By Lee Vikre | @LeeVikre
Diversity and inclusion programs make companies more innovative and profitable. Research proves that. According to a study conducted by McKinsey & Company, ethnically-diverse companies are 35% more likely to earn above-average revenue and gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to earn above-average revenue.
Yet many organizations struggle with building diverse and inclusive teams, especially at the leadership level. But there are many employers who have done it and are thriving because of it!
Here are six proven ways to improve diversity in your organization:
- Leaders – own it. At USAA, the CEO charted the source for a diversity and inclusion strategy, and there is 100% buy-in from the Executive Council and the Board of Directors.
- 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. Most top employers have a variety of ERG’s for employees to get involved in.
- Broaden your perspectives. Diversity is more than just gender and race. It is really an innovation initiative. Think of diversity as the opportunity to bring different points of view to your team, like Synchrony Financial does.
- Focus your outreach. The same message will not necessarily resonate with all diverse candidates. USAA speaks the language of military service, effortlessly appealing to veterans. GoDaddy changed their male-dominated brand and is now recognized for their women in tech initiatives.
- Seek out diversity award opportunities. In addition to workplace culture and industry awards, diversity awards can help your efforts gain traction. Charles Schwab, Synchrony Financial, Vanguard, the Hyatt Regency Phoenix and USAA have received recognition as a great company for LGBT equality.
- Build an employer brand that is consistent with your consumer brand. Dignity Health extends their external message of “Hello 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.
All the companies above, plus many more, are participating in the 2016 BestCompaniesAZ Diversity & Inclusion Career Event on Monday, September 26, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix. This event provides a great opportunity to promote your diverse organization to a targeted group of job seekers from a variety of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. Contact us for sponsorship details.
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.