Grazing Goat

Diversity & Inclusion: Beyond the Programs

It's one thing to offer diversity and inclusion (D&I) programs, it's another to make diversity and inclusion stated corporate values that are treated as an important aspect of a company's culture and business strategy. i4cp's 2014 Diversity and Inclusion Values and Behaviors Survey, currently open and waiting for your input, seeks to measure how well companies are living those values.

While infrastructure for D&I is often a factor of organization size, global dispersion, and spend, high-performance organizations differentiate themselves by ingraining the values they deem important into their culture, talent, and business strategy. This survey will determine how, where, and why high-performance organizations instill the values of D&I into their cultures and the way they do business.

What is the focus of your organization's D&I efforts? How deeply are the concepts ingrained in your organization's culture? Do your leaders embrace and model the behaviors that create a truly inclusive work environment?

Previous i4cp research has shown a shift in many organizations from a primary focus on diversity (variations in workforce makeup ranging from race and gender to skills and points-of-view) to inclusion (the practice of incorporating diverse individuals into a cohesive and productive working unit). This is a critical step--moving away from the numbers game and placing emphasis on an accepting and nurturing culture. It's also an important move for global and multinational organizations, as the numbers game becomes more convoluted and less relevant in countries and regions outside of the United States.

But it's not as if high performers abandon one for the other. As they shift the focus toward inclusion, the numbers game becomes more important at upper tiers of the organization. Is the C-suite inclusive? Is the executive team, the board? Can anyone coming into your organization see a route to the top and role models in leadership positions?

Going a step further, one question in our survey that few D&I studies put the spotlight on looks directly at specific behaviors of leadership role models. If your leaders aren't walking the walk and modeling inclusive behaviors every day, no program, no consistent and repetitive communication, and no amount of forced diversity will move the needle on culture. Inclusion is action, and it takes combined actions to eventually lead to an inclusive state of being. If the people in your company don't believe that leadership recognizes their abilities and contributions--and if inclusion is really an organizational value--then instilling inclusive behaviors through training and selection is the only way forward.

Want to know how your organization stacks up? Take i4cp's 2014 Diversity and Inclusion Values and Behaviors Survey and receive a preliminary report summarizing the pre-analysis findings.
Eric Davis
Eric received his master’s degree in journalism and mass communication from Marshall University in 1996. He has had 20+ years of workforce experience in a variety of fields. Before coming to i4cp, he worked as a laboratory technician for DuPont, a conference planner for Marshall University, the public relations manager for the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Technical Manufacturing, and a graphic designer for COX Communications.