Regardless of the industry, companies have their own unique culture and approaches to business. All companies are not the same. Therefore, cookie-cutter D&I programs just don't work. The good news is that you can use templates as a baseline to developing a strong foundation for your D&I initiative. After that, the pathway to success begins with collaboration, strategic planning, and engagement. So here's the good news! Oz really does exist! And there is a yellow brick road that will get your there!
Use the program evaluation chart below for a snapshot of where your program is today.
The organization has put things in place to comply with legal requirements, EEO filing, policy focused. Systemic barriers stand as challenges to hiring practices, effective growth strategies, and diversity program development and resources.
Valuing Diversity is in the earliest stages. Meets level one standards, diversity awareness is being raised in various parts of the organization. May have a program manager; program is disconnected from strategic planning and executives are aware of the program; but, largely remain uncommitted.
Meets all of the standards of a level 2 program. Leaders are inquisitive, diversity data is random, very little strategic direction. Program is either compliance based or seen as a good thing to do. Budget and resources are typically added at this stage in hopes of developing a comprehensive approach.
The D&I program is embraced and moving to maturity with systemic barriers addressed within the lower levels of the organization. Executive leadership supports the initiative becoming more involved with program and more vested in its success. H/R programs reflect diversity commitment, efforts made to identify and retain diverse candidates, engagement strategies deployed to retain and develop a diverse workforce with a solid candidate pipeline through succession planning and ability to attract new talent. Organization begins to gain industry recognition for diversity efforts.
Diversity initiatives are collaborative, sponsored and driven by board of directors and championed by executive leadership teams. Program is strategically aligned with the overall growth objectives for the organization. It's sustainable, integrated into policy, with accurate reporting systems yielding data used in predictive analytics to support organizational business decisions. At this level, D&I is a way of doing business. Organization receives industry recognition and individual consumers and clients are further influenced by efforts in diversity & inclusion, suppliers and communities experience the benefits of economic inclusion. Corporate Social Responsibility.
D&I Program meets all criteria for Level 5. It is sustainable, has become a way of business and predicatively impacts annual revenue in a consistent and sustainable manner. The D&I Program is integrated with the overall growth strategy and routinely measured for achievement of ROIs and KPIs as a means of process improvement to ensure continued effectiveness.
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