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Inclusive Leaders Inspire Trust and Innovation - Lead Inclusively

Inclusive Leaders Inspire Trust and Innovation

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Trust is one of the most important elements of anyone’s personal or professional life. In many ways, without trust, it is almost impossible to achieve anything. Be it a strong relationship with a significant other, or a larger corporate merger or bi-partisan compromise in key legislation, or the management of your everyday team; trust issues can be a huge negative factor in undermining the success of individuals, organizations, and even entire countries. Inclusive leaders are key to inspiring trust and innovation.

From a global ‘business trust crisis‘ to a ‘fake news epidemic‘ to the workplace gender disconnect (e.g. #metoo), there are seemingly trust issues all around us. But some companies are doing it right. Companies with a strong culture of trust produce more innovative, engaged and happier employees (to learn more, see our recent webinar about ‘unlocking happier workplaces’).

So what are some areas that companies and their leaders can focus on to create a strong culture of trust? And how do these areas affect a company and societal success? Let’s discuss:

Inclusive Leaders are Transparent

We sat down with Joel Peterson, JetBlue Chairman, and global thought-leader, to discuss the impact of transparency in building an organizational culture of trust. Transparency is one of the key mechanisms that can effectively bridge the gap between a company’s leadership and its workforce. This becomes increasingly important with a younger generation entering the workforce with a more wary perspective of systems and institutions than their predecessors (i.e. the University system and housing market).

Transparent companies are more successful at inspiring their workforce to invest in a common mission. companies with transparency are not afraid to provide insights into decision making, which builds trust in leadership and company process. Companies that are not transparent send the message that their workforce is not worthy of receiving key insights, creating internal skepticism of leadership that destroys company morale.

Inclusive Leaders are Accountable

Everyone makes mistakes. From the social media intern to the C-suite, individuals make mistakes that negatively impact a company to varying degrees. When leaders show accountability for their own mistakes, they show their teams that they are self-aware, which establishes credibility. A lack of accountability also hinders the free exchange of authentic feedback which in turn stifles individual and team growth. Accountability is a key tool that can turn a mistake into an opportunity to build a stronger team culture. Leaders who are accountable themselves then inspire their teams to be accountable as well, which creates dynamics of trust rather than fear or resentment.

Inclusion is Key to a Culture of Trust

Diversity and Inclusion ROI

In a nutshell, inclusive leaders are effective at connecting with the individuals on their teams. This allows leaders to set up their people for success. Inclusive organizations are trusting because they embrace and are invested in everyone’s individual success. This creates a dynamic of mutual respect that allows organizations to be transparent and accountable with their workforce. In turn, the workforce of an inclusive organization feels a sense of connection and belonging to an organization and its goals.

When all is said and done, a culture of inclusion creates open lines of communication between organizational leadership and the larger workforce. When a culture of inclusion and trust is achieved, individuals, teams, and companies are empowered to innovate.

What do you think?

What do you think about the correlation between inclusion and trust? Do you believe that this correlation can directly impact innovation and business performance? I would love to hear your thoughts and invite you to join our newsletter if you care to keep up with future conversations like this one.

Unlocking Happier Workplaces - webinar recording
Workplace Diversity Advocates

Advocating for Workplace Diversity as the Office ‘White Guy’

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Efforts in advancing workplace diversity and equity have made encouraging strides in recent years. However, despite these trends, most Diversity and Inclusion practitioners readily admit that internal policy and compliance initiatives will only advance workplace diversity so far.  

A larger transformation of workplace culture is necessary to advance and sustain workplace diversity while also increasing innovation. To achieve this transformation, we will need help from members of non-divers workplace demographics groups. In many cases (but not all), these are affectionately known as the ‘White Guys’ 

As we work to embed and sustain inclusive workplace culture, the ‘white guy’ will continue to be a vital catalyst for workplace diversity by transforming the current leadership culture that exists consciously or subconsciously in many workplaces today. Here’s how:  

Fighting the myth that workplace diversity is tokenism 

In a conversation I had with Intuit Chief Architect Alex Balazs, we discussed the misperception that workplace diversity is tokenism and how that continues to be one of the biggest hurdles that workplace diversity advocates need to address.  

