How to Effectively Promote Diversity in the Workplace

Diversity-in-the-workplace

Over the past 10 years, there have been many changes in the concept of workplace diversity. While companies are aware that fostering a diverse workforce is beneficial to their corporate identity, it goes far beyond hiring people to create appealing ratios of ages, ethnicities, and skills. Even though the corporate world has made great strides to include diversity efforts in their recruiting practices, the issue of truly creating a diverse and inclusive workforce is still a challenge for many organizations, even for some of the world’s largest and most well-known employers.

In today’s globalized economy, digital transformation is not only influencing companies’ processes but also their corporate culture. It is because of this that it is now more important than ever for organizations to focus on improving their overall effectiveness as a company, and how technology can help them on that journey.

The goal of having an inclusive workforce is that diverse employees actually spend time interacting with each other. It is one thing to think you have a diverse and inclusive company, however, measuring the effectiveness of your diversity initiatives is where things can become more challenging.

The number of organizations implementing  Organizational Network Analysis (ONA), a management tool that measures and analyzes how information, communication, and resources flow through organizations, is on the rise.  A recent Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends Survey found that 48 percent of respondents were experimenting with ONA tools. The survey included responses from 10,400 business and HR leaders across 140 countries.

Understanding your organization’s networks.

By mapping the social networks and relationship patterns of employees through ONA, companies can identify employees that are motivated, performing well and are more productive in their output.

One of the most reliable ways to obtain the information needed to gain insight into your organization’s networks is an employee survey.  Surveys can be sent to elicit honest answers regarding how employees make decisions and who they seek help in making these decisions on a daily basis. The next step is to process those answers given through mapping results in order to highlight trends and specific patterns with the outcomes formed by the majority of the group.  

In a recent Bersin report, one company used ONA tools to analyze the communication in its sales function and found that many experts in the group were being overlooked.  After creating a new team-centric structure, the total revenue generated by the sales function rose by more than 12 percent.

The next generation of ONA analysis is starting to focus on the quality of the relationships between employees, not just the amount of interactions. For example, who is elevating minorities in the organization and providing them with public recognition? Are women the ones supporting women, or are men more likely to be their champions? How about interactions between employees of different racial backgrounds. While they may be in diverse teams, are the “true” relationships still between individuals of the same group?

Platforms such as StarMeUp are looking into these types of relationships and getting even deeper into understanding organizational dynamics, and in turn, measuring the many efforts that organizations are making to help create better cultures and environments for their employees.

Creating accountability among employees to drive diversity.

It is truly encouraging to see more companies implementing ways to measure organizational dynamics. But in many ways, there are still significant improvements that should be made in knowing how to move the needle regarding the company ’s culture once you have a better understanding of the current situation or baseline. One step we cannot emphasize enough is engaging the executive team, managers and the key influencers at your company in the change initiative.

According to a diversity and inclusion survey performed by Deloitte, 38% of executives surveyed reported that the primary sponsor of the company’s diversity and inclusion efforts is the CEO.  In addition, only 48% of the companies that responded consider themselves adequate at focusing on global cultural diversity.  

“Surveys and research studies continue to show how critical measurement is to the success of diversity and inclusion initiatives, not only to be able to hold leaders accountable to play a part but to be able to know that the leaders truly understand what behaviors they need to exhibit to foster an inclusive culture. Having visibility into the example they set to others and how they interact with others in the organization can significantly improve the likelihood of success of diversity initiatives and make sure they are being executed the way they were envisioned”.

Sanja Licina, Ph.D. (Leader at Globant Future of Organizations Studio)

In a recent interview with Janine Truitt, Owner/Chief Innovations Officer for Talent Think Innovations, the focus of creating an environment of equality and inclusion is examined. She encourages companies to have a plan in place that combines technology with diversity initiatives to remove the barriers to assimilation in order to make employees feel that they are valued.

For any company that is truly looking to create a diversified and inclusive work environment, investing in technology that provides a deeper understanding into employee relationships based on data, can result in the implementation of new initiatives that create a company culture that cannot be matched or replicated.

Thanks to the unprecedented speed of technological advancement, both companies and employees can be empowered to transform their organizations into inclusive environments while encouraging innovation and increasing morale. StarMeUp OS can help build strong dynamics in an organization by increasing employee connections and retention.

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