There is a wealth of resources available to guide organisations towards a strategic diverse and inclusive (D & I) workforce. Reviewing these resources to inform yourself about the proven approaches is a great place to start – below are a few resources you may find useful!
International recruitment organisation, Michael Page has developed this comprehensive Diversity and Inclusion checklist which outlines the four key states of effectively building diversity and inclusion into your workplace.
This provides an end to end list of D & I considerations to give you an idea of how to form your approach – the degree to which your organisation delves into each of these may depend on its size and resourcing.
- Identify your D & I issues – audit of staff feedback and existing levels of diversity across gender, race, disability, age etc
- Ensure senior leadership involvement – who will be responsible for D & I at the top of the organisation?
- Establish a set of core D & I values – incorporate these into current organisational values (or establish new ones) and ensure all employees understand the goals being worked towards
- Set D & I objectives and KPIs – start with small diversity targets with timescales supported by strategies and plan for these to increase incrementally
- Roll out D & I training for staff – this may be training which: negates unconscious bias, increases cultural awareness and sensitivity, or improves ability to support and include someone experiencing mental health issues
- Create an employee network or D & I forum to engage employees with the activities within the strategy
- Partner with membership organisations which provide D & I support, guidance, advice and training such as the Diversity Council of Australia
- Set up a sponsorship/mentorship programme to provide extra support to a group that may be under-represented
- Refresh your recruitment practices – take steps to ensure these attract diverse candidates such as through candidate targeting or removing names from applications
3. Measuring and Monitoring
- Ask employees to fill in a diversity monitoring form to assess the current state of the organisation’s diversity at various points in time
- Conduct regular employee engagement surveys to gain feedback on the workplace’s inclusivity
- Agree on a KPI review cycle – decide how often progress towards objectives and KPIs will be reviewed
- Add questions to your exit interviews to help assess whether or not a lack of D & I is contributing to peoples’ decision to leave
4. Celebrating and Extending
- Shout about your results – find ways to continually reinforce D & I messages/values and ensure those responsible for internal communication are kept across activities
- Award D & I champions
- Extend your D & I learning to others – if your strategy is working share your learnings with the outside world to help improve the future of work for everyone.
More information on each of these activities can be found on the Michael Page website. Like all activity aimed at improving workplace wellbeing, the process of embarking on this journey can feel daunting, especially if you haven’t done this type of activity before. But thankfully, there is so much D & I information out there that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, but refine it for your organisation.
Don’t feel as though it all needs to be bitten off at once – start with a few achievable goals and gradually builds towards a broad, longer term strategy. Once you have finalised your strategy, it can also be useful to work the key ideas into a clear, explanatory diagram such as Adelaide Airport’s Diversity Framework to make it easy to share D & I intentions with staff.
- Cultural Diversity Assessment Tool
- Characteristics of a General Equality Policy
- ATO’s Diversity and Inclusion Plan 2017 – 2019
- Anti-discrimination commission Queensland – Employer’s toolkit – resources for building an inclusive workplace
- University of Queensland, Guide to using Inclusive Language
- Ideas for strategies – Hay’s ‘The Balancing Act – creating a diverse workforce’ research and insights that impact your world of work
This article was featured in our monthly e-Newsletter SuperFriend News which provides practical advice for employers to guide them in creating positive, cohesive and productive environments for all employees.