A few weeks ago, I introduced the first step in communicating the importance of diversity within an organization – clarifying the benefits. Once you are clear about the benefits of creating a culturally inclusive work environment, your next step is to identify the key leaders and decision makers within the organization. To do this, answer three questions. First, who are the people that have the greatest influence? Keep in mind that these may not be the people at the top of the organizational chart, or the people with ‘manager’ in their title (but you will need to include some top managers). It’s the people that others listen to. Second, who are the people that make the decisions? In other words, who has the authority to approve the steps you want to take to empower diversity and create inclusion within the organization? Finally, who are the people that will be most supportive of your inclusion efforts? Try to identify two or three people that meet all three criteria and begin the diversity communication process with them.
Next Post: April 20, 2016 – How to Communicate the Importance of Diversity: Step 3
Last week, I introduced this topic by briefly discussing the importance of making the “business case” for diversity within an organization. I also introduced 4 steps you can take to make this case. The first step is clarifying the benefits of empowering diversity for your organization. These benefits can be summarized into three areas. The first is Improved Individual and Organizational Performance. When we do a good job of recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce, AND we help employees develop the skills they need to communicate, resolve conflict and solve problems in culturally diverse settings, we improve the overall quality of the workforce. We increase our ability to attract and retain top performers. We increase productivity on both an individual and group basis. We improve communication, reduce conflict and enhance trust between staff members. And we increase the likelihood that every individual, regardless of his or her background, will have an opportunity to be successful. The second benefit is Enhanced Internal and External Service. Simply stated, when we effectively increase the diversity of our staff, we increase our ability to understand, connect with and satisfy a diverse customer base. Our third and final benefit is Improved Bottom-Line. When we do a good job of creating culturally inclusive environments (and not just enlarging diversity by playing a numbers game), we reap bottom-line benefits such as reduced turnover, increased retention, reduced hiring costs, and improved revenues.
Next Post: March 23, 2016 – How to Communicate the Importance of Diversity: Step 2
Dr. Tyrone A. Holmes is an author, speaker, coach and consultant. He helps his clients develop the skills needed to communicate, resolve conflict, solve problems and improve performance in diverse organizational settings.