Unfortunately, too many key stakeholders and decision-makers still view diversity initiatives as compliance and quota-driven initiatives that don’t bear a business ROI. This dynamic continues to not only act as a barrier to advancing diverse professionals up the corporate ladder but also to unfairly limit the success and credibility of diverse professionals who are fortunate enough to advance past a certain level.  

Diversity advocates need to increasingly ramp up their efforts to combat this narrative and getting non-diverse leadership figures increasingly joining these efforts will be vital to their success. The sooner we can tackle this obstacle with the help of our non-diverse leaders, the sooner we can build equitable workplaces that effectively connect the right talent with the right professional opportunity, regardless of gender and race. 

Understanding that sponsorship is vital to workplace diversity 

Research continues to highlight the importance of sponsorship as it relates to career advancement and shows that diverse professionals continue to not receive the same level of professional sponsorship as others. We need our majority group leaders to become more inclusive if we are to achieve equal sponsorship in our workplaces. Without equal sponsorship, companies will continue to miss the mark in placing the right talent with the right job opportunity. The result of failing to do so is squandered innovation and, eventually, mass attrition.  

Empowering diverse professionals with sponsors is not a compliance issue, it is a business imperative. All leaders, but especially those who are members of a majority demographic group, need to take it upon themselves to build relationships with ALL the members on their teams to best understand their talents and connect them with the right opportunities.  

Being the ‘White Guy’ advocate 

As a member of a majority group, the first step to being a positive advocate for your diverse colleagues is to take a step back and listen. Majority-group individuals can best empower their diverse colleagues by augmenting their voices. Many well-intentioned allies start off passionately advocating for workplace diversity, but in doing so may unintentionally take the focus and voice away from their diverse colleagues. By nature, non-diverse leaders are inherently less qualified to speak on workplace diversity. However, they are often far more equipped to empower it by elevating the voice of those who might not have as significant a platform. Sometimes the best way to help is to do less and listen more! 

Putting It All Together 

At the end of it all, our role as change agents in the workplace is to create a culture that gives everyone an equal voice, so diverse professionals are empowered to take their careers into their own hands in ways that traditionally have not existed for them. Members of majority demographics continue to hold the preponderance of stakeholder and decision-making positions in most workplaces. Without their sponsorship of workplace diversity, our internal workplace cultures will continue to limit diverse professionals and squander innovation indefinitely.  

happy-workplace-chester-elton-denise-hummel

What’s Next?

There are a few things we can all do to be better advocates of workplace diversity. We can start by understanding the business benefits of Diversity and Inclusion as a tool for advocacy. Secondly, we can engage in healthy conversations around the topic in our workplaces and beyond. And lastly, we can all focus on how we can best create and nurture professional relationships between diverse and non-diverse professionals that enable collective success. What will you do to bolster diversity and inclusion in your workplace? Sound off below in the comment section and let me know. I’d love to hear your thoughts.  


About Lead Inclusively

Lead Inclusively is a technology-enabled Diversity and Inclusion Consulting firm devoted to developing leaders, teams, and organizations to leverage Diversity and Inclusion as an accelerator for business performance. Our collective experience has been that diversity only assures that we have a mix of different people in the workplace. Diverse people in a non-inclusive workplace may be retained for some period of time, but without inclusion, they will not thrive, advance, or become strong team collaborators. Our Unique Diversity and Inclusion solutions ensure impactful and sustained transformation in your Leadership Development, Culture,  Team, and Performance.

Lead Inclusively Inc logo

Navigating our Busy Workdays to Effectively Embed Inclusive Leadership

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In a recent webinar (you can access the recording here), we discussed the 5 key areas to embed inclusive leadership within a company culture. The dictionary defines the word embed as “to enclose closely in or as if in a matrix” or, “to make something an integral part of”. No word better describes the relationship between inclusion and leadership behavior as a driver of culture change. Inclusion that is not embedded will not sustain and, in turn, will fail to impact companies’ ability to attract talent and innovate at the highest level. Being able to “embed” anything is no small task, and doing so while navigating the complexities of team culture, and individuals’ daily lives make it that much more daunting of a proposition.

With that said, research and technology have allowed us to pinpoint the key areas we can embed behavior and culture change that will change workplaces in a way that even the most inspirational one-off training can’t. Here are the key areas that present the greatest opportunity to embed an inclusive culture within teams on a daily basis.

