Organizations that embrace diversity can often be hard-pressed to create a diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy that will be effective and realistic to execute. It’s important to start strong but equally essential to understand that it is an ongoing effort that must be evaluated and adjusted to succeed. Growth can only be achieved through communication, education, and commitment. The adjustment may not be easy, but the results are worth it.
How To Implement a DE&I Strategy For Long-Term Success
Get buy-in at all levels.
For successful effort, all stakeholders will need to know the true benefits – those that go beyond PR or avoiding liability. Communicate the bottom-line advantages that come from welcoming people with different viewpoints and backgrounds. It makes your organization more future-proof and innovative, and creative.
Establish a diversity committee.
The committee will be tasked with leading diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts and should reflect diversity, or you’ll risk getting off on the wrong foot. The committee should hold brainstorming sessions to identify a vision, mission, and goals for the initiative. The committee should address barriers to recruitment, hiring, and retention of diverse candidates and serve as a resource for the rest of the organization.
Gather DE&I Data.
It’s important to understand where you’re starting from. The best way to accomplish that is with data. Analyze how your organization compares to the market and where you may be lacking in diversity. What does your workforce look like? Is it diverse in age, race, gender, and ethnicity? Is diversity spread throughout the organization or mainly at lower levels? Look at hiring records to gain an understanding of where you have successfully found diverse candidates.
Identify obstacles to inclusion.
Do policies and practices exist within the company that can hold back diversity efforts? Examine your company culture to see if it’s welcoming to underrepresented populations. Are referrals a common source of candidates, or does the company have a practice of hiring for fit? On the surface, it can seem like an effective hiring method, but in practice, can lead to a homogeneous workforce. Look for diversity gaps. If there are specific departments that are markedly less diverse than others, consider whether the hiring manager may have conscious or unconscious bias.
Develop an action plan.
Determine how you will roll out DE&I initiatives company-wide. A good start is with training in cultural awareness, opening a dialogue, and team-building exercises. Implement initiatives by setting realistic goals with a specific timeline. Start with those that will reveal the most immediate payoff and build momentum from there. Set a timeline to measure outcomes. Communicate progress to all stakeholders and adjust as needed.
The Panther Group Diversity Commitment
Panther understands the importance of an inclusive workplace and is committed to helping our employer partners prepare for the diverse future of business.
Create an effective DE&I strategy with The Panther Group. Contact us today.
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