The conversation surrounding diversity & inclusion (or DEI & DEIB depending on your preference) in recent years may have some people feeling “diversity fatigue” – or feeling frustrated that equity is too much work to achieve. But organizations shouldn’t be treating strategic management like a passing trend, because the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion & belonging are actually a fundamental aspect of effective leadership and management practices.
When managing your team from an inclusive lens, you’ll want to think about DEI from the perspective of both the representation and experience of employees. Representation looks at who is represented within the organization, which includes examining the overall range of the diversity of your workforce and ensuring that all employees, regardless of their identity, have equitable access to various job roles.
Experience, on the other hand, will have you taking into account the interactions that your employees have in the workplace – such as with coworkers and management. It’s important to weigh employee satisfaction, engagement, and feelings of being valued in the workplace – as these factors are crucial to building an inclusive and thriving work environment where people can freely express their opinions to problem-solve and innovate effectively. Higher employee engagement will ultimately lead to business success, and having this strategic approach will allow your organization to harness the potential of every employee.
Effective management isn’t only about focusing on your employees – you’ll also want to address those externally beyond your organization – such as clients and customers– with the same strategic inclusive approach. For example, the customer experience could be made inclusive with more physical accessibility, such as wheelchair ramps, or more options for individuals with visual or hearing impairments.
When communicating with vendors, you’ll want to treat prospective clients with respect and be conscious of any non-inclusive dialogue. Common practices such as “ghosting” a vendor can be improved by providing feedback and communicating with more transparency. This extends to your prospective talent pool, where applicants often receive infrequent updates on the status of their candidacy, as well little to no feedback when they are not hired. Vendors, candidates, and other external connections have the potential to improve or diminish your reputation – and most importantly, if you want to do the right thing, you should provide a high level of communication and feedback in all of your interactions.
To help you incorporate these strategic practices into your management, Orange Grove can provide your organization with a roadmap tailored to your individual needs.
Our approach begins with understanding your organization’s current state through assessments and gathering data to identify specific areas that need improvement. We tackle biases on a systemic level through examining your organization’s structures and processes – like hiring and promotion. Leadership development is a crucial step in this process, as effective management requires the skills and knowledge needed to establish psychological safety and difficult conversations with their team.
It’s important to remember that although building an intentional culture and implementing change is hard, it’s not about assigning blame on anyone. Our process helps individuals confront their biases in a constructive setting, so that your organization can reap the bottom-line business benefits of achieving organizational success through good management.