F. Luis Buentello
Ways to Improve Diversity in the Workplace
With increase globalization and the movement of people around the world the workforce has changed and will continue to change. In recent years we have seen an increase of women, people of color and immigrants from all parts of the world enter the workforce. This will not change but will increase and become more dynamic.
It is too late to develop long-term diversity implementation plans, it is now business imperative and company’s need to act now if they want to be competitive and grow market share. In fast tracking you diversity recruiting plans we recommend the following:
First, understand that diversity is more that just window dressing but rather involves all levels of the organization with a demonstrated practice and belief that in this organization there is acceptance and appreciation of differences. While differences are appreciated the organization is able demonstrate that the company’s core values is what brings everyone together
· If you going to show numbers to demonstrate your diversity commitment make sure the numbers don’t reflect “Bottom Heavy, Top Light” scenario. All candidates will take note of senior level diversity density.
Secondly, assess your diversity needs and understand what cultural and process changes are needed in the organization.
· Understand how you define diversity and ensure all in the organization have a common vision of what is seen (window dressing) and what is not seen (management attitudes).
· Conduct engagement assessments to determine the organization’s attitudes and beliefs about diversity. Where and what are the issues? What are the beliefs of your diverse employees?
· Establish an implementation plan that is led and delivered by senior managers. Only senior managers can drive culture change.
· All the information you need is already within your organization. Examine all people processes such as recruitment, employee surveys, retention data and employee turnover analysis, promotions and performance review data.
Lastly, recruit differently. The first two suggestions require changing the organizational culture necessary to enable recruiting to deliver. The same recruiting processes and methods that did not deliver in the past will not deliver in the present. Therefore the recruiting process must change to attract more diverse candidate pools. Consider the following:
· Develop and create divers recruiting teams and have them visit colleges with large numbers of people from different backgrounds. In short recruit where diversity is going to school.
· Encourage employee to join diverse community organizations and include them in your recruiting efforts.
· Let employee know about vacancies and create online application processes that are easy for both internal and external applicants.
· Ensure interviews are conducted with a diverse and trained panel.
· Consider using a professional recruiting firm that specializes in finding diverse candidates. Ensure the firm has a proven track record and is respected within diverse groups.
In summary a diverse workforce with employees of all abilities, creeds, and experiences do make a difference. A diverse workforce provide you with diverse and global perspective enabling you to interact, communicate and expand in more diverse markets, both nationally and internationally. A diverse workforce is a low cost, high value means of developing your business in a global market. Also, it is the right thing to do and can make your company more relatable.
F. Luis Buentello, President, Beacon Associates LLC