Essential Strategies for Successful Diversity and Inclusion Programs in the Workplace

#1 Sell the Why

One of the fundamental strategies to kick start a successful Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) program in the workplace is selling the why to the organisation.

Key to D&I program success is getting engagement at all levels throughout your organisation.

You need to sell the why to your board. You need to sell the why to your senior leadership team. You need to sell the why to your managers. You need to sell the why to your employees. And it may even be beneficial to sell the why to your customers.

So why should we have a D&I program in our workplace?

Depending on the group, your response will be slightly different. Let’s look at the what’s in it for me (WIIFM) for two stakeholder groups.

The Board, CEO and Management may be asking why should we invest in D&I?

And the response … D&I strategies are good for business. Research shows that the more diverse an organisation, the better it performs (McKinsey & Company, 2015). Research from Diversity Council Australia’s (DCA) Inclusion @ Work Index in 2019 found that inclusion is very good for business.

The staff may be asking why should we have D&I strategies in the workplace?
And the response … the more inclusive a workplace, the healthier and happier the staff. Research says that employees from inclusive organisations and teams are much more satisfied and fulfilled in the workplace (DCA, 2019).

If people in the organisation understand the WIIFM, they are much more likely to participate and support D&I initiatives. Moreover, the why do D&I in the workplace is an easy sell, it just makes good business sense. Better financial outcomes and improved experience for staff.

Consider selling the why early on in your D&I journey, the earlier you can, the smoother and more successful your program will be. Backing up your reasons with research and references for further information will give your messaging more validity and allow staff to broaden their knowledge should they wish.

Selling the why to the board, management and employees is fundamental to implementing successful programs. This will allow you to get buy in, engagement and support for the initiatives, consequently making it much easier to implement and achieve beneficial D&I outcomes for all.

Cherry Pennycuick is a Diversity Coach based in Sydney, Australia serving individuals and businesses world-wide.

Contact us to learn more about how we can help you and/or your business.