Updated: May 6
Strategic planning for diversity delivers better results.
Is diversity and inclusion an under-performing area within your organisation? D&I initiatives can under-perform in your business, or at best, obtains mixed results.
Maybe you are considering starting your very first initiative and need a starting point. You can achieve better outcomes by trying these three best practice steps to help you achieve better diversity and inclusion outcomes:
1. Identify your business vision for diversity and inclusion.
Identify the scope of your organisations vision for diversity and inclusion. This will entail analysing all the aspects of diversity as it encompasses a broad area. Try to define why it is important to your business.
Is there a need for more diverse talent? Is there a need to increase cultural competency to enable a more inclusive environment or to adjust to changing demographics?
Are you seeking to build more diverse products and services to meet customer needs?
Your vision for diversity should be supported by diversity goals, objectives, initiatives and governance.
There are many areas to consider. Perhaps you are thinking of expanding your business internationally, and need to increase understanding of different cultural values to support global operations.
Maybe, your scope will include the need to position competitively, to support long term growth. Perhaps your aim is to attract and retain the best talent from a diverse candidate base.
Your vision for diversity will depend on many, if not all of these factors, and will be individual to your business. Once you have defined your vision for diversity, the next step is to develop a strategic plan.
2. Devise your strategic plan.
Your diversity plan will support your vision. If you have not designed a diversity plan before, this is where you need to start! If you do have a plan but it has not delivered the results you envisaged, or it has under performed, it is time to review your plan.
It is important to understand, at this stage, that you plan should not be quota driven. This is not what diversity is about! Read our blog post entitled 'Diversity Is Not A Numbers Game', to learn why it is important to always consider quality over quantity.
Your diversity plan, or strategy, should include goals, linked to specific business objectives. In other words, your goals must comprise of specific interventions, that deliver organisational value.
Include both long and short term goals, as some of your plan should be actionable immediately and some will take months, or even years, to be effectively accomplished.
Planning for diversity should impact every aspect of your business.
Your plan is not simply a schedule of events and activities or a one time, one off process. Your diversity plan is a strategic document, that grows with your business. It is an ever evolving road map, that will ultimately lead to successful outcomes.
Make sure that your plan is realistic as there is no point starting on your journey, only to find that you have not developed the appropriate levels of commitment and organisational resources to support your plan. Aim to secure those first!
If you have a goals and a plan and you are not accomplishing the goals you have set, then it is time to revisit your plan. There is no point having a plan that is ineffectively scoped or is otherwise unrealistic.
3. Action your diversity strategy.
Put your plan to work! Establish a team to manage the process. Consider establishing a staff diversity network to help build knowledge around diversity. Embed diversity into your learning and development process and engage with diverse groups.
Put your diversity plan into action to generate better results. Ensure you have effective review process in place and an appropriate governance for the strategy has been agreed.
Complete responsibility to developing diversity and inclusion in your business, cannot be left to a single diversity role. This presents several issues for a business, not least, it demonstrates a lack of commitment and is ineffective.
Diversity and inclusion is about getting everyone on board, including the leadership. It is the only effective way of building diversity into your business and reaping the business and people benefits of diversity.
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Kenroi Consulting is a bespoke diversity consultancy providing tailor made solutions for businesses.
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