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HR Connection blog

9 Proven Methods for Improving Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging in the Workplace

on Sep 15, 2021 9:30:00 AM By | Laurie Minott | 0 Comments | Diversity Inclusion
A diverse workplace is a successful workplace: organizations that embrace diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) enjoy increased revenue, greater readiness for innovation, and improved retention.1 Improving workplace diversity and inclusion entails more than hiring more women, BIPOC, nonbinary, or neurodiverse employees, however. It includes weaving genuine inclusion into the fabric of the organization--that is, not simply having diverse people on board but also ensuring that they're involved, empowered, and trusted within the business. Identify DEIB as a strategic priority. Workplaces can move the needle only if they make DEIB a key organizational strategic priority with clear goals and performance measures that are regularly reviewed and discussed by the CEO and leadership. Conduct pay equity reviews. The U.S. Equal Pay Act may have been passed in 1963, but the gender pay gap still persists, with a woman earning an average of only 82 cents for every dollar a man makes. The disparity is even greater for Black women and for Hispanic or Latina women, who earn 61 percent and 53 percent, respectively, of the average salary of non-Hispanic white men. Organizations that are committed to DEIB should conduct formal reviews of their pay structures and make adjustments to address pay gaps. Recruit and promote from a diverse POV. Having a diverse slate of candidates is essential, but it's not enough. If it wants to be a truly inclusive workplace that supports DEIB, an organization also needs diverse hiring panels to improve objectivity and fairness in its recruitment and hiring processes. Create a robust mentorship program. The options for providing employees of underrepresented groups with greater exposure to mentorship opportunities are endless. Initiatives such as cross-department shadowing and breakfasts with the CEO, for example, boost engagement and prime employees for promotion, no matter where they are in the company hierarchy. A robust mentorship program sets clear expectations for both mentor and mentee, crosses all levels of the business, and encourages dynamic, two-way mentorship that enables both parties to learn from each other (rather than simply set up a teacher-student arrangement). Consistently train and engage employees on DEIB. Although diversity and unconscious bias training is required in many workplaces, it doesn't always a have long-term impact.2 When DEIB training programs are presented as lessons to be passively absorbed, they may raise awareness but don't necessarily stimulate behavioral change. To be truly effective, training needs to be interactive, ongoing, and part of a broader conversation within the organization. Make sure benefits and programs meet the needs of caregivers. Companies should evaluate their employee benefit plans and programs to ensure that they adequately support the caregivers (of both children and elders) within the organization's workforce. Caregiver resources (such as designated nursing spaces or eldercare seminars) and flexible schedules go a long way toward enabling employees with caregiver responsibilities to contribute fully at work and balance their workplace responsibilities with their obligations and needs at homes. Set up ERGs for success. To be effective, employee resource groups (ERGs) need to be developed, encouraged, and supported (with both time and money) by the organization. Although senior leaders who pledge to assist ERGs usually believe that their companies encourage ERG participation, most ERG leaders report low budgets and a lack of influence within their organizations.3 Leadership should participate and engage with ERGs more and leverage them to support the organization's DEIB goals. Scrutinize board and executive team representation. If the composition of an organization's board and executive team doesn't reflect the diversity of the geographical area, its leadership should take action. They should make sure that action is effective, though, and beware of what one diversity expert has termed "the Black bluff" Black employees are now being hired into leadership positions at companies that aren't actively anti-racist and committed to cultivating a sense of belonging among all employees. Because these employees are set up to fail as a result of working amid systems that are not equipped to effectively support them, they're at risk for falling victim to the Black bluff.4 Hold leaders accountable. A DEIB strategy will take hold within an organization only if leadership supports space and accountability for it. Once a company's goals are set and its DEIB results measured against them, the leadership team must be held accountable for those results--good or bad. Employees look to their workplace leaders for guidance but will follow if they believe that those leaders are changemakers alongside them. This list of best practices may seem overwhelming, but it's really just a set of steps that together lead toward an important--but achievable--goal. Selecting one task and doing it well will help any organization make progress on the path to greater diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. One step at a time!
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How to Make Diversity in Hiring a Reality

