Updated: Jun 11, 2020
Diversity Management can seriously improve your business health!
What is diversity management?
Diversity management is a series of interlinked processes that address issues, and support multiple characteristics, within the workplace.
It includes management activities to embed diversity and inclusion into the framework of operational and strategic policies and practice of an organisation.
At the same time, it acts as a dynamic platform for embedding fairness and inclusion across business.
Diversity management is key to business growth. It develops cultural intelligence among leaders, helping to foster the development of diversity and inclusion into local, national and international business frameworks.
Rather than being a mere value, that is placed within an in a organisational statement, supported by compliance based diversity policies, diversity management is a whole business, strategic and operational process.
Building inclusive capabilities.
Diversity management centres around building business and people capability. It is a key strategic growth enabler and develops accountability for building a better, more productive and engaged business.
Diversity and inclusion supports a business, helping it to remain relevant, in a rapidly changing, globalised economy.
Deploying a comprehensive system of diversity management within a business, will ensure that employees, work teams, and other stakeholders are included and supported.
Corporate Governance is the most important aspect of developing and delivering a highly effective diversity management strategy. It cements the commitment, and business ownership of the process of diversity and inclusion, and confirms the importance of associated actions and initiatives.
A robust diversity strategy helps to embed D&I across the business.
Establishing a diversity management process is a strategic activity. Any business that seeks to truly embed diversity and inclusion across its process and functions, and intends to support its employees and other stakeholders, must implement a process to manage and evaluate D&I.
By embedding a robust strategy, the organisation will be better able to remove structural barriers, allowing equality of access to employment.
It will help to support the effective promotion of vacancies, both to current employees and a wide range of potential candidates.
Diversity management strategies allow for a fair and equitable development process for all employees within the business.
By helping to foster a diverse and inclusive workforce, diversity management allows for the encouragement for all staff to reach their full developmental potential.
It promotes inclusion and employee wellness, within an engaging and supportive workplace environment.
Diversity management strategy is the blueprint for inclusion.
By initiating a robust, well designed strategy for diversity and inclusion, an organisation can position itself to secure the business benefits of diversity.
A well thought out strategy, will include processes and policies to support the recruitment, and retention, of a wide spectrum of people within the business.
A well designed strategy will also include activities, training and other initiatives, to educate employees and other stakeholders about the benefits of D&I, and how diversity and inclusion aligns with good organisational and business best practice.
The process of creating workplace inclusion requires an investment in the human capital of its employees, particularly at leadership and management levels.
It requires the expedience of leadership to display a genuine commitment to the diversity management process.
It assumes the readiness to communicate the importance of diversity and inclusion within corporate messaging, to ensure that a top down approach is utilised to secure engagement.
Developing Human Capital with diversity.
Human capital is retained by the employee. It is a source of motivation and once harnessed by the employer, will add value to the business outcomes, by enhancing the fulfilment of key organisational objectives.
Cultivating the human capital within the business, will better enable an organisation to develop innovative working practice, thus increasing productivity and advancing your business.
An investment in developmental activities, ( for example across middle management, HR functions, leadership and board executives ) will ultimately develop understanding of how diversity can advance business outcomes.
Investment in human capital is key to developing an effective diversity management strategy.
Human resources teams, managers, leadership and Board level executives, all benefit from enhanced understanding of how diversity impacts a business and relates to outputs.
There are practical actions and tools that help businesses to embed diversity and inclusion into everyday operations and strategic planning activities.
Increasing knowledge through activities such as training, mentoring and coaching is likely to result in increased awareness, productivity, creativity and innovation.
Developmental expenditure, will enable leaders to take practical actions and develop innovative tools to support the transformation of ideas into diversity and inclusive practice, within the business.
It will also help to develop an understanding and accountability of the processes necessary to embed inclusive practices across functional business areas.
An investment in human capital is the most important capital expenditure a business can make. The investment in inclusive leadership and diversity management is a real people developmental opportunity.
It supports the diversity management process, enhancing the quality and consistency of outcomes.
In addition to the capital expenditure on people development, organisations should seek to invest in the structural and relational capital of its operations. This serves to ensure that the management of diversity is integrated into all aspects of the business.
