Diversity and inclusion have risen to the top of many companies’ priorities in the past year. But progress has been slow. To deliver on the promises made, leaders need to adopt a more systematic, coherent approach to D&I. Here are five strategies that can help you see real outcomes.
1. Ensure the CEO positions themselves as the top champion. They need to be out front, even if there’s also a Chief Diversity Officer on the leadership team.
2. Center diversity and inclusion in strategy. D&I should be embedded in the activities of the organization day in, day out. Increase the number of non-white individuals involved in the design and execution of the strategy to better reflect a broader group of stakeholders.
3. Pivot from one-time diversity training to long-term leadership development. D&I training is most effective when it’s part of an enterprise-wide strategy, includes both awareness and skills development, and is conducted over time.
4. Mitigate implicit bias in talent-management and hiring. Undertake a thorough investigation of your company’s policies and processes to understand which ones limit opportunity.
5. Hold executive leaders accountable for outcomes. Define key performance indicators around diversity results that focus on representation (such as hiring, promotion, and mobility outcomes) and inclusion results that focus on day-to-day experience (such as employee engagement, equity, and psychological safety outcomes) and track those metrics aggressively.
These tips are adapted from “5 Strategies to Infuse D&I into Your Organization,” by Gena Cox and David Lancefield