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 and inclusive place.
- Hold managers accountable: diversity and inclusion should be among the goals of the organisation. For example, incorporate the goals as part of the manager’s professional development, provide training and engagement activities.
- 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