Over the past year, companies have begun to focus more on diversifying teams than ever before. Social justice movements such as Black Lives Matter have inspired leaders to make a public commitment to diversity efforts. Now, leaders must begin to assess whether their strategy for implementing diversity was successful.
To make sure leaders keep their commitments, 11 Granthshala Expert Forum Members share their advice. Here’s how they recommend evaluating and maintaining your company’s promise to prioritize diversity.
1. Be transparent
The key to maintaining diversity commitments within a company’s organization is to demonstrate complete transparency and visibility from the organization’s leaders. This process is often understood to be an HR “fad” where long-term strategies are not perfectly aligned with those of the employees sitting at the bottom of the organization. It should be a shared-destiny initiative across the organization. – Michael Davishandjob Merek Security Solutions, LLC
2. Lead With a ‘People First’ Philosophy
As a Minnesota-based firm, our company and employees were personally affected by the protests. My son knew the man who lost his life when a Minnesota police officer used a gun instead of a laser. Our first commitment was to demonstrate empathy and remind everyone that it’s not about the figures—it’s about the people. Our ongoing commitment is to communicate and celebrate incremental change. – Cheri Beraneckihandjob clear field
3. Keep built-in checks and balances
Diverse organizations are better, leading to a richer employee culture, a wider idea pool, and stronger organizations. Organizations must create the right internal policies, controls and balances. Appropriate policies are appreciated by employees and customers, as social media increases transparency. Humanistic capitalism is the way forward; Diversity is a great opportunity for brand building. – Sumit Anejahandjob voxco survey software
4. Idealize Diversity
The key to maintaining a diversity strategy is not to force it. Bring awareness, but there is no need to mandate action. The mandate equates to resistance and resentment towards the same idea and those who influence it. Bringing awareness by automatically involving others from all backgrounds can subconsciously weave it into the fabric of the company. It allows others to accept it as the norm. – Nicolette Barretthandjob iRock Development Solutions, LLC DBA iRock Resume
5. Have a Purpose Behind Your Plans
Revise your plan and identify obstacles to inclusivity. Most of the DEI task force and culture team were created in response to the #blacklivesmatter and #asianlivesmatter protests, yet do they have a clear and measurable purpose that aligns with the company’s vision? Be specific about metrics and progress evaluation. Make sure DEI is your true “North Star,” not just lip service. – Inga Ariana Belinskahandjob Inga Ariana Belinska
6. Build Open Lines of Communication
Layoffs, failed partnerships/deals and unfulfilled goals are all stressful and frustrating events but they do happen. spell that. As a leader, explain what happened and talk about what you know and what you don’t. Clear, concise and honest communication will build trust and increase discretionary efforts. – kevin valleyhandjob AIP Group
7. Create a Tolerant Team Environment
The key to staying committed to diversity in organizations is to hire diverse team members and create an environment that is tolerant of your teams’ differences. Having a diverse team allows an organization to look at business and life from different perspectives, while creating a diversity-tolerant environment allows team members to be themselves without fear of being ostracized. – Matt Draytonhandjob Drayton Communications LLC
8. Start at the Top
A company’s commitment to diversity or anything else depends on whether these values are woven into the fabric of the brand and culture, starting at the top. A brand’s authentic dedication to anything comes from within and when it is honest it is evident in everything it does. But if a brand is working on variety just like an accessory to look good, it won’t read as genuine or stick. – April Margulieshandjob trust relationship
9. Be Realistic About Change
The key to sustaining diversity initiatives is to ensure that the ideas you share with your community are in line with the mission, vision and values of the company culture. Often these initiatives are not sustainable because they are aspirational and are not rooted in the reality of the company’s operations. It is important for the organization to be realistic about what changes need to be made to achieve the goals. – lakesha womackhandjob Womack Consulting Group
10. Involve Your Employees in Diversity Efforts
The key is consistency of visibility and honesty. Make a conscious effort to ensure that no one is following the whims. Encourage communication lines to be open from bottom to top. Involve employees to define the organization’s vision and version of diversity. Employees must determine what is acceptable and what is not from a diversity perspective as they face more diversity issues. – Vip Jaswalhandjob VM Inc.
11. Understand Its Importance to You and Your Business
A commitment is difficult to maintain in the long run because then it is something that you are using as a guideline and need to be constantly thinking about rather than a guiding factor. Culture drift is a real threat to any organization and teaching ourselves to really think differently about diversity and how important it is to the organization can lead to lasting improvements. – Noah Mitsuhashihandjob noahmitsuhashi.io