Profiting from diversity: a guide to harnessing diversity for the benefit of your business




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НазваниеProfiting from diversity: a guide to harnessing diversity for the benefit of your business
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Implementing a diversity strategy


Commitment, communication and constant evaluation will help you make the most of London’s diversity. This section explains how you can ensure that changes last.


As with any business change plan, for a Diversity Strategy to succeed you need to make sure that:


  • leaders are engaged

  • employees are engaged

  • objectives are clear

  • accountability is built in

  • progress is measured



Commitment from leaders


Managers’ behaviour and commitment deeply affect how your employees view diversity, and how far they’ll change. Pinpoint the changes in behaviour that managers will need to show to your organisation. It’s important that senior managers can be trusted to set a consistent example.


Recruitment is a key area, both by managers and for managerial roles. If managers are seen to be actively supporting applications from people from diverse backgrounds, this makes it clear that your organisation values a diverse workforce.

Managers’ targets – some tips


Research has shown that putting diversity targets into annual appraisals and performance reviews can make a real difference to the level of commitment to diversity that managers demonstrate.


Managers’ targets could include:


  • to actively support the recruitment of women into my area

  • to ensure that all members of my team attend the diversity training programme by a

  • specified date

  • to work with my team to set them targets around diversity

  • to learn more about the business case for diversity and share this with my team

  • to mentor one of my team members who is in a minority group in the company


Research has shown that setting diversity targets for individual managers is a powerful way to ensure that diversity is taken seriously.20

Commitment from employees


As with all major business change, it’s essential that employees buy into your Diversity

Strategy from the start. So consult them while you’re planning. Get input on how to improve your business from trade unions or employee groups. And once the plan has been developed, keep communicating. Show employees that their comments have been considered and that you are still interested in their views.

Emphasise how the plan will benefit employees as well as the business and take ownership of it. If you and senior people personally communicate the Diversity Strategy, rather than delegating it, employees will identify it with you. Your commitment can help win over the waverers.


As well as face-to-face communication, there are many other ways to keep employees in touch:


  • provide regularly updated information on your intranet or on posters about the progress of the Diversity Strategy

  • produce newsletters with stories about diversity issues and their progress

  • organise monthly face-to-face updates from team leaders to their teams on key business results and the plan’s contribution

  • ensure that communications highlight the importance of the plan to the success of the business

  • communicate the opportunities for training and learning new skills that are within the plan so that employees feel supported


Ensure you recognise – and celebrate – significant achievements along the way. This could include everything from positive feedback to individual or team awards.

Employee diversity networks


An effective way to include employees in diversity is to set up an employee network, such as an LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) network, or a women’s network:


  • make sure that any networks you set up play a clear role in the diversity change agenda and have this role explicitly linked to the business plan

  • ensure that networks are given clear responsibilities around improving business performance, such as helping to develop products, services or marketing strategies

  • educate the wider organisation about the cultural barriers for each diversity group represented by a network, so that all your employees understand the role of networks in the business

  • integrate your networks into your organisation’s consultative and decision-making processes, including access to top managers. This way, networks can see the impact they’re having on the business as a whole

  • as networks are focused on business performance, ensure that they are given a budget and facilities, and that those attending are supported by their line managers to attend in work time

  • be aware that input has to be offered willingly, and sometimes anonymously. Forcing individuals to state their views risks not only getting a skewed picture but also building resentment

  • make use of established networks, such as trade union or employee bodies, and listen to their views on how things can be improved. Change needs to be bottom up as well as top down, and employee buy-in is key

  • ensure that senior managers are involved at an appropriate level – that they publicly support

  • the network and attend appropriate meetings, but do not dominate or direct
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