is committed to supporting diversity and inclusion. Not just lip service, but genuine commitment and buy-in. The data clearly demonstrates that if we tapped into the talent of all of our employees, business performance would improve. This requires people from diverse backgrounds to communicate and work together, and understand each other's needs and perspectives.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of HUMAN Capital - Winter 2013

Leadership Matters
Association News
Economic Pulse
Temporary Foreign Workers
Technology and Innovation in Talent Management
The Beat and the Pulse
Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling
Culture and Communication
Hr Legalease
Improving the Lives of Albertans
How to Make Diversity and Inclusion More Than Just Lip Service
Addressing the Gap Between Mental Health and Workplace Fairness Policy and Practice
Index of Advertisers/

HUMAN Capital - Winter 2013