The Elephant In The Room
So, what’s causing the most anxiety around hiring and workplace culture? Is it Sanitation? Not really, as most people have come to accept the necessity and inconvenience of cleaning at the office. Is it social distancing? Maybe, but with vaccinations and teleworking many made the adjustment. So what’s the elephant in the room? I think it’s Diversity. Let’s talk about it.
Diversity is not a bad word or a huge insurmountable mountain. But it shouldn’t be dismissed as an item to be checked off a box either.
It’s not just black, white or brown, female or male, old or young, it’s EVERYTHING. The impact of diversity on your organization can shift paradigms large and small to impact culture and productivity. However, there are strong historical constraints of society that have prevented minorities from having equal pay, equal opportunity, and conducive work environments. This may be why business owners are, let’s say it, SCARED to approach the issue. Conversations about diversity now rank up there with religion and politics as topics that are the most volatile and uncomfortable.
As we navigate through our current business and hiring environment, more and more we are struggling with tough decisions like how to attract and maintain diverse talent during a pandemic recovery.
Navigation through our current business environment must be tactful as the challenges of attracting and maintaining diverse talent post pandemic recovery are large.
Consider starting with the following topics to formulate tackling a diversity strategy.
- Authenticity – Don’t try to highlight or spotlight the one person of color you have in your organization, it’s a red flag.
- Honesty – You can’t be what you’re not. If you or your company pretend to be or understand something you don’t, it will come out later eventually and present greater misunderstandings.
- Nonhomogeneous – One woman or one person of color cannot and should not speak for all.
- Professional Help – You are an expert in your field, not diversity. Remember a lawyer doesn’t represent herself.
Since it’s almost impossible for one organization to be everything to everybody, it’s important that we are intentional about inclusivity and diversity of thought in our businesses.
Your conscious and unconscious biases may be keeping you from asking the questions that will keep your business from evolving. If you are asking why would a person of color want to come to my company, you may already be on the wrong track. A better question may be what is amazing about my company that would attract anyone who wants to share their creativity toward a common team goal.
Like any other objective, you will need accountability. However, try to be creative. It’s more than set deadlines and metrics for how you will reach the end goal. Remember the first thing you try may not work, but try again. It’s an ongoing dialogue and process that is worth every moment to get the elephant OUT of the room.
Visit coachdiversity.com for more information on this topic and professional assistance for your organization.