The 5 key areas to Embed Inclusive Leadership

 

Inclusion Virtual Coach App - Lead Inclusively

Meetings

Meetings are one of the best opportunities for a leader to embed inclusion on their teams. Events like these allow leaders the opportunity to lead by example which permeates culture change throughout teams and companies. They are also great ways to enlist input from team members and facilitate idea-sharing that catalyzes innovation.

Hiring

Hiring is the critical area where leaders can build and embed an inclusive culture from the ground up. But most leaders (by no fault of their own) do not know that inclusion is vital to mitigating unconscious biases that impact their ability to objectively and effectively hire the right people for the right position. Failing to do so, sets new hires up for failure and leaves teams vulnerable to attrition.

Performance Management

Leaders must be able to analyze performance with an awareness of their personal biases and the cognitive diversity of their team members. Being able to evaluate and manage performance inclusively is a vital skill that sets team members up for success and establishes trust which benefits the overall team.

Team Development

Stretch assignments, mentoring, succession planning. All of these (and more) are great opportunities for leaders to grow their team members’ skills, advance their careers, and build better relationships. But does a leader know how to objectively and effectively delegate tasks? Do they know how to facilitate and grow valuable mentoring relationships? How do they go about choosing and preparing the right candidate for their succession plan? Do they know how to build team chemistry in a way that is inclusive and truly fosters ideation?

Strategy and Planning

A leaders’ ability to use inclusion to craft the right strategy sets the table for how they manage and evaluate their teams going forward. Leaders need to be trained in the art of crafting a strategy that addresses the nuances of team culture as it relates to overall success. They also stand to benefit by better synthesizing the “big picture” to mitigate biases and involve their team in strategic planning. This sets the table for a team that is focused and bought-in to a collective vision of success.

But how we harness these areas to sustain impactful culture change?

To be able to harness these areas to the benefit of their team culture and productivity, leaders will be challenged to apply the right focuses and behaviors at the right time during their daily workdays. But how can we expect leaders to remember these behaviors and instinctually recognize moments to apply them during their busy personal and professional lives? Technology has not only allowed us to recognize these five focus areas, but it allows us to deliver the necessary training to leaders at the exact times they will need it most.

So where is your current training successful (or not) in equipping leaders to harness these 5 areas to embed inclusive leadership and foster a culture that is more inclusive and productive? Join any of these virtual-live Q&As for a more in-depth discussion.

Diversity and Inclusion Coaching


About Lead Inclusively

Lead Inclusively is a technology-enabled Diversity and Inclusion Consulting firm devoted to developing leaders, teams, and organizations to leverage Diversity and Inclusion as an accelerator for business performance. Our collective experience has been that diversity only assures that we have a mix of different people in the workplace. Diverse people in a non-inclusive workplace may be retained for some period of time, but without inclusion, they will not thrive, advance, or become strong team collaborators. Our Unique Diversity and Inclusion solutions ensure impactful and sustained transformation in your Leadership Development, Culture,  Team, and Performance.

 

 

Instagram Resume Bias

Do ‘Instagram-Ready’ Resumes Incite Resume Bias? I’m Conflicted

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You may be following the trend of ‘Instagram-Ready’ resumes being a “thing.” I wasn’t even aware of it until it was brought to my attention by my staff.  I recently found myself fascinated by the emergence of ‘Instagram-Ready’ resumes and the intriguing debate around whether this emerging trend is inherently inciting resume bias. To be completely honest, both sides of the debate bring up extremely valid points that directly tie into the Diversity and Inclusion space. So, do ‘Instagram-ready’ resumes incite bias? To be frank, I am conflicted. Let me dive into why.  

 Why this is happening 

With Gen-Z and young Millennials increasingly entering the workplace, we are seeing an increase in emphasis on “attention-grabbing” and “differentiation” as primary tactics being used by young professionals to stand out in a competitive job market. This is most-commonly manifesting in candidates leveraging their tech-savvy design skills to boost the potential appeal of their resumes. But does this take out the objectivity of a hiring process? 

 Why I support it (empowering young professionals) 

Firstly, with two sons who are Millennial/Gen-Z, I feel a certain connection to this issue. Naturally, I want my sons to be set up to compete in their respective job-markets so this topic (regardless of your stance) has a direct impact on them and the millions of young professionals like them.  

