What is the meaning of diversity management?
Diversity management is an organizational process used to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. This process involves implementing policies and strategies in hiring, management, training, and more. The goals of diversity management are to promote fairness and equality and leverage the advantages diverse organizations offer.
What are some types of diversity management?
There are two types of diversity management:
- Intranational diversity management: This refers to managing a workforce within a single national context to provide opportunities for minority groups and recent immigrants
- Cross-national diversity management: Also called international diversity management, this refers to managing a workforce comprising citizens from different countries and requires an organization to consider the laws, customs, and cultures in the countries in which it operates
Why should HR leaders care about diversity management?
Time and time again, research has demonstrated that diversity is a major asset to businesses. Companies identified as more diverse and inclusive are 35 percent more likely to outperform their competitors and 1.7 times more likely to be innovation leaders. When diversity reaches management, it pays off with 19 percent higher revenue.
Why is this the case? More diverse workforces have a broader range of backgrounds, skills, and areas of expertise, meaning they can bring more and more innovative ideas to the table.
An organization that prioritizes diversity and inclusion also attracts more job candidates: A survey from Glassdoor shows that 76 percent of people report that a diverse workforce is an essential factor when evaluating companies and job offers—and nearly one-third say they won’t apply to work at a company with poor diversity.
What can HR leaders do to succeed in diversity management?
The first step to achieving a diverse workforce is to hire people from diverse backgrounds. This means developing inclusive recruiting and hiring practices such as:
- Recruiting through non-traditional talent pools
- Implementing anti-discriminatory hiring processes such as anonymous aptitude tests
- Not seeking to fill hiring quotas, which do not address the problem of unconscious bias
But diversity management goes beyond just hiring. It starts from the roots of an organization’s cultures, values, and leaders and touches every part of a company. This means, among other things:
- Commitment from the board, C-suite, and other senior leaders
- Providing a safe space for open, honest, and sometimes difficult dialogues about diversity and inclusion
- Mandatory diversity and inclusion training for all team members
What are the challenges of diversity management at work?
While diversity management is critical, it can also be difficult to do well, touching upon sensitive issues and larger systemic problems. Challenges of diversity management in the workplace include:
- Tokenism: The desire to have a diverse workforce can lead misguided HR leaders to take a “tokenism” approach to talent management in which companies hire and promote people based on their identity rather than their merits, something that misses the point of diversity management
- Interpersonal conflicts: With people in the organization coming from various backgrounds and bringing different life experiences and perspectives, a diverse workforce can potentially create disagreements and conflicts between people, requiring careful management and a high degree of empathy and inclusion
- Challenges with cooperation and communication: Part of having a diverse workforce is having various styles of work and communication, such that facilitating effective collaboration becomes key
What are some diversity management best practices?
Some tips that can help HR leaders with workforce diversity management include:
- Focus on belonging. It isn’t enough to hire a diverse workforce. Once you’ve brought people into your organization, it becomes your responsibility to meet their needs and provide a positive employee experience. This requires actively creating spaces for marginalized individuals to speak up, create community, and have meaningful conversations about the reality of their experience with your company.
- Looking past hiring: Diversity management isn’t just about attaining a diverse workforce. Look past recruitment to the entire employee lifecycle, committing to inclusive practices in performance reviews, career advancements, rewards and recognition, and more.
- Put empathy first. Empathetic leadership allows for more trust, transparency, and engagement, with 50 percent of people working with empathetic leaders experiencing higher workplace inclusion.
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How can you set goals and metrics for managing diversity?
Diversity management programs can be qualitative, but tracking their success with goals and metrics is just as important. Some useful diversity management KPIs to track include:
- Diversity across the organization
- Candidate demographics
- Retention and turnover across employee groups
- Employee net promoter score
- Advancement and promotion rate
- Pay equity
- Utilization rates of employee resource groups
- Metrics related to the success of specific diversity management strategies such as diversity management training
Why should diversity management be a part of modern HR strategy?
In today’s climate, a diverse and inclusive workplace is no longer only a nice-to-have. It’s a must. Authentic diversity management is about understanding that diversity is beyond a buzzword. To achieve real diversity and inclusion, you must be proactive, not reactive. That’s where diversity management initiatives come in.
Simply put, diversity management is one of the most important things HR departments can commit to. It can lead to greater employee satisfaction, an enriched company culture, improved employee loyalty, and the ability to attract top talent.