Diversity, Inclusion and Performance

Employers and human resources professionals can take advantage of team members’ annual performance reviews to inspire reflection on diversity and inclusion. These opportunities can help management understand how diversity and inclusion are being experienced, as well as allow employees who are actively building their capacity to support inclusion to be recognized.

If inclusion is included in an organization’s mission, it should have large-scale related goals. Aspects of these goals will need to be carried out by individuals, so there will be expectations of employees. These expectations can be addressed in performance reviews, which can help to inspire employees to take personal responsibility for organization-wide goals and feel empowered to take action.

Employees often set goals for the next year in conjunction with their performance reviews, and employers can encourage the pursuit of tangible goals related to inclusion. Importantly, supervisors need to lead by example, modeling positive attitudes, implementing equitable practices, and leveraging the diverse perspectives of colleagues.

Participation in topical workshops can be an obvious sign of commitment to diversity and inclusion, but there are other ways that employees may be supporting these values in their workplaces. A useful discussion format for performance reviews can include a statement of expectations, an opportunity for employees to share their professional development and the results of what they have done and learned, and identification of goals to be addressed in the next year’s review. The University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resources Sciences has a document with further useful suggestions of how to address diversity and inclusion in performance reviews here