Involving employees in the diversity and inclusion journey creates a network of advocates and champions who can help drive positive change. However, steering them on the right course can be challenging with multiple agendas represented by very enthusiastic volunteers.
We can help with setting up your diversity and inclusion committee or working group right, from the start, through tested structural supports. Our process and approach has been tested and is in use by a number of organisations who have employee networks in place that are delivering real, meaningful results in diversity and inclusion change.
There are a number of critical success factors for setting up networks that deliver strategic business value (rather than just organising morning teas or sitting in a meeting identifying problems), which include:
- Being clear on accountabilities and commitments i.e what they’re expected to deliver and the time commitment that being part of the group will require on top of their day jobs.
- Linking their deliverables to the overall organisational diversity & inclusion strategy, so that their investments and activities boost and support the overall outcomes, not create side-bar supports.
- Providing them with top-down support through an Executive Sponsor – someone who commits their time to helping them deliver, influence to help get things done and may also support them with sourcing any funding if required.
- Recruiting for hearts and minds – both people who are passionate, as well as for required capabilities e.g. if the group is delivering career outcomes, be sure to have someone from the talent team involved.
I supported the running of 9 of these groups for Westpac Group between 2012-2017, a number of which went on based on the work we did together to win industry awards including:
- With the ABLE Employee Action Group (supporting people with disability) winning the 2016 Australian Human Rights Award as outstanding business practice for the inclusive and accessible design of the Barangaroo Campus. We also won the Australian Government’s National Disability Award for Excellence in Improving Employment Outcomes 2013 and the Australian Human Resources Institute Award for Disability Employment in 2014.
- With the GLOBAL Employee Action Group (supporting the LGBTIQ community) being recognised as ‘Gold Tier Employer’ in the Australian Workplace Equality Index consecutively between 2014-2017.
Interested in this capability? Get in touch and let’s discuss how this service offering can help your organisation embed diversity and inclusion as a strategic business imperative.