As it relates to my work in Diversity and Inclusion as a mechanism to empower individuals, and subsequently, teams, I argue this issue also has direct implications. My team always talks about how important it is that we should celebrate individuality and empower people to embrace the best version of themselves. If companies aren’t doing that, they aren’t being ‘inclusive’ of these professional’s individual genius. We also encourage rewarding and recognizing effort and achievement in the workplace. While resumes don’t directly fall under this scope, shouldn’t we reward a well-crafted resume? 

 Why I am against it (potential resume bias) 

To be frank, these kinds of resumes do objectively open the door to potential hiring bias. If the job application involves someone versed in some aspect of biotech, for example, whether they have mastered the art of presenting a visually appealing resume is highly irrelevant to the essential qualifications of that biotech job and could keep qualified candidates out.   I always teach that companies need to be objective in their hiring and that they must work proactively to eliminate any room for bias in every aspect of their culture and processes. When some ask, “why does a headshot matter?”, for example, it’s hard for me to ignore their objections. It clearly does matter because it brings focus to appearance, age, race, and gender, which, at a minimum, is a distraction from the actual “facts” of the person’s competence as set forth in their (hopefully accurate) resume. 

 

Diversity and Inclusion Coaching

 

All-in-all I feel that as we continue to work to create more inclusive workplaces and a more inclusive world, the impacts of bias will continue to dissipate. Its hard for me to discourage young professionals from embracing their individuality and going above and beyond in any aspect of their professional lives. Maybe our world needs to catch up to the future in this regard and find ways to encourage this trend while also negating the manifestations of resume bias (and bias of all kinds). Regardless, this debate is fascinating and ongoing.  

Workplace diversity and a culture of Inclusion transforms the way companies think and perform. Our ability as organizations and society, to enable professionals to be the best version of themselves will be crucial in dictating success. What are your thoughts? Does this trend incite resume bias? Leave a comment below or join the discussion at one of our live events.


About Lead Inclusively

Lead Inclusively is a technology-enabled Diversity and Inclusion Consulting firm devoted to developing leaders, teams, and organizations to leverage Diversity and Inclusion as an accelerator for business performance. Our collective experience has been that diversity only assures that we have a mix of different people in the workplace. Diverse people in a non-inclusive workplace may be retained for some period of time, but without inclusion, they will not thrive, advance, or become strong team collaborators. Our Unique Diversity and Inclusion solutions ensure impactful and sustained transformation in your Leadership Development, Culture,  Team, and Performance.

 

Your Leadership Development Program Fails When These Obstacles aren’t Overcome.

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Company leaders are uniquely equipped to bridge the gap between employee demands and company demands. As a result, companies can transform their culture, recruit and retain the best talent, mitigate risk, and foster overall innovation which affects the bottom line. This potential has put new-found emphasis and pressure on leadership training and a leadership development program that focuses on inclusion. However, if companies do not address certain obstacles, they WILL fail.

The right focus for your Leadership Development Program

The topic of organizational culture and leadership is extremely complex. Without being able to focus strategy and training, you risk overwhelming leaders and diluting the overall message you are sending throughout your organization. A clear methodology, with the right mix of focus and freedom, is an important first step. Inclusion is the focus area that has the right mix and targets intended outcomes in talent and productivity.

Training at scale

Not all organizations, departments or teams are the same, but having a focused training strategy is pointless if you can’t deploy it at a company-wide scale. Your company does not achieve its intended outcomes if training does not reach/impact all departments, teams, and individuals within a company. This is more relevant for larger companies, but it also applies to organizations of all sizes. Thankfully, technology is providing new opportunities for organizations to train effectively at scale.

Manager Schedule - Lead Inclusively

Day-to-day application

It seems like just about everyone in 2019 has a busy professional and personal life. It is easy to understand how leaders might find it difficult to remember and apply their training days, not to mention in a way that makes an impact. Finding new ways to reach develop leaders with more timely, consistent and relevant training will be the most important hurdle to achieving future results. Most people will forget more than 80% of what they just heard and learned within 24 hours. No one learns anything that sticks forever in just one session.

