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
One of the most significant benefits of any diversity program is improved organizational bottom-line in terms of reduced costs and/or increased revenues. One way to significantly impact your bottom-line is to reduce hiring costs, which you can assess by determining cost-per-hire. By definition, cost-per-hire is the average of total hiring costs divided by the number of hires in a specific time period. By determining your cost-per-hire on a regular basis (e.g., annually or semi-annually), you can evaluate the effectiveness of your recruitment and selection methods, and make adjustments that yield better financial results. Here is a simple formula you can use to determine cost-per-hire (CPH):
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
Start an organizational diversity program. According to a 2010 study by the Society for Human Resource Management (Workplace Diversity Practices: How Has Diversity and Inclusion Changed Over Time), more than two-thirds of surveyed organizations engaged in some type of diversity practice. The most common activities include diversity recruitment efforts, diversity training, community outreach related to diversity, alignment of business goals with diversity issues, creating career development opportunities for a diverse array of employees, and collecting measurements/metrics on diversity-related activities. Most importantly, organizations that engage in activities such as these report a variety of significant outcomes including:
Next Post: October 13, 2013 – Creating a Climate for Diversity: The 10 Tips
Given the diversity in the American workplace and the benefits that accrue from successfully empowering that diversity, it behooves us to create work environments that maximize the likelihood of success for a diverse range of people. Managers, supervisors and employees can help create a climate that empowers diversity by engaging in a variety of proactive behaviors. In coming weeks, I will describe these behaviors starting with Tip #1:
Next Post: September 12, 2013 - Creating a Climate for Diversity: 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
Empowering diversity is the intentional process of creating culturally empowered environments. Such environments recognize the significant benefits of diversity, include members of diverse cultural groups as full participants, act to eliminate all forms of discriminatory behavior, and actively seek to empower all members with the skills and opportunities needed for both individual and organizational success. The primary goal of any diversity empowerment process is the development of culturally inclusive organizations that generate measurable improvements in individual, organizational and community performance. While the creation of culturally empowered environments typically requires a significant amount of effort, this effort is rewarded through the accrual of three benefits: improved individual and organizational performance, enhanced customer service and improved organizational bottom-line. I will discuss these benefits in my next post. Have a great day!
Next Post: September 5, 2013 – The 3 Benefits of Empowering 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.