Over the past two weeks, I have proffered 4 tips you can use to create diversity programs that have a positive impact on individual and organizational performance. To summarize and for easy reference, I have listed these tips below with a hyperlink to each blog post:
Next Post: November 4, 2013 – Top Diversity Measures and Metrics
Determine how you will evaluate success. You must clarify how your diversity initiative will be evaluated. This is particularly important these days since the value of some diversity activities has been called into question (with good reason in some cases). The good news is that once you have effectively addressed the first three steps, the final step is relatively easy. That's because well constructed SMART goals have a built-in evaluation component. It's easy to tell if the goal has been achieved. For example, if your goal is to increase the diversity of employee candidate pools by 10%, at the designated point in time you simply measure to see if candidate pool diversity has increased by 10%. If not, you know you will have to modify your diversity program.
Next Post: October 31, 2013 – Getting Results from Your Diversity Program: The 4 Tips
Over the past month, I proffered 10 tips you can use to create inclusive organizational environments. To summarize and for easy reference, I have listed these tips below with a hyperlink to each post:
Next Post: October 17, 2013 – Getting Results from Your Diversity Program: Tip #1
Provide a mentor for every new employee. Mentoring is a series of conversations between a mentor and a protege that is designed to enhance the protege’s overall development. When done effectively, mentoring offers several benefits for new employees including an increased likelihood of personal and professional success, greater awareness of organizational politics and culture, improved job satisfaction, and an increased commitment to the organization. Here are a few tips to ensure your mentoring program is successful:
Next Post: October 10, 2013 – Creating a Climate for Diversity: Tip #10
Facilitate a brown bag educational series. This lunchtime activity is a good way to facilitate social interaction across cultural differences, and to provide employees with a helpful learning experience. The participants bring their lunch and take part in an educational seminar of interest to the group. You can enhance the success of the series by identifying topics of interest in advance, and then identifying effective speakers to facilitate each topic. Here are some examples:
Next Post: October 7, 2013 – Creating a Climate for Diversity: Tip #9
Make sure the work environment supports the physically challenged. You can find out if your organization meets accessibility standards by visiting the website for the Americans with Disabilities Act (www.ada.gov) and reviewing the design standards (revised in 2010) and other guidelines provided on the site. There are Technical Assistance Materials such as ADA Update: A Primer for Small Business and Revised ADA Requirements. There is also an Information Line that provides assistance with the ADA and how to comply with its guidelines, as well as a video library that includes content such as Ten Employment Myths and Ten Small Business Mistakes.
Next Post: October 3, 2013 – Creating a Climate for Diversity: Tip #8
Formally assess the diversity climate and make changes as needed. The best way to evaluate the diversity climate is to ask employees how they feel about the organization and the environment. Many organizations do this in the form of employee attitude surveys. The most important element of this process is to analyze the results on a demographic basis. In other words, determine how employees from different groups (e.g., age, race, gender, tenure) feel about the organization. For instance, are there significant differences between employees who have been in the organization for 10 years and those who joined in the past 2 years? Do women experience any aspects of the environment differently than men? Do members of underrepresented groups have significantly different opinions than those in the majority? Answers to questions such as these will help you understand the extent to which you have established a culturally inclusive environment.
Next Post: September 30, 2013 – Creating a Climate for Diversity: Tip #7
Ensure that organizational policies and practices support a diverse workforce. For example, many top diversity practitioners reward managers for effective diversity management in the form of bonuses and merit increases. They also recognize the holidays and celebrations of various cultural groups, ensure that the physical environment (such as artwork, posters and other visual displays) reflects an appreciation for diversity, and develop compensation practices that fit the needs of diverse organizational members.
Next Post: September 26, 2013 – Creating a Climate for Diversity: Tip #6
Actively work to recruit a high quality, culturally diverse workforce. This can create a significant competitive advantage for your organization. As a consultant, I have seen many organizations improve their performance and their ability to serve a diverse customer base by proactively focusing on the creation of high quality, culturally diverse candidate pools for their positions. By “enlarging the net” you use to recruit top candidates, and by improving the climate for diversity, you can significantly improve business performance.
Next Post: September 23, 2013 – Creating a Climate for Diversity: Tip #5
Develop, implement and enforce anti-harassment and discrimination policies. In addition to the development of policies, everyone in your organization should receive anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training that emphasizes the specific steps employees can take to reduce problematic behavior. This includes the provision of skills-based training that teaches managers and supervisors to effectively challenge inappropriate comments and actions. It also includes a systematic process for communicating these policies to employees and letting them know what they should do if they feel they are the victim of harassing or discriminatory behavior. Of greatest importance is the creation of a specific process to handle such complaints in a timely and comprehensive fashion.
Next Post: September 19, 2013 – Creating a Climate for Diversity: Tip #4
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.