Alignment

Diversity Adoption Curve

Diversity Adoption CurveWe use the Diversity Adoption Curve developed by Marilyn Loden with many of our clients. The model provides an excellent visual reminder that the percentage of employees in any organization who are likely to “resist” or be against diversity initiatives is actually very small.

It is important to answer the questions the skeptics have. And it is critical you provide the pragmatists practical and easily understandable motivation. But these two groups add up to more than 2/3 of the workforce.

Don’t make the mistake so many organizations do and design your diversity initiative around the 10% who are on either end of the scale. Let Diversity Trends LLC help you find the right focus and the right balance to engage the largest part of your workforce in your diversity and inclusion initiatives.

It’s a Business Strategy

MultiEthnicTeam8If your diversity strategy still revolves around pot luck meals and the music or cultural celebrations of different cultures then you are missing important opportunities to connect diversity and inclusion with your business success.

If you want employees in general, and managers specifically, to pay attention to your organization’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, then it is imperative that you make a direct link to productivity, market share, customer satisfaction, employee retention, increased revenue or some other business-focused outcome.

At Diversity Trends LLC we specialize in helping your organization identify and use the business strategy that makes diversity and inclusion an essential part of their culture.

 

Teaching Managers How to Be Great Diversity Champions

We have a new 3-part series coming up in May and June. It’s focused on how to help line leaders become really effective champions for diversity and inclusion.

Imagine knowing exactly what to do to get managers in your organization to be champions for diversity and inclusion.

This 3-part series will allow 3 weeks between sessions to give you time to consider and apply the concepts presented. You will be encouraged to submit specific questions between sessions. And, the audio from each session will be recorded so you can review it at your convenience.

CB101916-14727125-xManagers as Diversity Champions

DATES: May 13, June 3 and June 24

TIME: 2:45 pm – 3:30 pm CDT

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Class 1: What is a Diversity Champion and Why Should I Be One?

Class 2: I’m Already Too Busy … How Can I Integrate This With My Job?

Class 3: How Will I Know I’m Making a Positive Difference? How Can I Measure My Progress?

Bonus: Templates and Other Resources

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Register: http://51313.eventbrite.com

(Fast Action Bonus: First 10 people to register get a $25 discount)

One Size Does NOT Fit All

One Size Does Not Fit Alll LogoSeveral years ago I developed a six-session series to help internal staff develop their own customized diversity strategy. The series was titled, One Size Does NOT Fit all, because I couldn’t imagine any two companies having the exact same strategy.

What about your company? Are you using a “cookie cutter” diversity strategy hobbled together based on an article of the 10 things “every diversity program” should include? Are you spending most of your energy on EEO compliance instead of activities that support your organization’s primary business goals?

One of the first questions I ask when organizations invite me to come in to do training is, “Do you have a diversity strategy?” Here are some of the most common responses to that question:

  • “Well, our diversity strategy isn’t written down, but we have a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination and everyone know it.”
  • “We have a diversity strategy but it hasn’t been updated in 7-8  years.”
  • “Yes, we update our Affirmative Action Plan every year, just like we’re supposed to.”
  • “No, we don’t have a separate strategy because diversity is just part of our overall HR strategy.”

Some of the best answers I’ve received to the question include:

  • “Of course, we have a diversity strategy and that’s why we are interested in you coming in to do training. We want the training to reinforce what we’ve been saying and help employees be ready for the next phase of our strategy.”
  • Yes, we have a strategic plan for diversity and inclusion that we update every 2-3 years based on changes to our marketing strategy and business plan.”
  • No we don’t have a separate diversity strategy but diversity business objectives are included in every element of our operational strategic plan.

Work Team with Diversity

One company we worked with recently needed to develop a strategy that involved and engaged people from many different departments throughout the organization. For their strategy they needed to focus heavily on how diversity affects team work and ways inclusion could help them serve their customers better. As a result, we introduced employee and customer surveys for real-time feedback and developed employee champions for diversity as key elements in their plan.

But a different client was in a rapid growth mode as a result of signing 3 really large manufacturing contracts. Their diversity strategy was heavily influenced by (a) their need to recruit a large number of blue collar and technical employees in a relatively short period of time and (b) the fact that the majority of their employees rarely had contact with their end user customer. They involved existing employees in recruitment events in communities they had previously ignored and created a small-group peer development system to develop a stronger sense of teamwork and inclusion throughout their organization.

Creating a diversity and inclusion strategy from scratch can be time consuming and challenging. Even updating a strategy that has been successful can be difficult. But we help organizations easily create or update their strategies using our Diversity Strategy Made Easy™ or Eight Essential Elements™ models. We provide coaching to your staff members responsible for the strategy and guide them through a process designed to ensure they consider all key aspect of an effective strategy.

Your strategy provides the guide for decisions made and actions taken throughout your organization. Be sure leaders throughout your organization understand what is expected of them and ways they can utilize diversity as a resource for achieving their goals. Use your diversity and inclusion strategy as a business tool to drive business results.

Let us help you do this. http://www.Diversity-Strategy.com

Strategy First. Training Second.

Phone CallThe call came in at 2:30 pm. “We are looking for someone to come and do diversity training next month for our managers.”

After learning they had found me through a generic internet search for diversity training in Texas I asked the next 2 questions together. “What do you want to achieve with the training and how does that fit into your  business strategy?”

Silence. And then the answer. “I don’t know how to answer your question. We just want to know if you can send us some information about your rates. I’m collecting this information for our HR Manager and I’m meeting with him tomorrow.”

Of course I sent the requested information … along with an offer to do a complementary phone call with the HR Manager.

A week later I was talking with the HR Manager. He explained they didn’t yet have a diversity strategy but they felt they needed to do diversity training because some of their managers had made some inappropriate comments. In his words, the company was “being proactive to avoid managers claiming they didn’t know what they were saying might be offensive or inappropriate.”

I share this example because this was an organization that had the best intentions. They mention their commitment to diversity in their recruitment materials and on their website. They have the words diversity and inclusion in their values statements. And they also understand the importance  of maintaining a diversity-friendly work environment.

But even their HR manager was not inclined to link diversity to the desired or required business outcomes. He was still thinking about diversity as primarily an EEO compliance issue. And he admitted he mostly thought about diversity as an issue to be fixed instead of an opportunity to help the business meet its goals and objectives.

He was correct to respond to a situation that might create a legal liability but he wasn’t being proactive related to inclusion. And he wasn’t recognizing how the training he was about to spend money on could actually be an investment that could lay the foundation for a much stronger integration of D&I into daily business practices.

business resultsThe company did not need to have a separate diversity and inclusion strategy. But they did need to be able to connect this training to two key priorities their  CEO had put on the priority list:

    1. The training would provide knowledge and skills every manager needs to have in order to achieve the company’s stated goals of being considered an employer of choice and
    2. The training would help create the stability and engagement needed in the staff to improve customer retention by 10% during the next 2 years.

Linking your diversity strategy to your organization’s business results is the most important tool in your tool kit. And being able to explain how everything you do as part of your commitment to D&I relates to established business priorities is very important.

Let us help you.

http://www.Diversity-Strategy.com