4 ways to support diversity and inclusion in your workplace

By Anthony Wolny | 27th July 2020 | 8 min read

Creating a diverse and inclusive workforce that reflects the demographic of society is an incredibly important aspect of good people management as it adds value to every part of your organisation.

While UK legislation sets minimum standards for age, disability, race, religion, gender and sexual orientation, additional work is required.

Now is the perfect time for HR professionals to revamp their diversity and inclusion (D&I) strategy, as key business functions are being re-evaluated and hiring pauses are starting to lift, following COVID-19.

To support, we’ve compiled four tips and actions you can take to inform your strategy and help build a forward-thinking culture.

1) Utilise data to drive your strategy

A key way you can ensure a successful D&I strategy is by utilising data as a starting point to locate areas that require improvement.

Shakil Butt, Founder, HR Hero for Hire, said: “Data highlights where you currently are and if you introduce changes, the data should also be able to show where you’re heading so you can deduce if it’s the right direction.”

By collating the necessary information on your workforce diversity, you’re able to create a narrative that can help define your strategy, making it far easier to locate and resolve problem areas.

2) Consider the perception of your organisation

A recent McKinsey & Company study revealed that 45% of ethnic or racial minorities and 50% of LGBTQ+ respondents have decided to not pursue or accept a position because they believed the organisation would not be an inclusive place to work.

What we can take away from this research is that the potential talent you’re wanting to recruit are not only looking at your organisation during the interview process, but they also consider the outside perception.

If you’re truly trying to improve your organisation’s diversity, you must showcase that not only in your internal policies and objectives but also in your company’s outward appearance.

Consider how your organisation is presented in your job ads, social media and website.

3) There isn’t a finish only a start

You must bear in mind that there shouldn’t necessarily be an end goal for your plans, rather your diversity and inclusion strategy must be an ongoing initiative.

“If you’re at the beginning of your journey, you need to understand where you are today to set goals, but you can’t think of it as a tick list. There are aspects you need to commit to as an organisation, but you can’t achieve a few goals and think you’re finished.”  – Natalie Tedstone, Recruitment and Talent Director, IRIS

For your strategy to be effective, you can’t become complacent – instead, you must strive to improve every aspect of the organisation.

4) Commit resources to your inclusion strategy

“For your strategy to work, it needs to be measured, reported and have resources behind it.” – Tali Shlomo, Interim Head of Inclusion and Wellbeing, Sherman & Sterling LLP

A key way you can push diversity and acquire buy-in from stakeholders to obtain the necessary resources is to start at the top and involve your leadership team.

This can be achieved by treating the strategy like any other business initiative, using measurable and tangible KPIs for the investment that enables you to effectively report back on the current progress.

How IRIS HR Software can help?

Our range of HR software offers a variety of features to support businesses of any size. IRIS HR Pro includes an applicant tracking system that ensures you don’t miss the best applicants and reporting functionality to help you pull together the required data. Larger businesses can utilise the power of IRIS Cascade HRi's recruitment software add-on.