on Jun 23, 2021 10:00:00 AM By | Linda Brenner | 0 Comments | Diversity hiring Inclusion
In their quest to achieve better hiring and retention results, organizations see improving the speed and quality of hiring as a corporate imperative and are often ready to make significant changes to win the talent they need. This desire for improved results is not new, though: organizations have wanted to hire faster and better for a long time (often targeting skills that are in scarce supply). But they have struggled to do so well and consistently. What's new and different today is the fact that organizations are now genuinely interested in increasing the number of people of color—specifically Black talent—in leadership positions. The impetus for this shift was of course the murder of George Floyd, along with the subsequent high-profile Black Lives Matter awareness campaigns and marches world wide against systemic racism. Companies can no longer ignore the data: Corporate America has a shockingly low number of Black leaders. (For example, Black CEOs lead fewer than 1 percent of Fortune 500 companies. 1) Workplace diversity leads to improvements in enterprise value, innovation, and global economic outcomes. 2 Most workplace diversity initiatives fail to achieve their goals. 3 The confluence of these factors has inspired some organizations' senior leaders to work harder than ever to make measurable and sustained improvements to the diversity of their workforces. Other organizations, however, don't understand—or are unwilling to acknowledge—the work required to win and retain top Black talent, and instead are satisfied with simply moving a few Black people into high-visibility jobs. Unfortunately, poor employment practices negatively affect Black employees more than their White counterparts. For example, when people are hired or promoted into leadership positions prematurely or inappropriately, they face far less criticism and pushback when they are White than when they are Black. Unlike White leaders in that situation, Black leaders have to deal with racism-based complaints ("See what happens when we put a Black person in a position like this?") and sabotage ("They got hired over all these other people, so let them figure out how things work around here"), all of which harms not only them but also the overall workforce and the business. Proper recruitment, selection, onboarding, and performance management routines are critical for the success of any new executive. This holds particularly true when companies seek to make their leadership ranks more diverse. The old routines that may have worked reasonably well with primarily White leaders must be examined and adapted to successfully and consistently win top, diverse talent. It's time for companies to implement new strategies. Conduct a diversity audit of the company's recent and current workforces. Analyze at least two years of hiring, internal movement, and attrition data by level, job type, geography, business unit, compensation, ethnicity, gender, age, and other relevant factors What is the status of attrition, retention, and retirement of the current workforce? What positions and skills are hard to find and retain—and why? What are the organization's trends related to diversity hiring, mobility, and retention? What are the priority and specificity of diversity needs by business unit, location, level, etc.? Determine workforce needs for the near future. Key questions to answer include: What is the optimal workforce profile (in terms of size, shape, mix, diversity, and capabilities) for the organization today compared to what it will need during the next two to three years? What will the workforce require to meet the organization's business objectives now and during the next two to three years? What emerging technology and skills are critical to ensure business success and competitive advantage today and during the next two to three years? Identify priority areas for workforce diversity. Before using the future needs analysis to determine the priority areas for diversity hiring, first define what diversity means with regard to job type, location, etc. Does this mean women? Black people? Any person of color? Clarity on this issue is key to moving diversity hiring and retention outcomes forward. Assess the organization's current ability to win passive talent. Because the competition for top talent remains fierce, any company that wants to hire more high-performing diverse employees needs to examine how it measures up in the following areas: Prioritized, specific, measurable sourcing plans based on business demands Broad research on industry competition for talent A consistent and well-documented methodology for identifying, connecting with, and tracking high-performing passive talent Developing talent pipelines and engagement levels over time for key roles Working with hiring managers to successfully attract passive talent to consider the organization Success in winning top passive talent that stays and performs well over time Assess the organization's current ability to effectively onboard and retain talent. Because companies need to not only hire diverse talent but also ensure that it stays and performs well over time, they must assess their onboarding and retention practices. The data obtained by the initial diversity analysis will indicate where (in terms of geography, roles, levels, etc.) in the organization diversity hiring is succeeding and where it is failing. With this information, the company can answer the following questions: Is there a structured and documented approach to onboarding that clearly defines roles, responsibilities, and measures of success? Is there survey data from new hires that indicate the effectiveness of the onboarding experience? Is the company successful at integrating new hires and helping them to become acclimated and productive quickly? Do managers get personally involved in the orientation, assimilation, and development of their team members? (And are they held accountable for doing so?) Are these activities a stated investment priority for the organization? The need for new approaches to achieve workplace diversity is clear. By taking bold steps to retool their hiring practices, organizations can make the shift from merely wanting to hire diverse talent to actually doing it.
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How & Why HR Will Remain an Essential Change-Driver in 2021

on Feb 16, 2021 11:37:11 AM By | Employment Enterprises | 0 Comments | Diversity HR HR Department Remote Inclusion Vaccination Policy
HR departments became unforeseen conduits of dramatic workplace transformations and migrations in 2020. And while change-driver has rarely been the typical role of most HR organizations in years (and decades) past, it is clear we have entered a new era. As we push further into 2021, HR and talent acquisition teams are already playing starring roles in much-anticipated changes, such as coordinating re-hiring and recruiting efforts to build up downsized workforces. At the same time, they are also being asked to manage complex and novel people-centric challenges, such as vaccination policy creation and rollouts.
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Workplace Diversity and Inclusion

on Dec 14, 2020 4:44:25 PM By | Sarah Perlman | 0 Comments | Diversity Neurodiversirty Inclusion
Workplace diversity has been a top priority for many years. Increased diversity within an organization has proven to yield many positive results (beyond simply being the right thing to do). Financial success, more clients, and better innovation are all benefits of a diverse workforce. Additionally, Forbes says that “If your company supports a diverse, inclusive environment, you’re more likely to have happy employees and an engaged company, which yields better customer service and a stronger brand.”
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How AI Can Help Companies Build Winning Workforces

