6.5 How to harness diversity
So, how do you create or maintain a diverse organisation? Groysberg and Connolly (2013) present eight organisational practices that seem to be effective at harnessing diversity:
- Measure diversity and inclusion: be aware of the level of diversity in the organisation. Collect data to measure what you are doing well and what can be improved in order to make the organisation a more diverse place.
- Hold managers accountable: diversity and inclusion should be among the goals of the organisation. For example, incorporate them as part of the manager’s professional development, ask them to get involved or offer them training.
- Support flexible work arrangements: offer benefits that help employees balance professional and personal commitments, provide greater flexibility of working hours, allow transitional periods, offer childcare support etc.
- Recruit and promote from diverse pools of candidates: searching for talent at the hiring stage is the starting point but it is also very important to maintain this talent afterwards.
- Provide leadership education: provide leadership development opportunities for everyone in the organisation and seek to support less advantageous or represented groups. Offer diversity training and opportunities for external education and development.
- Sponsor employee resource groups and mentoring programs: offer less structural approaches to professional development through resource groups, networks, mentoring programs etc.
- Offer quality role models: a varied array of leaders indicates that an organisation is committed to diversity and offers role models to identify with.
- Make the position of the chief diversity officer count: create a chief diversity and inclusion officer position and ask for the CEO to maximise its effectiveness.
The Future Generations Commissioner for Wales has a Simple Changes resource related to improving diversity in your workplace. Follow the link in Box 3 to find out more.
Box 3 Simple Changes #39
Simple Changes #39