The Leader Magazine

SEP 2016

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26 SEPTEMBER 2016 F E A T U R E A R T I C L E that could either help or hinder this by reviewing practices and processes. For example, do you have a recruitment process that states, regardless of role, that all employees are expected to be qualifi ed to university level? If role, that all employees are expected to be qualifi ed to university level? If role, that all employees are expected to be qualifi ed to university level? If role, that all employees are expected to be qualifi ed to university level? If so, that changes the dynamics of the talent pool that you can actually recruit so, that changes the dynamics of the talent pool that you can actually recruit into your company. Is that appropriate for your business? step 4: Create a plan and impact measures Having pinpointed the areas of focus, many companies create initiatives in an attempt to rectify an existing situation. Instead, organisations should in an attempt to rectify an existing situation. Instead, organisations should in an attempt to rectify an existing situation. Instead, organisations should create a robust change-management system that ensures impact measures are created and sustainable progress is made. This will not be created by are created and sustainable progress is made. This will not be created by initiatives and awareness interventions alone. initiatives and awareness interventions alone. step 5: be clear about your talent requirements Recruiting talent into an organisation will have a signifi cant impact Recruiting talent into an organisation will have a signifi cant impact on the diversity of the company. Working in partnership with recruitment on the diversity of the company. Working in partnership with recruitment and search companies is vital to ensure they are clear about your business aspirations and how they can help you achieve them. It is also important to consider what your talent requirements will be for the future and how this consider what your talent requirements will be for the future and how this consider what your talent requirements will be for the future and how this links back to the delivery of your business strategy. Many of us will have links back to the delivery of your business strategy. Many of us will have links back to the delivery of your business strategy. Many of us will have links back to the delivery of your business strategy. Many of us will have links back to the delivery of your business strategy. Many of us will have links back to the delivery of your business strategy. Many of us will have heard about the changing demographics over the coming years and are constantly reminded about "the war for talent." Think about how you can get ahead of the game and start to engage with candidates who may be right for your company in the future. for your company in the future. step 6: Continue to widen your talent pool Work closely with recruitment and search companies to ensure you are not inadvertently narrowing your talent pool. For example, a fi nance director does not necessarily need to have been a fi nance director for many years previously. Such a stipulation shrinks the market and potentially pro- years previously. Such a stipulation shrinks the market and potentially pro- duces the same type of candidate that you have always had. Instead, think duces the same type of candidate that you have always had. Instead, think innovatively about the skills required and where else that could be sourced. innovatively about the skills required and where else that could be sourced. innovatively about the skills required and where else that could be sourced. step 7: Managing and leading a diverse workforce Few companies talk about the risk of increased confl ict within diverse groups. Naturally, as people think very differently, there will be more groups. Naturally, as people think very differently, there will be more groups. Naturally, as people think very differently, there will be more groups. Naturally, as people think very differently, there will be more groups. Naturally, as people think very differently, there will be more debate, disagreement and, potentially, confl ict. This can be a challenge for debate, disagreement and, potentially, confl ict. This can be a challenge for debate, disagreement and, potentially, confl ict. This can be a challenge for some managers and some managers and leaders who are not particularly comfortable dealing leaders some managers and leaders who are not particularly comfortable dealing who some managers and leaders who are not particularly comfortable dealing are not particularly some managers and leaders who are not particularly comfortable dealing comfortable some managers and leaders who are not particularly comfortable dealing dealing some managers and leaders who are not particularly comfortable dealing with confl ict or challenge. Ensure that managers are supported in managing and leading diverse teams, how to get the best out of the talent around them, and how to respond to confl ict. step 8: diversity and inclusion working in tandem It is one thing to be inclusive, but it's another to It is one thing to be inclusive, but it's another to be diverse. The two must work together to be effective i diverse. The two must work together to be effective in order for you to reap the rewards. Ensure your focus order for you to reap the rewards. Ensure your focus covers both elements to gain the greatest benefi ts and th covers both elements