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TWU Workforce Diversity What Makes Diversity Initiatives Successful Discussion

TWU Workforce Diversity What Makes Diversity Initiatives Successful Discussion


Before attempting to respond to this post, refer to the “What Makes Diversity Initiatives Successful” Learning Activity. According to the text, what is a reason that diversity laws are taught in organizations? What does the text state is required for diversity to be successful in organizations? Why? Reflect on an organization you know well. How does this organization ensure that employees are informed about laws that result in diversity? Would you say the method(s) is effective? Why or why not?

What Makes Diversity Initiatives Successful?

Criteria for Successful Diversity Programs

Organizations with successful diversity programs educate employees about laws relating to diversity and ensure those laws are followed in recruitment, testing, hiring, training, promotion, performance evaluation, and every other process within the organization. Secondly, they provide training that assists in the development of diversity programs and initiatives that actually work.

Simply providing training and forgetting about diversity is not the path to a successful diversity program. Instead, focusing on overall initiatives throughout the organization (and creating a diversity plan), which includes training, should be the success criteria of any diversity program.

Organizations can take a number of steps to create a training and educational program related diversity educational program.

Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) provides energy and other services to the northern Indiana region. It offers a program to employees called Inclusion and Diversity Journey. The director of human resources believes in thinking strategically about diversity and inclusion. Success criteria can come from numbers and statistics, but equally important is the behavior of employees. NIPSCO developed these six key areas of focus to make their diversity program successful (Moulesong, 2012):

  1. Organizational: Developed a council of management to set direction and be held accountable for diversity initiatives.
  2. Employees Awareness: Developed a campaign to get employees to think about diversity, beyond diversity in race and gender.
  3. Training: Created a program that trains management to interview candidates to allow for inclusion. In addition, they created trainings on leadership of a diverse workforce.
  4. Supplier Diversity: Provided supplier fairs to encourage diverse suppliers to work with the organization
  5. External awareness: Gained community engagement, created a section on their website which focuses on diversity and inclusion. When you have an opportunity, take some time to review the website and learn more about the organization’s focus.
  6. Talent: Set specific metrics around applicant pools. In other words, they expected the applicant pool to have about 25% diverse individuals from which to select.

Other criteria to determine diversity success might be to consider the following (University of California, San Francisco, n.d.):

  • Do you and employees test your assumptions before acting on them?
  • Do you and your employees believe there is only one right way of doing things, or that there are a number of valid ways that accomplish the same goal? Do you convey that to staff?
  • Do you have honest relationships with each staff member you supervise? Are you comfortable with each of them? Do you know what motivates them, what their goals are, and how they like to be recognized?
  • Are you able to give negative feedback to someone who is culturally different from you?
  • When you have open positions, do you insist on a diverse screening committee and make additional outreach efforts to ensure that a diverse pool of candidates has applied?
  • When you hire a new employee, do you not only explain job responsibilities and expectations clearly but also orient the person to the campus and department culture and unwritten rules?
  • Do you rigorously examine your unit’s existing policies, practices, and procedures to ensure that they do not differentially impact different groups? When they do, do you change them?
  • Are you willing to listen to constructive feedback from your staff about ways to improve the work environment? Do you implement staff suggestions and acknowledge their contribution?
  • Do you take immediate action with people you supervise when they behave in ways that show disrespect for others in the workplace, such as inappropriate jokes and offensive terms?
  • Do you make good-faith efforts to meet your affirmative action goals?
  • Do you have a good understanding of institutional “isms” such as racism and sexism and how they manifest themselves in the workplace?
  • Do you ensure that assignments and opportunities for advancement are accessible to everyone?
  • What policies, practices, and ways of thinking have differential impact on different groups?
  • What organizational changes should be made to meet the needs of a diverse workforce?

Note. Adapted from “Diversity and Multiculturalism,” by L. Portolese Dias, 2011, Human Resource Management, Chapter 3. Copyright 2011 by Flat World Knowledge, Inc.

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