Ask the Experts from Michael Page
The benefits of developing clear D&I policies
1st July 2019, 10:11 am
Diversity and inclusion (D&I) are hot topics across the human resources industry and have been for a number of years. However, even though the ability to be diverse and inclusive is within reach for all businesses, organisations typically don’t know how to take their D&I strategies to the next level. Many struggle to communicate exactly what they are doing to the wider business and measure the outcomes to ensure that what they are doing has been successful.
Here at Michael Page, we recently carried out research in partnership with VERCIDA Consulting and discovered how to boost inclusion in your business. The fundamentals of D&I are outlined below.
Key elements of diversity and inclusion
- Inherent diversity – this includes factors such as gender, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, and age.
- Acquired diversity – this includes factors such as political beliefs, education, global experience, and language skills.
- Fairness and respect – diverse employees should be able to work within a non-discriminatory working culture.
- Valued and belonging – diverse employees should feel valued and connected to the whole group.
It is obvious that there is much to gain from investing in a strong D&I strategy for your business. It has also been proven that a diverse workforce can increase productivity and creativity, but how can businesses effectively create an inclusive work environment by setting-up and running D&I programmes that support positive company-wide initiatives?
Tips: (typically 10 tips and 50-100 words each. Please provide tip header then blurb underneath)
TOP TIPS TO CREATE A DIVERSE AND INCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENT
- Assess the diversity and inclusivity of your business
As a first step, it is crucial to determine where your organisation sits on the D&I journey. Determine whether there are any challenges and plan what this will mean for your business going forward. It is important to also review your current working practices so that any existing biases can be quickly identified.
- Develop and refine a comprehensive recruitment strategy
When building a diverse team, the recruitment processes and the strategy that drives hiring decisions play a big role. With a clear plan in place, it will enable you to easily recruit people to your team. Any slowing down of processes will hinder your chances of hiring diverse top talent to your organisation.
- Promote inclusive leadership
Demonstrating that inclusivity is at the top of the agenda will ensure that D&I are filtered from the top down, and will create a more diverse workplace.
- Demonstrate diversity in the interview process
In addition to a process that are fluid and considerate of professionals’ time, it is important to demonstrate the diversity of your existing talent. Consider those who will represent the organisation in the interviews for example.
- Adopt supportive processes
Make sure your teams are supported, not only in achieving career goals, but also personal goals. Allowing employee flexibility goes a long way in retaining diverse talent and mentoring is another support process that can reap dividends by nurturing and developing your employees.
- Endorse internal networks
Create a culture where people feel valued and respected. This will encourage them to remain with your business, as well as showcase that differences are embraced. It will inspire other people from diverse backgrounds to join you.
- Have a zero-tolerance policy
A strict no-tolerance approach to bullying and harassment will give your D&I strategy the chance to flourish.
- Hire for diversity, but also promote inclusivity
For a D&I strategy to work, diversity and inclusivity have to go hand-in-hand. A diverse team will not thrive if the environment does not support it.
- Monitor and evaluate the success of your D&I strategy
See where improvements have been made, what still needs investment, as well as set up a framework for the future.
- Celebrate successes
Highlight the wins internally and promote your commitment to improving diversity and inclusivity externally to help align key stakeholders to the organisation’s goals.
We realise that putting together a comprehensive D&I strategy can be daunting, that’s why we’ve created a Diversity & Inclusion Checklist Generator and an Inclusivity Mapper tool. It is important to correctly lay the foundations of your D&I strategy, because if those from diverse backgrounds don’t feel as though they can be themselves or feel like outsiders in an organisation, then it is unlikely they will stay at that organisation for long. An inclusive working environment is crucial to long-term business success and employee wellbeing.