to gain the greatest benefi ts and that both are embedded throughout your business plans. For example, there may be a commitment to ensure the senior leadership team is more diverse over the coming two years in response to shareholder and governance challenges. Once the team has come together, the task is to ensure that they can effectively work together and that they know how to challenge appropriately, how to ensure everyone around the table is able to share their perspectives, and how to reach consensus and fi nal agreement. If this is done effectively, it will signifi cantly reduce the change of "groupthink" and show diversity AND signifi cantly reduce the change of "groupthink" and show diversity AND signifi cantly reduce the change of "groupthink" and show diversity AND inclusion in action. step 9: remember an elephant is eaten one bite at a time Companies start out with great intentions, a huge amount of commitment and Companies start out with great intentions, a huge amount of commitment and Companies start out with great intentions, a huge amount of commitment and Companies start out with great intentions, a huge amount of commitment and Companies start out with great intentions, a huge amount of commitment and Companies start out with great intentions, a huge amount of commitment and Companies start out with great intentions, a huge amount of commitment and Companies start out with great intentions, a huge amount of commitment and Companies start out with great intentions, a huge amount of commitment and an initial fl urry of activity. Nine months down the line they then realise there an initial fl urry of activity. Nine months down the line they then realise there an initial fl urry of activity. Nine months down the line they then realise there an initial fl urry of activity. Nine months down the line they then realise there an initial fl urry of activity. Nine months down the line they then realise there is a lot to do and that they haven't thought it through properly; therefore, they abandon the project. Be clear from the outset that this isn't a 12-month plan and that all will be completed. It must involve continuous improvement plan and that all will be completed. It must involve continuous improvement plan and that all will be completed. It must involve continuous improvement and continuous embedding so that as an organisation you are constantly looking at what's happening in the business and thinking about how to looking at what's happening in the business and thinking about how to looking at what's happening in the business and thinking about how to constantly improve upon it. step 10: involve everyone Companies also assume that the sole drive for creating the right culture has to come from the chief executive or senior leadership team. Without question, their engagement and commitment is important, just as it is for any change. However, everybody can infl uence the culture, at every level, any change. However, everybody can infl uence the culture, at every level, any change. However, everybody can infl uence the culture, at every level, from the respect they show their colleagues, to the behaviours they display from the respect they show their colleagues, to the behaviours they display to clients, and to the decisions they make every day. Ensure that your strategy to clients, and to the decisions they make every day. Ensure that your strategy to clients, and to the decisions they make every day. Ensure that your strategy to clients, and to the decisions they make every day. Ensure that your strategy includes the appropriate engagement of all colleagues and clearly articulate includes the appropriate engagement of all colleagues and clearly articulate includes the appropriate engagement of all colleagues and clearly articulate the part they play in creating a more diverse and inclusive company and how they can embed this thinking into their day-to-day activities. how they can embed this thinking into their day-to-day activities. Creating a more diverse and inclusive company isn't easy, but it also isn't rocket science. Working through the above steps will ensure you are isn't rocket science. Working through the above steps will ensure you are isn't rocket science. Working through the above steps will ensure you are on track to create the right strategy for your company, one that is embedded on track to create the right strategy for your company, one that is embedded throughout and that responds to both your business requirements and your talent aspirations for the future. talent aspirations for the future. Charlotte Sweeney FCMI, FRSA, is an expert in diversity Charlotte Sweeney FCMI, FRSA, is an expert in diversity Charlotte Sweeney FCMI, FRSA, is an expert in diversity Charlotte Sweeney FCMI, FRSA, is an expert in diversity Charlotte Sweeney FCMI, FRSA, is an expert in diversity Charlotte Sweeney FCMI, FRSA, is an expert in diversity Charlotte Sweeney FCMI, FRSA, is an expert in diversity Charlotte Sweeney FCMI, FRSA, is an expert in diversity Charlotte Sweeney FCMI, FRSA, is an expert in diversity Charlotte Sweeney FCMI, FRSA, is an expert in diversity Charlotte Sweeney FCMI, FRSA, is an expert in diversity and inclusion who specializes in creating and implementing strategies using change management techniques. She has won many awards for her work and is the founder of "Creating Inclusive Cultures," a UK-wide programme that brings employers together in cities to create change.

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