Diversity and inclusion programs make companies more innovative. Research proves that. Yet many organizations struggle with building a diverse and inclusive team, especially at the leadership level. Best companies don’t give up, and they get results. Here are six proven ways to improve diversity in your organization.
Create ERGs. Affinity Groups or ERGs (Employee Resource Groups) allow those with similar and underrepresented backgrounds to network, mentor each other, and share information. While it may seem ironic to think about a separate group fostering inclusiveness, these groups have received a thumbs-up from employees and researchers. At Charles Schwab, 25% of employees belong to at least one ERG.
Leaders – own it. To promote diversity at Medtronic, the Vice President/General Manager serves on an Inclusion Coalition and assists in the development of its Action Plan, along with others from all functions of the organization. The VP/GM then requires all managers and employees to support the implementation of the Plan through the company’s review process. They walk the talk. In Arizona, the executive team is an example of leadership diversity. Composed of twelve individuals at the Director/Sr. Director level, the team includes six females and two ethnically diverse individuals.
Broaden your perspectives. Diversity is really an innovation initiative. Think of diversity as the opportunity to bring different points of view to your team, likeSynchrony Financial does. Edward Jones offers an Inclusion Mentoring Program to encourage cross-cultural relationships to learn about each other and their cultures.
Make your employer brand match your consumer brand. Dignity Health extends their external message of “Humankindness” inside the organization, stating “Diversity is not just an initiative, it’s the true nature of who we are”. The message is clear for both patients and job seekers.
Seek out diversity award opportunities. In addition to workplace culture and industry awards, diversity awards can help your efforts gain traction. Many of the best companies in Arizona rely on BestCompaniesAZ to help navigate list nominations.
All the companies above, plus many more, are participating in BestCompaniesAZ 2015 Diversity and Inclusion Career Event on August 13. This event provides a great opportunity to promote their diverse and inclusive organizations to a targeted group of job seekers from a variety of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives.
Want to learn more about building your employer brand by becoming a best company? BestCompaniesAZ identifies, develops and promotes top employers in Arizona, contact us to get started!
About the Author
Lee Vikre – Hiring Jedi
A workplace culture maven, writer, and speaker, Lee Vikre has helped numerous companies develop “best company” cultures, gaining recognition at the local and national level. Lee has been called the Jedi Master of hiring because of her exceptional recruiting abilities and friendships with people who love Star Wars. Her favorite activities involve matching people with their dream jobs at award-winning best companies. Lee coaches CEOs but still hasn’t been able to train her three dogs not to bark during conference calls.