The trend has been away from workshops that confront individual racism and towards comprehensive, strategic initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion across the organization. Evidence of this trend can be seen in a December 2007 survey of 2,556 senior HR and T&D executives by the Novations Group which indicates a continuing shift of companies toward broader diversity and inclusion programs, primarily due to globalization.

 

Novations Vice President Ron Adderley is quoted as saying,

D&I has been steadily moving into the T&D mainstream, where the emphasis is increasingly on employee inclusion and engagement, and leveraging the skills talents and abilities of all employees. The challenge is to increase organizational and individual capacity.

Third Sector New England has, from its nearly five decades of experience, identified the following as key drivers of successful diversity initiatives:

  • A diversity committee/task force, representing all levels of the organization, that regularly communicates with the entire organization
  • Unflinching commitment by the CEO to convey the benefits of organizational diversity to the organization’s mission, vision and values
  • An organization-wide assessment or cultural audit to determine major challenges and barriers
  • Prioritizing those challenges
  • A clear designation of key participants, action steps and timelines to address challenges
  • Skill-building for moving beyond differences to develop an organizational language and culture of inclusiveness
  • Alignment of diversity planning with the organization’s strategic plan, so the former includes an assessment of funding and other resources needed to support the effort
  • A consultant to facilitate developing and implementing a diversity plan
  • Evaluation of progress at regular intervals
  • Reassessment of priorities as needed

Evaluation of diversity initiatives must change along with this broadening focus. When diversity workshops were more about risk management than organizational change, it was enough to know how many workshops were delivered and how many people attended from each rank in the company. Now, with more initiatives having a business goal of inclusion and engagement of all employees, evaluation must look at the impact of diversity initiatives on the attitudes and behaviors of all employees and on achieving the strategic goals of these organizations.

Comment