Business Impact of Diversity and Inclusion

Winning over detractors

Even if your organization has a new focus for its leadership training and a means of deploying this training at scale, results won’t happen without the right internal stakeholders’ buy-in. If your company’s top leaders don’t show belief in company training, then the overall workforce cannot follow. Getting the right buy-in is arguably the most crucial step to start with.

Focus on the human side (avoid pushing compliance)

If leadership training comes off as just another compliance tool, you will risk reducing buy-in and subsequent impact. Diversity and inclusion can sometimes be confused with compliance. Developing inclusive leaders breeds better leaders who are happier and more effective in their jobs. Empowering well-intentioned leaders to be better requires meaningful training on inclusion, providing leaders the tools to empower their teams to perform their best.

At the end of the day, the work of diversity and inclusion is aimed at building better workplaces and happier employees. Leadership is the intersection where companies can impact all the complexities that play into making better workplaces. Giving leaders the tools to empower themselves and their teams is a powerful way to change the workplace. It’s important to deepen these discussions whenever possible. Feel free to join our complimentary virtual events as a great way to further dialogue and grow in a community of thought-leadership. We would love to host your insights and answer your questions at my upcoming Q&A Roundtable.

Diversity and Inclusion - Denise Hummel

Diversity and Inclusion Issues

The 4 Most Important Diversity and Inclusion Issues in 2019

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In a recent roundtable event comprised of professionals in D&I, HR, Talent, Consulting, and Coaching. We had the opportunity to learn more about the pressing issues many people in the realm of Diversity and Inclusion are experiencing on a regular basis. Having now hosted 5 of these events, we wanted to share our 4 most important Diversity and Inclusion issues, and give a brief summary of the discussions that has revolved around them.  

   

We know Inclusion is tied to innovation, but how do we measure innovation? 

Most define innovation along the lines of an organization’s capacity to capture new market share, create new products/services and develop ahead of its competition in order to take or maintain a primary position within its industry. However, it is also important to identify a component of “idea sharing” related to innovation and a culture that fosters innovation. Employee engagement is a great place to start in measuring the early framework for innovation. This article goes into more detail regarding the impacts and measures of innovation.  

How can we advocate for practices that promote diverse hiring? 

Many companies haven’t yet realized that unconscious bias can creep into talent processes, from hiring to advancement in several ways. We’ve seen job listings that were almost tailormade to invite bias. It’s unintentional but happens so easily. While many companies do unconscious bias training in the context of day-to-day leadership practices, many don’t apply this training to the context of hiring. One benefit of bringing in an unbiased third-party like Lead Inclusively to do an assessment is that the third party can quickly see opportunities like this, which internal employees have often simply adapted to. 

Business results from diversity and inclusion

How do we achieve buy-in to Diversity and Inclusion within our organizations? 

A company seeking to embrace the benefits of diversity and inclusion will have limited success without buy-in from leaders at the top of the organization. However, despite best intentions, most leaders simply have not been trained to recognize or cultivate a truly inclusive leadership style. This lack of training can inadvertently stifle innovation and creativity in their teams. In most cases, the first step to buy-in can be to present the ample, but relatively unknown, research that highlights the correlation between inclusive culture and innovation. Many firms now also have resources strategically aimed at helping professionals get buy-in from key decision-makers.  

How can transparency and authenticity impact our leadership cultures?  

In Diversity and Inclusion, transparency is the first step for leaders (ALL leaders) to build self-awareness of their own biases. A transparent, self-aware leader is more effective at navigating their biases. Leaders that effectively master this are more practical decision-makers, more authentic communicators, and more effective team-builders. Ultimately, studies show that inclusive leadership creates the most productive, engaged teams in the world.   

Diversity and Inclusion Events

To say these conversations have been invaluable to me would be an understatement. If you are interested in joining the conversation, it would be a pleasure to host you and your thought-leadership during our next event 

Employee Engagement solutions in 2019

US Employees are Disengaged. Now What?

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Companies that fail to engage their talent, particularly diverse talent, can experience symptoms ranging from increased attrition to reduced company revenue, poor pulse survey scores, and more. Low employee engagement isn’t a unique challenge. In fact, more than half of employees surveyed report that they aren’t engaged at work. Even worse, disengagement is contagious. In the United States alone, disengaged employees annually cost companies over $500 Billion (that’s billion, with a B). This means that companies are losing money every day because employees aren’t showing up to work fully. Where is the room for improvement and what are some of the potential benefits companies can expect to experience from well executed Employee Engagement tactics.

