Diversity management allows a company to handle the DEI programs that are becoming more important in our society. As the number of organizations with diversity programs grows, their application is becoming more complicated. Coaching should be considered as an effective way to deliver diversity training and monitoring.
What Is Diversity Management?
Diversity management is an official policy taken on by an organization to increase the diversity of its workforce. Historically, many companies preferred to hire people of a certain ethnicity, sexual orientation, race, and so on.
The inequalities which this caused are now unacceptable. Today’s workers demand change in the form of a diverse employee community made up of people from a variety of backgrounds. A diversity management program oversees efforts so that a wide mix of people are hired, nurtured, and promoted.
It should be noted that a diverse workforce is only one aspect of bringing social justice into the organization. According to the concept of DEIB:
- Diversity brings a multitude of different people into the workplace
- Equity allows all of them to participate and be heard on an equal level
- Inclusion ensures that all employees, particularly managers, invite diverse employees to participate
- Belonging is how diverse employees feel about inclusivity in the workplace
Each of these steps must function in order for any diversity management program to be considered sufficient.
Different Types of Diversity Management
From the viewpoint of a DEI manager, there are two essential settings for diversity initiatives:
There are some organizations that only have national branches, and some diversity managers who are only responsible for local operations. In this case, diversity managers and employees are much more likely to understand the national social justice scene. For instance, in the United States during the 2020 George Floyd protests, black employees were under particular pressure. It was common at that time for organizations and individual employees – on their own initiative – to display symbols of solidarity with them.
The job of diversity management is that much more difficult with international employees. Note that this occurs both when workers are in different physical locations, and when an organization hires new immigrants.
In this setting, diversity managers must consider differences in:
- Educational standards
- The status of women and minorities
- Political views
- Work ethics
To be truly successful in such an environment, a diversity manager needs extensive cultural training for their geographical area of responsibility.
Diversity Management Strategy and Best Practices
Diversity is a concept that only works when it is deployed throughout an organization, and so it needs a strategy. Your diversity management strategy should cover three areas of best practices:
The Human Resources department
This is the main address for DEIB issues. It is up to HR to get leadership on board, ensure that recruiting efforts include diversity quotas, and implement relevant training for the entire workforce.
Of course, C-level employees must approve of diversity projects and provide resources for them. But it’s mainly up to managers in general to make sure that retention campaigns, performance reports, and even organizational culture all factor in diversity concepts.
It’s on the “floor” where diversity affects the largest number of people, so employees need to be tuned in as well. To get the ball rolling, HR should run DEI training courses at all levels, check that diversity policies are being followed by workers, and continuously strive to uncover and eliminate bias.
Why Should HR & L&D Professionals Care about Diversity Management?
No matter what stance you take on diversity initiatives, they are becoming as essential as any other HR/L&D function.
Younger generations see diversity as an important aspect of their working environment, so attracting and retaining them depends, in part, on the diversity situation at your company. These demographic groups are also very good at spreading the word about organizations that don’t meet their expectations, so to protect your brand, diversity is important.
Diversity is also becoming a reporting requirement. For example, in the United States, many companies must submit a government form that describes certain DEI metrics.
Many benefits are in store for companies that take the initiative on diversity. Such organizations enjoy higher engagement and retention rates compared to non-diverse companies. And, for HR/L&D professionals who need to sell their ideas to upper management, know this – companies with effective DEI programs enjoy 19% higher revenue than DEI laggards.
How to Manage Diversity at Work
The basic goal of a diversity program is to integrate a variety of people into the workforce. For somebody managing DEI, this requires two steps:
Hiring according to diversity goals
This means a transformation of the entire hiring process. Bias needs to be eliminated from interviewers, job descriptions, and evaluation processes. Hiring panels need to be composed of diverse people. It’s also important to source staffing resources that specialize in certain DEI groups, such as those for women and people of color.
Encourage acceptance of diversity in the workplace
Creativity can go a long way here. For instance, team-based projects can be designed with the goal of getting a diverse group to cooperate. Social events are also ideal opportunities for employees to become familiar, establish friendships, and see beyond whatever unconscious bias they might have.
Diversity Management Coaching
Organizations that provide diversity training programs often do so by using coaches to manage their efforts.
One of the reasons for this is because diversity is a rapidly changing field, both in terms of concepts and applications. For example, “DEI” has become “DEIB” as practitioners realized the value of belonging. Similarly, COVID resulted in a greater use of online coaching, and it is the full time experts who became best at using this medium.
Coaches are also an effective way to see an organization with all of its ingrained DEI challenges. Whenever a person works for a company, they often unconsciously accept its culture, which may be institutionally biased. A coach, on the other hand, brings in a fresh perspective. They are much more likely to notice barriers for diversity program implementation. Secondly, being coaches in this specific area, they are in a great position to recommend the steps that will get rid of these barriers.
GrowthSpace and Diversity Programs
Companies with diversity initiatives face an uphill battle. Applying the varied and dynamic concepts of diversity is a challenge for busy HR/L&D departments. This is made even more complex for a large organization.
GrowthSpace is a talent development platform that many companies are turning to when they need L&D expertise for diversity programs. With its scalable technology, GrowthSpace matches diversity training needs to the top coaches in the business. This ensures that diversity initiatives start off on the right foot, together with flexible programming and an intuitive course evaluation method.