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Diversity – a strategic approach

We have all seen how diversity and inclusion has become a hot topic. They bring considerable business benefits including, better decision making, increased productivity, a more competitive business and lower staff turnover. However, before going ahead and doing something about diversity and inclusion, you must have a strategy.

Here, award-winning consultant Richard Shakespeare, of Workplace Diversity Solutions, looks at the benefits of introducing a diversity and inclusion strategy to your organisation.

The importance of diversity and inclusion

Having a diversity and 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 ends, have you started to consider what your diversity and 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 thing’s businesses should be considering when taking a strategic approach to diversity and inclusion.

Leadership

Diversity and inclusion can get real traction within a business only if it is valued and supported by individuals at a leadership level.

One of the most important factors for ensuring a successful approach to diversity and 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.

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 breathe them. What you should be looking to do is make your diversity and inclusion strategy part of everyday life within your organisation.

Diversity Events

Holding events as part of awareness weeks or months is all well and good.

In October, for example, we have Black History Month and World Mental Health Day.

However, while these can be a great opportunity to stimulate discussion and raise awareness, 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 people’s 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?

Wrong! If you are to become truly inclusive, you need to have a longer-term view on things.

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 and make sure that staff involvement is a key aspect of your strategy development.

Are they confident around diversity? Do they think you offer an inclusive environment?

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.

 

To find out more about Workplace Diversity Solutions and the services it provides, visit its Love Business News profile page


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