Poor strategy crippling D&I efforts

Over half (51%) of SMEs don’t have a process for setting diversity hiring goals, according to a new report.

A poll of 400 talent leaders by talent management software company SmartRecruiters revealed that less than a sixth (15%) of participants remove identifying factors (i.e. race or gender) from internal applications, and a third (32%) of companies have no diversity and inclusion (D&I) budget.

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D&I consultant Toby Mildon told HR magazine that a poor or non-existent strategy can lead to groupthink, employee engagement issues, and even reputational damage.

He said: “The worst scenarios end up in the paper, as happened with Brewdog’s ‘culture of fear'. Companies are worried about employees talking on Glassdoor, Indeed or LinkedIn about negative experiences they’ve had.”

Brewdog was subject to scrutiny this June when employees published an open letter alleging “toxic attitudes” and an internal “culture of fear".

Other firms, such as Apple and KPMG, have come under fire this year for the way they have handled complaints.

It is vital, Mildon said, that business leaders understand what the diversity of their organisation looks like, how inclusive it is and how to pinpoint problem areas. 

Mildon added: “Organisations that don’t understand the employee experience often busy themselves with time-wasting activities. Individual career development programmes, for instance, do little to address systemic problems.”

D&I efforts must come from the top, he added, as this fosters a sense of urgency within the organisation. 

“A common mistake is lack of top-down leadership, where senior leaders are not accountable or don’t take responsibility, and delegate to the HR department.”


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