International HR: Diversity and inclusion best practice

January 31, 2019
 Multinational companies are realising a homogenous workforce does not represent the world in which we live and there are many voices missing from the boardroom table. Research by many respected bodies is also showing the commercial benefit of a more diverse workforce.
In addition to the social and cultural benefits of diversifying the workplace, there is also a business case for doing so. Reports, including Harvard Business Review, show improved diversity and inclusion increases the creativity global business needs to solve increasingly complex challenges. It is also likely to make recruitment easier and, if managed correctly, reduce turnover. All important goals for International Human Recourses Management (IHRM).
Improving diversity and inclusion in the workplace is not a quick fix, it takes time and commitment by colleagues at all levels to achieve success. A holistic and deliberate approach to inclusion needs to be developed, agreed and implemented across your organisation.
There are several best practice techniques for improving diversity in your organisation:
In many companies, diversity is measured by one key metric, the most popular being gender or ethnicity. Although there is no denying, these are important metrics that require work, there is multitude of ways that humans are diverse. Consider how open your organisation is when it comes to age, ability or LGBT? More businesses are and will continue to invest in multiple areas of diversity.
Like any business objective, success is difficult to quantify without tangible goals. Setting goals for diversity and inclusion can incite debate about reverse discrimination and quotas. Goals around diversity should be communicated clearly and reinforced. For example, it should be clear that a woman has the same chance of promotion as a male colleague.
Ensure the recruitment process is not triggering unconscious bias within the HR team or wider business. If possible, remove demographic information from CV’s as a starting point. As a longer-term goal consider investing in AI to remove the possibility of unconscious bias from the recruitment process. The time-consuming task of sifting through potential employee CV’s, social media, previous experience, references and other data is completed efficiently by AI without fear of overlooking an excellent candidate that adds to the diversity of your business. 

Although most global businesses are making strides in the right direction when it comes to their recruitment process, to be truly committed to diversity and inclusion, it must also be an element in your organisation’s retention strategy.

Ensure managers and other important stakeholders across the organisation fulfil diversity and inclusion goals as part of their performance review.

Research by Deloitte showed that engaging middle management on diversity is key to success. There are several approaches your organisation can take to achieve this including training, enabling them to become mentors to diverse employees and having open conversations to air any concerns they have.

As you can see, diversity and inclusion is not a tick the box exercise, there must be a cultural reboot to truly see the benefit but from a social, HR and commercial point of view, these benefits are too big to ignore in 2019.

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