Addressing the topics of corporate workforce diversity and workplace inclusion requires the involvement of everyone in a company. It’s about intent aligned with action and requires thinking about many factors – use the employee life cycle to enable workplace diversity and workplace inclusion
Starting with leadership and communication and the policies and procedures of a business, as well as its culture. Considering the strategic decision-making process (including every-day decisions). Also the national cultures that one is operating in, and the expectations of national and regional governments, as well as international bodies.
However, the scale and complexity of the challenge, and the very nature of many organizations can lead some to believe it is “somebody else’s” responsibility. It’s for leadership to resolve, or Human Resources departments, or the Diversity and Inclusion lead, or …
The reality is however that no matter where we are in a company we each have the opportunity to have a positive impact on workforce diversity and workplace inclusion.
Consider from different perspectives
What is the customer engagement journey like? Or from a supply chain perspective: How do you exert influence on your suppliers, or your customers, or even your competition?
In this article, I encourage you to think about this from an employee lifecycle perspective. Use the employee life cycle perspective to enable workplace diversity and workplace inclusion. Considering every single interaction a potential member of staff has before they join and all the way through to when they leave. Each of those interactions is owned by different people or parts of the company, so viewing it from the employee’s perspective allows one to see who should be responsible for delivering change.
That could be the line manager, or the brand and marketing team, the social media team, recruitment advisors, participants in a recruitment panel, and so on. It’s part of the overall theme to consider – as I spoke about at the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development)) annual conference – Workplace Inclusion and Workforce Diversity from a Corporate Strategy perspective.
Here’s the summary, behind each of the segments there are a set of prompts and suggestions to investigate; topics for future blog pieces.
Consider each of these eight elements to use the employee life cycle for diversity and inclusion:
1. Strategy. Having a strategic workforce plan designed to deliver the corporate strategy
Any people strategy should have its foundation in the corporates overall strategy. A company’s people are the ones who deliver the corporate strategy – knowing what types of people and with what skills you need for the future, and where they are needed, is the core of a people strategy.
2. Attract. Being an appealing inclusive employer
Attracting people to join the company is about corporate reputation, the information that potential candidates hear about you, and can find out about you.
3. Recruit. Enabling all talent to successfully apply
Your recruitment process should be free of bias, clearly signal your interest in diverse candidates, support applications from diverse candidates, and place expectations on your recruiting managers, and your recruitment agencies.
4. Onboard. Ensuring all talent is understood and all staff trained
Onboarding is an opportunity for new joiners to understand your expectations as well as to be aware of the support and opportunities available to them. So that they feel comfortable to be completely themselves at work.
5. Learning and Development. All talent represented and included
Every learning and development / training intervention is a D&I opportunity. All development and training programmes should have diverse candidates, and specific learning and development opportunities should be provided for all talent where appropriate.
6. Reward, Recognition, & Benefits. All talent’s needs catered for
All staff is to be treated equitably. Staff benefits should be inclusive for all diversity aspects. Some specific additional company services may need to be provided for specific groups.
7. Progression & Performance. All talent performance management consistent
Work allocation and performance management of all staff should be consistent irrespective of diversity aspects. Monitoring of succession planning, pay and performance should be undertaken.
8. Retain / Exit. Talent that wants to stay. Learn from & manage exits
Talent of all types should want to stay with the company. You should act upon feedback and use workplace inclusion programmes. You should learn from diverse staff exits, and avoid exits due to lack of inclusion.
So, when faced with “where should I start”, or “what should I do next” – why not step into the shoes of your own people, and working with them see what insights you can identify for action.
For a few easy reminders of workplace diversity and workplace inclusion see the acrostic definitions of inclusion and diversity – inclusion starts with I and diversity – it’s all about YOU – both of which are reminders of the role we each have in making these successful.
Steven has extensive experience in strategic executive leadership having led large business units at Fujitsu. Steven has had full and operational delivery responsibility for $1bn annual revenue business, including sales / growth, of full-service range (consultancy and change programmes, to operational IT services) to multiple clients. Leading business through changes in strategic direction, crisis management, transformational turnarounds especially those delivering business critical services to clients such as Public Sector / National Government. Steven engages well with C-suite executives and senior stakeholders, including in previous roles with UK Government Cabinet Ministers.