on Sep 30, 2020 10:02:00 AM By | Christine Rochelle | 0 Comments | Diversity automation Recruitment AI
People have been talking for years about artificial intelligence in the business world. Many of those discussions focus on the "robots versus humans" aspect of AI, but there's a "robots and humans" perspective to consider, too. People forget that they already live with and use AI every day. In the consumer market, for example, Amazon and Netflix both employ AI to sort through thousands of options and narrow them down to a few "recommended for you" suggestions for each user. In the broader business world, AI has many potential applications in all areas of a company's operations. In talent acquisition in particular, it can enable organizations to do more with less (through advanced automation) and give them access to deeper insights for better decision making.   Targeted Recruitment  By predicting potential challenges and analyzing data (which can include, for example, answers to questions such as "How long did it take to fill this role previously?" and "Which job boards are most effective?"), AI can suggest ways to align a company's job descriptions more closely to similar roles in the industry and optimize the process for filling an open position.   Personalized Candidate Experiences  Although the job market changes daily, the candidate experience remains a priority, and a company's consumer brand and its employer brand have never been as intertwined as they are today. In an application process that uses AI-generated automated communications that remain personal and human, job seekers feel valued with easy applications, virtual hiring experiences, and tailored recommendations for best-fit jobs. Recruiters for RPM Pizza (the largest Domino's franchisee in the USA) use AI to communicate with job seekers via texts and live chat. The company's AI-powered chatbot, nicknamed "Dottie," answers job-seeker questions, initiates the screening process, and offers candidates an application tracker to boost engagement and free up the hiring team's time.1   Increased Internal Mobility By using AI to support teams in assessing internal talent for open roles, a company can give its current workforce and external potential candidates the same consideration when filling those positions. Such opportunities for internal mobility can help workers feel more invested in the organization. The American Heart Association offers professional development to its internal talent through its Talent Exchange Portal. There, employees can apply to participate in projects outside their current roles in order to hone their skills and build relationships. A dedicated, internal careers site such as this can even intelligently match workers with adjacent roles within an organization.2   More Efficient Analysis Talent acquisition teams often find themselves sorting through thousands of resumes and can struggle to find the time to narrow them down to the perfect candidate pool. These teams are starting to take a page from Netflix's playbook: instead of using one AI engine to enhance search results, Netflix uses multiple algorithms to beef up its offerings. AI using this strategy - called ensemble learning - selects the best options from a set compiled by many algorithms. In hiring, this method can "unearth the best candidates for a job - or jobs for a candidate - then serves those recommendations up in a single view" to provide recruiters with a more focused field to review3   Greater Diversity Because bias is human nature, it's very difficult for hiring managers and teams to avoid exhibiting some degree of bias as they attract and engage talent. Cognitive bias (which derives from using shortcuts and "rules of thumb" to make sense of the world) can distort people's perceptions and cause them to draw on stereotypes. In the workplace, it can lead result to problematic decision making in the hiring process. The old saying "We've always done it this way" is one common obstacle to change. Fortunately, more and more companies are recognizing the importance of addressing bias in recruitment and hiring so they can make stronger hires and achieve greater diversity. AI helps reduce bias by removing (or reducing) the dominance of human assessment - which is fraught with bias - from the initial review of candidates or jobs.   A Better Tomorrow Through the adoption of AI, recruiters can improve the quality of their processes and increase the diversity of their organizations. AI will certainly be a core building block of the business world of the future, but it won't be the foundation. That role is reserved for humans, who will be needed to direct and control the technology.
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4 Ways to Build Workplace Diversity

on Jan 29, 2020 9:45:00 AM By | Sarah Lewis-Kulin | 0 Comments | Diversity inclusive Fairness
According to Glassdoor, 67% of job seekers consider workplace diversity an essential factor when considering employment opportunities. More than 50% of employees want their workplace to do more to increase diversity. 
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AI Can Influence Diversity and Inclusion (for Better or Worse)

on Apr 19, 2019 9:33:00 AM By | Ben Eubanks | 0 Comments | Diversity inclusive AI
Last month news broke that an AI-powered facial recognition technology used by law enforcement was actually biased against, well, pretty much everyone other than white men. This news hit the public like a slap in the face, but it’s something I’ve been seeing behind the scenes for some time now. Artificial intelligence as a technology isn’t good or bad – it just is.
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Increasing Inclusivity

on Nov 5, 2018 2:10:44 PM By | David Creelman | 0 Comments | Workforce Diversity Gender Gap
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Inclusivity in Today's Workplace

on Nov 3, 2017 3:13:43 PM By | Valerie Grubb | 0 Comments | Workforce Workplace Diversity Leadership inclusive attitude
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Why an Age Diverse Workplace Is Important

on Jun 1, 2017 9:17:13 AM By | Valerie Grubb | 0 Comments | Human Resources Insights Diversity
  Everyone’s talking about workplace diversity today, and for good reason: when you expand the range of perspectives, experiences, and characteristics of your team, you also extend your reach toward innovation and overall excellence. But gender and ethnicity dominate many of the discussions about diversity–and companies need to start talking more about an age diverse workplace as well. Let’s play a quick round of the game “Three Truths and a Lie.” Which three of the following four statements are true–and which one is false?
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