Thursday, September 1, 2016

Top 3 Best Diversity Practices


Recently, the Reputation Institute (RI), a global reputation management consulting firm headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts came up with a list of the Most Reputable Tech Companies in 2016, as part of a reputation research it annually conducts during the 1st quarter.

Not surprisingly, HP (one of the 2 spin-off companies from the original Hewlett-Packard), one of DiversityWorking.com's prestigious diversity company members, came # 7 on the list. 

How is reputation measured, and what factors are considered? Forbes reported that RI uses a multi-layered approach in measuring reputation, and the research shows that companies need to go beyond providing the best product and/or service, in order to gain good workplace reputation.

Tech leaders have to think about their companies’ social responsibility and impact, reputation among millennials, and ability to attract and retain diverse talents. Companies that want to lead the pack have to win at all those things.

HP has always been known for its commitment to diversity and inclusion. It has women at top positions: Chairwoman Meg Whitman, and Chief Financial Officer Catherine Lesjak. It has consitently build a racial diversity among its suppliers as well.

Often we hear it said diversity improves the bottom line and the economy. Studies show this is indeed true.

One such study made by McKinsey & Company in 2012 found that the increase in women’s overall share of labor in the United States—women went from holding 37 percent of all jobs to 47 percent over the past 40 years—has accounted for about a quarter of current GDP.

This article also shares results from other studies made by other institutions pointing to the fact that workplace diversity indeed impacts the performance of businesses in positive ways.

Thus, it would help to study how a company can foster diversity? Let us look at some of the best practices of the country's well-known diversity companies. What is common among their practices?

HP
Believing that a workforce comprising people of diverse ages, capabilities, cultures, ethnicities and experiences promotes creativity and innovation, the company does its best weaving diversity and inclusion into the fabric of our company, from its leaders to its employees.

HP's diversity efforts include: 
- Recruiting a diverse range of people and developing them as leaders
- Building an inclusive work environment where the contributions of each individual are valued
- Helping employees navigate their work and personal commitments while meeting the business needs of HP

Its diversity and inclusion policies include: 
- Harassment-free work environment policy
- Non-discrimination policy
- Open-door policy

The company likewise encourage employee participation in activities, formal and informal, to foster a diverse and inclusive environment:
- Cultural Competence
- Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)

KPMG - a leading audit, tax and advisory firm in the U.S.
KPMG LLP is another prestigious diversity company member of DiversityWorking.com, and also renowned the world over for being a diverse and inclusive workplace.

One of its recent articles, KPMG is noted to maintain its leadership in a constantly changing world, which brings great challenges to industries, such as disruptions in technology, changing customer preferences and demand.

Among KPMG's 3 critical ways to keep up with rapid change is innovation. “Senior executives must accept that innovation cannot be an afterthought, or satisfied by ‘tacking on’ occasional, periodic, innovative fixes to organizational challenges,” says Ioannis Tsavlakidis, KPMG Germany’s transformation leader.

But what drives innovation is workforce diversity – a fact attested to by the company. We believe that diverse teams better reflect the diverse nature of our clients’ businesses. This enables us to express different viewpoints and create well-rounded perspectives that drive innovative thinking. 

KPMG has put in place a strong infrastructure to ensure diversity is working with the support of top management – the chairman and senior leaders, and this includes, among others: 
- A Diversity Advisory Board
- Diversity Networks, to expand its reach to people with disabilities, African Americans, Asian Pacific Islanders, Hispanic/Latino communities, women, LGBT communities and veterans
- Women's Advisory Board to help enhance career opportunities for its women employees.

 Accenture - a global professional services company and provides consulting services in digital, technology and operations, and likewise a member of DiversityWorking.com's list of well-respected diversity companies.

The company's mantra that it's high performance on diversity and inclusion is not merely lip service
Its diversity initiatives includes: 
- Diversity training and development programs for its people;
- Living by its core values of Stewardship; Client Value Creation, One Global Network, Respect for the Individual and Integrity;
- Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), which aim to:
Promote diversity
Foster networking
Provide mentorship opportunities
Support recruitment and retention
Build external business relationships
Support nonprofit organizations

Accenture believes that an inclusive and diverse workplace is where people can feel comfortable, be themselves and, as a result, be productive.

What are the common denominators of these 3 diversity companies? It's their
- Strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, which they do best to cultivate through
- Programs and activities that engage their people, most of all, through the
- Corporate core values they live by; Respect is most essential in fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion.

Respect is a golden value inherent among HP, KPMG and Accenture, and most certainly of other reputable diversity companies, too.
Respect goes a long way in building strong, lasting relationships, and companies that respect their people earn the confidence of their clients as well, making them happy customers. Thus, the secret to their organizations' solid workplace reputation and staying power.

It can be said that employee engagement is a hallmark of diversity working effectively well in an organization.

Employee engagement is defined as the extent to which employees feel passionate about their jobs, are committed to the organization, and put discretionary effort into their work.

This definition encompasses the emotional as well as the motivational aspect of employee engagement. Equally important too is for employees to understand their respective roles and responsibilities, especially to the extent they are aware of how they contribute to the promotion of diversity and inclusion in their workplace.

In other words, it takes a concerted effort to make diversity work, from top management down to all levels of an organization.

In addition to this, there needs to be a sound philosophy to ground all diversity efforts in the company.

Weology, a concept developed by Peter Aceto, CEO of Tangerine Bank (Canada). It is also the name of the book he authored in which he invites business leaders to explore the benefits of Weology, touted as the new workplace philosophy of the 21st century. Weology centers around the conceit that teams thrive when everyone from the CEO to the most junior employee puts “we before me.” […] In essence, Mr. Aceto argues that when everyone puts the needs of others ahead of their own desires, something magical happens: teams become greater than the sum of their parts.

It does makes sense, for after all, isn't that what diversity and inclusion should all be about – “we” all are included?




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