9 benefits of a diversity management strategy
Diversity management strategies are the driving force behind the development of a healthier work environment. The efficient management of diversity creates a workplace environment, in which individual differences are recognised as business benefits, and are supported.
Here are 9 benefits of developing a diversity management strategy.
1. Develop decision making.
A well designed diversity management strategy encourages the development of innovative problem solving.
Social, cultural, gender, maturity and educational differences, for example, contribute a host of different perspectives, that add value to all business and workplace initiatives.
A diverse and inclusive business enables creativity within the decision making process, strategically eliminating 'group think'.
2. Enhance productivity.
Diversity and inclusion enhances productivity. Homogeneous workplaces are less likely to develop to produce innovative and creative ideas due to the lack of diversity.
A business that incorporates diversity and inclusion into people management processes and activities, will develop a well engaged, and highly productive employee base.
3. Enhance employee contribution.
Employees that feel included and valued by the business are more likely to contribute based on a wide variety of perspectives and experience.
A business that is supportive of employee contribution, in more likely to foster engagement from a diverse cohort of employees.
This adds value to both organisational and business developmental activities.
4. More effective talent management.
Diversity management will capitalise on talent within the business. By developing a diverse and inclusive business, an organisation can easily capitalise on the talent within the workplace.
A well supported, inclusive and diverse workforce is less likely to suffer the ills of high rates of staff turnover. It learns to maximise the potential of everyone in the workplace on an inclusive and supported manner.
Talent acquisition and HR professionals plays an important role in ensuring that systems and processes are in place to attract highly skilled talent.
5. Promotion of goods and services.
A comprehensive diversity management strategy will include initiatives to support the corporate and social agenda responsibilities of the business.
This helps to demonstrate the organisational capabilities to support and engage with different communities and potential stakeholders, helping to promote products and services. It will help to promote the business and enhance visibility.
6. Develop competitive advantage.
Diversity management helps in the development of competitive advantage.
By embedding diverse and inclusive strategies across the business, high calibre candidates, potential clients and stakeholders will develop interest in the business.
This helps increase business advantage at both a local, national and and international level, promoting a business brand.
7. Eliminate barriers to sales.
Eliminating barriers to sales. A diverse business is well placed to learn from its very diversity!
By embedding diversity and inclusion into the business and supporting staff, a business can be rewarded by the experiential knowledge employees, on the best ways of communicating its value to a more diverse customer base.
It allows the business to consider non-traditional markets and opens up new opportunities.
8. Enhance brand image.
Diversity management develops a positive public image. A genuine commitment to the development of diversity and inclusion, supported by a comprehensive strategy for diversity management will not be unnoticed.
Through the development of products and services based on the specific need of a range of diverse communities, your public image will be enhanced, helping your business to attract a wider spectrum of customers and clients.
This will be noticed across social media and help with targeted representation of your brand. Diversity management will enable your business to stand out as a exemplar of good practice.
9. Reduce the risk of litigation.
A well-designed diversity management strategy will encompass key activities to build knowledge and behavioural learning. This can support the business to avoid the likelihood of allegations.
It is important to remember here, that systemic and behavioural issues are the leading cause of litigation in discrimination cases.
A well designed, authentic, and committed diversity management strategy, will address the likelihood of this being an issue in your business.
Diversity management supports the development future operations.
The development of diversity is much more than attracting diverse members of staff. A business capability is greatly enhanced when leaders tap into the unlimited potential of diverse staff teams.
Diversity supports businesses to expand and grow into new markets, whilst developing and achieving results in the areas of innovation and productivity.
Diversity management is a framework through which to develop all of the above, whilst all the time revising its business outlook to advance competitively.
There is no doubt that the ability to reach new markets and target the best available talent, is crucially important to business growth.
The increased ability to tap into unrealised markets, with new and innovative products and services, is greatly enhanced by a business that develops a whole organisation approach to strategic diversity management.
By leveraging diversity as a crucial business development activity, a business is well supported to maintain a competitive advantage, gain community support for products, and position itself as a market leader.
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