No matter the size of your organization, says this article from the State Bar of Wisconsin (www.wisbar.org), there’s no question: having a diverse workforce in your firm is good for business. Exploring and committing to diversity and inclusion has become “a business imperative.”
“Diversity and inclusion isn’t just so you can ‘feel good,” says Raymone Jackson, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Northwestern Mutual in Milwaukee, WI. “If executed correctly, it is a game changer that boosts your success.”
The idea is for you and your employees to be comfortable enough to bring your whole self to work – that is very important, especially in a small organization.
Consumers also expect diversity and inclusion as a key component of an organization’s priorities. “For many, they will screen the companies they choose to do business with.” Organizations should mirror their clients – not just with employees, but in their advertising and their policies.
So how do you create your best possible workforce – employees who are free to bring their full selves to work? Components of an effective diversity and inclusion program include the following:
· Attitude: Think of it as a business imperative, not a “program” – make the most of those you invest in.
· Leadership must take ownership, becoming advocates who drive the strategy.
· Make it fit your organization.
· Diversity and inclusion efforts need ongoing, consistent support. Set benchmark goals, monitor progress and make adjustments as you go along.
· Create a welcoming culture for all: Foster internal networking and discussion, including having an open door policy for difficult conversations.
· Create support groups.
· Create a safe space for ongoing dialogue about the “why” when needed.
Read the full article here.