HR Connection blog

Building Inclusivity through Communication and Empathy

on May 25, 2022 9:45:00 AM By | Rebekah Cuevas | 0 Comments | communication Inclusion DEI
More than a buzzword, DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) is the key to creating workplaces in which every employee can develop, grow, and thrive. As an organization develops its DEI strategy, its HR team will likely shoulder much of the responsibility for bringing everyone onto the same page of understanding and action. To do this, HR must be prepared to lead the way forward with an effective message that not only communicates the importance of DEI but does so clearly and with empathy.
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Diversity Hiring Strategies That Work

Over the last year, many employers have worked to increase workplace diversity and expand their DEI strategies. And for good reason. As Glassdoor's Diversity Hiring Survey reveals, “3 out of 4 job seekers and employees (76%) report that a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers.”
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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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