Diversity and inclusion in the workplace isn't just about meeting quotas. It's good business sense, and the best companies in the world realize that. However, your personal agenda may get in the way of having a fantastic diversity culture in your office. That's precisely why you must clarify your goals from a human resources perspective. With better diversity goals, your workplace gets better results in terms of productivity, employee engagement and innovation.
Eschew Old-School Thinking
Diversity and inclusion shouldn't happen to avoid lawsuits, do the right thing or meet regulatory standards. Diversity isn't just a nice thing to include in your office. Diversity is a must-have situation in your work environment. Rather than have inclusion as an afterthought in HR, make it a part of your company culture. To reach that point, you must first answer some hard questions.
Begin the process of meeting your diversity goals by answering a few questions. What does your organization value most with regards to the human element in your organization? What does a lack of diversity and inclusion cost the company both now and in the future? How does diversity benefit the business?
All of these questions are inter-related. You cannot answer the last two questions without first putting diversity and inclusion at the top of your values list. Next, examine hard numbers to see what diversity, or a lack thereof, does to your firm.
Perhaps your data indicates you lost a few high-profile candidates because they felt they didn't fit in with your company's culture. If this failure to hire was due to lack of diversity, consider how inclusion would lead to a better pool of qualified candidates for positions. After you recognize the benefits of diversity, you must learn to set any personal agendas aside. This represents something much harder to accomplish.
Invest Personal Effort
Maybe you had some pain or trauma in the past with regards to diversity. This personal struggle may affect your judgment when it comes to making a diversity plan at work. Process your pain, and then channel that experience into something that resolves the lack of diversity in your office. Talk openly about diversity with your friends, co-workers and colleagues, because they might have some ideas to help you. Consider engaging in personal practices outside of work that help you to focus your thoughts away from pain and hardship so you gain a clearer understanding of your motivations.
Make Your Personal Motivations Clear
Determine why you are so passionate about diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Perhaps you can use your personal story as part of a mission statement relating to this goal at the office. As a champion for diversity, you want to show people why this is important to you while maintaining a professional attitude. As a human resources pro, getting to the heart of your personal struggles helps you clarify your goals and makes the way forward much clearer.
Diversity and inclusion continually evolves at the workplace, so don't see your mission as something that you examine once and never again once you see improved results from your efforts. Instead, adjust your plan when you see gaps in your analysis as you strive to continually reach your goals.
Photo courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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