Randstad Sourceright has released ‘Turn Diversity and Inclusion into a Talent Strength: A Six-Pack Strategy for Driving Measurable Improvements,’ a report providing an in-depth look at what companies can do to create a successful diversity and inclusion strategy.
While diversity and inclusion initiatives have become a ‘must-have’ for 21st century employers, successful ones are often contingent upon having a clear plan and framework that resonates with diverse talent and aligns with overall business goals says the report. Just as important is developing an effective method for measuring diversity and inclusion and tracking what can be done to further strengthen this business priority. Doing so will set organizations on a path of continuous improvement, while keeping diversity and inclusion an integral part of the workplace experience.
Six Steps to Creating a Successful Diversity & Inclusion Strategy
The new white paper offers this six-step, data-based approach to creating a successful diversity and inclusion strategy:
- Acquiring diverse talent: Simply counting the number of new hires who fit into different diverse groups isn’t enough; companies must understand which groups are underrepresented and how to reach them. Leveraging data about the workforce and its makeup will help to reveal where diversity initiatives should be focused.
- Developing and advancing talent: Once diverse talent is brought into the organization, it is important to support their ability to develop their skills and grow professionally. This involves tracking the advancement of each diverse group against the progress of others, ensuring diverse high-potential employees are given the opportunity to advance through the ranks.
- Retaining diverse talent: A company may struggle to keep its diverse talent for a number of reasons. Filtering retention data by business manager, worker type or department can reveal any disparities and identify the causes of poor retention of diverse employees, such as too few involved in development programs or not enough employees receiving opportunities to advance.
- Representation (workforce data): The representation of diverse groups within the employee population is a strategic measure that often informs goal setting for the other metrics in the six-pack. For many organizations, this may serve as the beginning of the conversation, and improvements in representation are often mentioned in corporate annual reports. It’s not difficult to achieve the metric itself. Equal Employment Opportunity reporting in the U.S. already brings this measure to light in many cases.
- Succession planning pipeline strength: Succession planning is an important driver of diversity at higher levels in every organization. It is a direct predictor of what the talent mix may look like in senior roles in the future. A continuous and focused succession planning process is acknowledged as a best practice by most companies, yet it continues to present challenges. Chief among them is a need for an objective way to identify candidates for the pipeline.
- Engagement: The first five measures relate to the diversity aspect of the workforce. They ultimately reflect the talent coming through the door, whether that door is an entry into the organization or higher levels within the company. The engagement measure is different. It is aimed at measuring how well that talent is able to work once inside and addresses the inclusion factor. The principle means to measure engagement is an employee survey. Many organizations conduct employee surveys on an annual basis. Exit interviews also add to the equation, although creating a consistent and measurable insight may be difficult. There are validated third party surveys that track an organization’s results, and it’s possible to compare results to external industry trends. Finally, a cultural competence assessment from an expert consulting or talent solutions provider can help pinpoint areas of need throughout the organization based on best practices.
“More companies today recognize the value of a strong diversity and inclusion strategy and its role in creating an effective and competitive workforce; the challenge, however, lies in applying meaningful metrics to drive performance and accountability,” said Peter Vermuelen, head of HR Americas for The Linde Group and author of the report. “To truly leverage the power of a diverse workforce, companies must not only figure out how to attract diverse talent, but also focus on the inclusion aspect – creating a high-performing team of qualified individuals who want to stay with the organization for the long term, feel a part of its culture and see the opportunity to continually grow and advance their careers.”