Diversity and Inclusion — Not a Quick Fix!
There are several options for building diversity and inclusion into business and operational frameworks. However, not all of them are focused enough to maintain inclusion on a long term basis.
Short, unfocused activities, that have little or no backing from leadership, do not have the power to embed diversity into the core of organisational values and working patterns.
Quick fix solutions for diversity and inclusion are often implemented on the back of increased complaints around diversity and inclusion issues and do little to embed inclusion. Rather, they appease employees for a short period of time, whilst failing to tackle underlying issues.
Truly embedding diversity and inclusion is not a quick fix solution. It’s a permanent change that is build into organisational frameworks.
It is a change that allows your business to harness the business benefits of inclusion, attract the best in talent, generate more creativity and increase competitiveness.
Implementing robust strategies for diversity and inclusion, is the only way to ensure that diversity and inclusion becomes a part of the organisational value system and operational practice.
It is the manner in which these strategies are implemented that is of the greatest importance to embedding inclusive processes that will build an inclusive organisation.
It is important to fix issues with diversity and inclusion from a leadership level. Quick fix, solutions will not solve issues over the longer term and will do nothing to embed organisational diversity and inclusion over the longer term.
Commitment Really Matters
Leadership commitment to diversity and inclusion is key. Without this there is little hope of securing ‘buy in’ from managers and other employees for implementing the required processes to build inclusion and changing behaviours to effectively implementing strategy.
Alongside commitment is investment. Investing in the processes necessary to build long term inclusion is imperative.
Failure to invest in diversity and inclusion means that any activity to improve diversity and inclusion will be devalued.
Organisations invest in what they feel is important! It’s as simple as that. To try to implement diverse and inclusive activities without leadership commitment and investment will devalue any efforts in this area.
If your business says it values it, then invest in it! Leadership commitment drives diversity and inclusion and an investment of time, resources, funding makes it happen.
Alongside commitment, resides a plan for accountability for the delivery of strategic and operational outcomes for D&I.
True commitment for diversity and inclusion is displayed through the level of accountability that leadership groups take for the delivery of defined actions and subsequent outcomes.
Visionary Steps to Inclusion
Developing a vision for diversity and inclusion will help leaders focus on, and ask themselves, relevant questions about what inclusion can mean to their organisation, their employees and their customers.
Simply, going out and obtaining a few policies and other information will not suffice. A well crafted diversity page and statement on a website, does not mean that the business is diverse and inclusive.
Whilst making great reading, just drilling down a little bit will expose where your business is really at, in relation to diversity and inclusion.
Strengthening Leadership around Diversity and Inclusion
Implementing diversity and inclusion is a strategic business activity. Just because you have visibly diverse employees and customers does not mean that you are embedding diversity and inclusion.
Essentially, diversity and inclusion is about how an organisation attracts, supports and harnesses diversity to grow itself from within. It is about attracting the right talent from all groups and then growing and supporting them to deliver their best, within an inclusive environment.
Diversity is not just about race. It includes people from all backgrounds and abilities.