From lower employee morale to reduced productivity, if employees aren’t engaged it means the company is at risk of losing key talent or having that talent “show up” for work, without gaining the maximum amount of productivity and ideation that happens when employees are invested in their workplace because they have a sense of well-being and belonging.

Companies are at risk but there is room for opportunity

According to employees in the U.S., almost 70% consider themselves anywhere along the axis of “not engaged” to “actively disengaged.” That’s a tremendous loss in terms of productivity and a delay in reaching company business goals.

Employee engagement has room for improvement in most organizations: just 12% of businesses report being happy with current levels of employee engagement. This means that low employee engagement scores can result in leaders being viewed as lacking the strategic team insight that leads to full engagement.

Employee Engagement Solutions

A culture of Diversity and Inclusion makes workplaces better for EVERYONE

Employees’ positive perceptions of D&I practices are positively related to employee engagement for all employees, not just minority groups. Perceptions in this case are derived from the actual ‘policies and practices that make up an organization’s diversity practices’ – the tangible actions taken for diversity. This means companies taking steps to ensure impactful D&I practices are in place, will benefit across all demographics.

When it all boils down, companies with engaged employees achieve an average of 21% higher profitability compared to those with disengaged employees. This means that companies that succeed in engaging their employees have a strategic advance over the competition. There is ample research that can more than validate the fact that engagement drives profits, and that a culture of diversity and inclusion drives engagement.

Our team addresses these topics and more during our open monthly Q&As, as well as during our quarterly webinars. The cost of employee disengagement and D&I as a solution to those costs is a discussion worth expanding whenever possible. Finally, see expanded stats and some of our favorite approaches to empower a culture of Diversity and Inclusion that promotes company-wide engagement on page 18 of our Lead Inclusively Whitepaper.

How Diversity and Inclusion Turbocharges Talent Acquisition

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One of the most frequently asked questions during our monthly Q&A sessions is why employees leave and how Diversity and Inclusion can help companies attract top talent. Here is how your organization can transform its brand and culture and forever improve Talent Acquisition efforts through Diversity and Inclusion.

Leading inclusively for employee retention

 

The war for talent starts (but definitely doesn’t end) with branding.

Companies around the world are increasingly leveraging their culture as a differentiating factor, ensuring their external branding reflects a culture that appeals to top talent. According to LinkedIn, 80% of talent acquisition managers believe that employer branding has a significant impact on the ability to hire great talent.

With that said, 50% of candidates say they wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation – even for a pay increase. Many companies fail to ensure their leaders are leading inclusively. This results in high attrition rates, particularly among diverse demographic groups, which quickly begins to undermine diversity recruitment efforts.

A Columbia University study shows that the job turnover at organizations with a strong company culture is a mere 13.9%. Compare that to the staggering rate of 48.4% turnover at companies with a poor culture.

Employee turnover stats

 

Good Talent Acquisition is the product of a strong brand that is upheld by a stronger culture

Research aside, it’s generally harder to attract top talent if an organization is struggling to retain its current talent. A positive external brand will only get you so far if organizational culture is not inclusive. Inclusive leadership positively impacts employee engagement, satisfaction, productivity, and retention.

Employees that are happy create the strong backbone of organizational culture. They become your organization’s most credible advocates and establish the authenticity of your external branding.

As always, we would love to discuss this topic with you and answer your questions in the comment section below. Our team also hosts monthly Q&A sessions where we go in-depth on a variety of relevant issues and give attendees the opportunity to share their thoughts and experiences with other professionals in the space. You can learn more, or sign up for updates via our events page.

Why Diversity and Inclusion initiative fail

Why Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives Fail

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Diversity and Inclusion can be instrumental in driving business performance. My team continues to expand its research and spread awareness on the business case for D&I, and if you are curious about this research, we invite you to download our Business Case deck to learn more. But that is beyond the scope of this article. Today we’re discussing why Diversity and Inclusion initiatives fail.

The challenge is that achieving meaningful results from your D&I strategies requires strong change management, the appropriate focus, and specific programs that appeal to your organization to build on their own momentum. Even the most well-intentioned organizations with a thorough awareness of D&I can misstep in their approach. Here are three reasons organizations miss the mark with their D&I strategies.

