Diversity and inclusion in the workplace is a must. In light of the recent and past events, I would challenge all organizations to create an action plan for diversity and inclusion. An action plan should include creating real, actual, tangible, active strategic plans for addressing and implementing diversity and inclusion policies and updated training for new and current employees. These actions should include the history of the organization’s workforce and an analysis of the organization’s actual issues of a lack of diversity and inclusion. This is the perfect time to put all the words that have been spoken into action.
The good news is organizations don’t have to make this a large budgetary line item. Implementing diversity and inclusion is super simple. First, create an on-going survey using an online internal or external tool to gather information about specific items that are pressing to employees. This survey can include fill-in-the-blank sections to allow for thorough feedback to be received. Once the survey is completed, organize the data and share the information with the entire organization. This is a fantastic way to ensure everyone has a say, and all are able to share and offer solutions. Keep in mind; there will be a mixed bag of feedback. All feedback is not going to positive. That is the whole point of finding out what employees are thinking, feeling, and suffering with. This action is of little to no cost to the organization.
Create signage stating “No Discrimination” to post on buildings and outside areas for all to have a visual that your organization will not tolerate discrimination. If we can post “No Smoking/Vaping” signage, a “No Discrimination” signage should be just as simple. Using a visual will provide those that feel the need to be inappropriate reminders of the organization’s new culture. This action is of little cost to the organization.
Assign human resource departments (or other qualified employees) the task of conducting individual as well as mass “No Discrimination” training and webinars. We have all been through the traditional diversity and inclusion training (normally completed in an online setting). This is too important of a topic for material to simply be sent out for employees to click through PowerPoint slides mindlessly. That is not effective enough anymore. We need human-to-human contact to grasp the full understanding for real change to happen. This action is of little to no cost to the organization.
Lastly, assign employees the responsibility of holding their peers accountable when inappropriate behavior is seen/heard. Employee evaluations should include any discrimination action taken by the employee to show the severity of the “No Discrimination” policy and standards of the organization. Most onboarding processes include a series of questions. Situational interview questions should also include discrimination for candidates better to understand the organizations culture of “No Discrimination”. This action is of little to no cost to the organization.
With the use of tools and technology, there are ways of quickly gaining an overview of the intrinsic disparities and cultural indifferences within an organization. For organizations to address discrimination in the workplace, real change is needed ASAP. There is no time like the present; this phrase is more than true right now.
If you don’t know where to start, you are welcome to start by utilizing my Prezi Presentation on “Diversity and Inclusion” as a first start.
Reference: Dr. Jenice Armstead – Prezi Diversity and Inclusion