10-step plan to make Diversity and Inclusion work

 September, 2022

Do you feel a Prime Minister should have the liberty to dance at a party? Can a senior management position in your organisation only be fulfilled working full time? How certain are you that your behavior is not crossing lines of your colleagues? And how do you deal with a colleague who has a fundamental different opinion? These are all topics related to Diversity and Inclusion. 

By now, most organisations are convinced of the importance of Diversity & Inclusion (D&I), but at the same time they struggle with their approach on how to make it work.

War on Talent as new driver for D&I

After having been an employee and manager in profit- and nonprofit organisations for 30 years and inspired by trainings on organisational development and systemic work I have gotten interested why so few people feel truly happy in their working environments. Being able to ‘be yourself’, develop and express your talents and finding the right work-life balance is not common for everyone. Covid has challenged the feeling of ‘belonging to the workplace’ even more. Especially younger generations are looking for new balance and values in work, they want to learn ànd find autonomy and tangible impact on the organisation they work for. But without all costs. With the new War on Talent tables are turning. A broader scope on ‘who is the best candidate for the job’ stimulates inclusive recruitment. 

‘Wanting to attract and keep talented people, it is the employer’s responsibility to create an inclusive workspace in which a diverse pallet of colleagues can thrive.’

Stop fixing people, fix the system

To make it simple: Diversity tells us who is sitting on the chairs at the table, Inclusion tells us how comfortable and equal that chair really is. Where to start? Raising awareness for diversity and inclusion can be a starting point, but without a system change not much will happen. Recruiting for diversity is a huge challenge but if the organisation does not have systems in place that limit ‘unconscious bias’ and a culture that recognizes and embraces the differences in people, you are working against the odds. Underrepresented target groups can be excluded by the majority. D&I asks for an integrated approach.

Start talking with people

When was the last time you asked a colleague how he/she/they is truly doing or feeling and what you can do to improve the situation? This is exactly the open and curious mentality you need to develop an effective D&I strategy. Even though many D&I interventions work in all working environments every organisation is unique. Start with mandate from the board, create a vision and set goals. Then use the power of co-creation to define your organisation’s biggest challenges and develop an action plan. Implement, monitor and adjust. Be aware: D&I is not a sprint but a marathon. But the benefits will reward your effort and investment. And for those who love numbers: the business case for D&I is there! 

Celebrate diversity with a free copy of Gelijkspel Wint

On October 4th it is Diversity Day: an excellent moment to take action on the topic of Diversity and Inclusion. Do you feel your organisation should accelerate on D&I? Seize this moment. I am happy to tell you more about our co-creative approach and 10 step plan. To celebrate diversity I will bring a free copy of my book Gelijkspel Wint. Let’s meet for coffee. leonie.vanmierlo@elementalstrategy.com


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