Define the benefits you hope to achieve. Put another way, what do you have to gain by implementing your diversity program? It doesn’t make sense to proceed with any type of initiative if you have not clearly defined the benefits you hope to gain and the value it will provide for your organization. Unfortunately, this is exactly what many organizations do. They engage in a variety of activities without a clear sense of what they hope to achieve or how these activities will impact their bottom-line.
Generally speaking, the benefits accrued from diversity programs can be divided into three categories, which include improved individual and organizational performance (e.g., improved quality of the workforce, increased ability to attract and retain the best human resources, increased organizational competitiveness, improved public image), enhanced customer service (e.g., greater ability to connect with and satisfy an increasingly diverse customer base), and improved organizational bottom-line (e.g., increased organizational value/profitability, increased revenues, reduced costs associated with turnover, absenteeism and low productivity, and reduced complaints and litigation). Whatever you hope to achieve, be clear about it from the start.
Next Post: October 21, 2013 – Getting Results from Your Diversity Program: Tip #2
In my last post, I defined empowering diversity as the intentional process of creating culturally empowered environments. There are 3 potential benefits to empowering diversity in your organization: improved individual and organizational performance, enhanced customer service and improved bottom-line.
Improved individual and organizational performance refers to measurable increases in employee productivity and work quality, enhanced team performance, improved organizational processes, and enhanced workforce quality. It also includes an increased ability on the part of the organization to recruit and retain the best human resources available.
Enhanced customer service refers to an increased ability to connect with and successfully serve a diverse customer base. This can be reflected in improved sales in multicultural markets, reduced customer complaints, and increased market share. It also applies to internal customers, such as employees, and can be reflected in terms of improved attitude and morale. This is of particular importance in culturally diverse organizations, where there can be vast differences in employee perceptions and satisfaction levels.
Finally, improved bottom-line refers to increased revenues, reduced costs, and enhanced organizational value and profitability. This can be reflected in a variety of organizational measures such as increased sales, stock value, and retention (especially among underrepresented group members), reduced cost-per-hire, and decreased turnover. It can also be reflected in a reduction in racial and sexual harassment, and associated legal costs.
Next Post: September 9, 2013 – Creating a Climate for Diversity
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.