1. Leaders aren’t leading inclusively

Teams that have diversity but lack inclusion perform worse than even homogenous teams. In other words, you are better off doing nothing if your organization intends to attract diverse talent without ensuring its culture is inclusive. Culture is most impacted by leadership. If leadership doesn’t commit to being inclusive, then your organization has no chance of retaining its diverse talent and maintaining productive teams.

Lead Inclusively - Inclusion vs Homogeneous

2. Employee engagement isn’t the best barometer of your success. 

There is a direct correlation between inclusion, employee engagement, and productivity. Unlike other D&I metrics, employee engagement is already actively tracked by most organizations, which provides a good baseline when tracking the effectiveness of new strategies.

However, engagement doesn’t tell the whole story. Looking at metrics around diverse employees’ attrition and advancement can also only get you so far. That’s why my team focuses on identifying where the talent pipeline is leaking and why. Are you seeing Asian American women fail to reach the director level? Do you even know whether that’s the case in your organization? These are the questions you need to be asking and answering.

Employee engagement research

3. Relying on “best practices”

The ultimate outcome of an inclusive culture and successful D&I strategy is increased innovation. While it is easy to get caught up in best practices that produce incremental change, companies that want to be the employer of choice are moving toward innovative “next practices”, and more than ever they are using Diversity and Inclusion to do so. My company, for example, is innovating by applying machine learning to automate inclusive behavior coaching for everyone. Work like this is extremely exciting in the opportunity it presents in affecting tangible change that we haven’t seen in quite some time. The most exciting part is my work is only one of many around that is passionate and ready to affect change. The future of our workplaces is more promising than ever.

We would love to discuss this topic with you and answer any of your questions at my open Q&A sessions. Our team also host complimentary quarterly webinars where we go in-depth on a variety of relevant issues. You can learn more, or sign up for updates on both events via our events page.

If you can not, or do not want to attend, we still want to hear your thoughts! Leave us your comments below! What are new innovative ideas you and your colleagues are exploring or using to affect change? Which parts of organizational culture change are you most excited for in the near future? What are other reasons Diversity and Inclusion initiatives fail?

The Main Reason Your Company Can’t Retain Diverse Talent

Why Diverse Talent Leaves

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Company culture is the personality of an organization and includes the company’s mission, expectations, and work atmosphere. Culture is largely defined by two elements: the formal culture (the intended experience as it is written on paper) and the informal culture (how it is experienced on a daily basis by those who are in the environment). What does this mean and how does it impact why diverse talent leaves?

The primary purpose of culture transformation initiatives is to align the formal and informal cultures so that the employee experience matches the company’s stated vision and values. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done.

For diverse employees, this alignment of formal and informal culture is especially important. A lack of this alignment is the main reason your company can’t retain diverse talent.

Why it Matters

Poor culture is correlated with high attrition:

A Columbia University study shows that the likelihood of job turnover at an organization with strong company culture (as defined by job satisfaction) is a mere 13.9%, whereas the probability of job turnover in poor company cultures is 48.4%.

Executives don’t understand their organization’s culture:

Fewer than one in three executives (28%) report that they understand their organization’s culture. They know that culture is important, but don’t necessarily understand what their organization stands for or how their organizational culture is defined, much less how it is perceived by frontline employees.

There is room for improvement:

Only 12% of executives believe their companies are driving the ‘right culture’. The remainder feels there is plenty of room for improvement.

The Opportunity

Strong culture increases talent diversity:

Building an employer brand and positive company culture helps companies hire the right people (55%), get a greater number of qualified candidates (49%), increase employee referrals (41%), and have more diverse candidates (32%).

Culture is critical to success:

94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success.

Lead Inclusively

To learn more about specific approaches and best practices in culture transformation, check out page 26 of our Whitepaper.

Join the conversation to go more in-depth on the topic of organizational culture and culture transformation our open Q&A sessions and quarterly webinars to ask any other personal questions on this topic, or any other relating to HR, Talent, Leadership, Culture, or Diversity strategies.

CHECK OUT OUR LEAD INCLUSIVELY EVENTS PAGE TO LEARN MORE