By Roberto Calderon and Dr. Paul Eder 

In order to stay competitive, organizations should continuously monitor their culture and ensure it is consistent with changes in the workforce and society. Many organizations inherently understand this need and craft strategies for understanding the degree to which employees embrace diversity and inclusion.  

For example, the Federal government evaluates, on an annual basis, the perspectives and attitudes of employees through the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS), which provides insights through the Inclusion Quotient and Employee Engagement Index. While an engagement survey may provide some direction, there are many other strategic human capital actions that organizations can implement to achieve measurable diversity and inclusion results.  

Here are 10 tips for effective diversity and inclusion initiatives: 

  1. Implement or revamp a knowledge management system, which would provide equal access to diversity and inclusion resources.
  2. Promote diversity and inclusion education as an annual training requirement for leaders and supervisors. 
  3. Conduct workforce and utilization analyses to determine the degree of diversity of the organization and determine those dimensions of diversity lacking within the workforce (e.g., skill diversity, background diversity). 
  4. Develop goals and milestones for inclusion and diversity in your organization’s strategic plan. 
  5. Develop inclusion, diversity, and engagement measurement indexes, allowing consistent monitoring of diversity and inclusion progress and accomplishments.  
  6. Develop a communications strategy that celebrates the accomplishment of diversity and inclusion milestones. 
  7. Conduct cultural change assessments, to determine areas of resistance and needs for additional training. 
  8. Conduct a workforce needs assessment, by evaluating the current organization’s resources and environment as well as the knowledge needed to be included in future training programs. 
  9. Benchmark successful organizations and adopt diversity and inclusion practices proven to be successful. 
  10. Collect feedback from employees in a variety of ways (e.g., surveys, training assessments, pulse checks) and monitor the potential change of attitudes and behaviors to align with the desired corporate culture. 

The key for success of diversity and inclusion initiatives is engaging employees at all levels. Successful organizations engage leaders and emphasize the importance of their sponsorship on diversity and inclusion initiatives. In addition, organizations may conduct a stakeholder analysis and determine the best way to involve each stakeholder group.  

More than ever, organizations are embracing diversity and inclusion as a strategic source of competitive advantage. By implementing the right strategies to support a diverse and inclusive workforce, organizations provide a sense of belonging, promote a safe work environment, increase the staff retention rate, and maintain an overall good image for their brands.