The art of thinking independently together
Malcom Forbes, the American entrepreneur, once described diversity as exactly that. It is therefore quite timely to consider the value in recognising and embracing diversity as the Paralympics GB Team smash their medal haul from London 2012 and we are about to enter the post-Brexit era.
As more and more organisations focus their efforts on attracting, recruiting and developing a diverse workforce, how ready is your organisation and its people managers to support and manage a diverse and inclusive population? A recently published case study on gender diversity at the Royal Mail by the CIPD, highlighted how the Group Head of Organisation Talent and Diversity tested the waters by asking a transgender champion to speak on a panel for female employees. It was a resounding success with the lady in question receiving most of the questions afterwards.
But managing diversity isn’t just a question of men vs women, black vs white or British vs European, it’s about managing without prejudice. So as many of organisations initiatives and programmes achieve short term success, they fail to deal with the root cause of the issue which is unconscious bias. These biases lie in our unconscious minds and are context specific. So what can you do to reduce the unconscious bias?
- accept that bias exists
- have objective and justifiable people processes and policies in place from recruitment through to promotions
- ensure decision making panels are made up of a range of individuals – gender, race, age, background
- develop awareness of the benefits of embracing diversity throughout your organisation
- develop your people managers in how to manage their people in a reasonable, fair and consistent way
So reflect and decide – is your business and its people ready to go for gold and think independently together?
If you’d like to understand how we at OnTrack can support you and your people, then please contact us.