With more organisations focusing on their equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) efforts, putting together a formal EDI strategy is high on the agenda of many HR professionals.
Whether you’re building on existing policies or completely starting from scratch, it can be daunting to know where to start; after all, equality, diversity and inclusion initiatives affect all areas of your organisation so planning and executing an effective strategy is a big task.
To help you along your way, Webrecruit suggests asking the following questions before putting your EDI strategy together:
1. Who’s leading it?
One of the first things to think about is who you want to lead your EDI strategy; this person will be responsible for the development and implementation of the strategy within your organisation.
If you’re a small business, chances are this will be a member of HR or your senior team. However, if you’re a larger organisation, you might want to consider hiring a Head of EDI or Head of Diversity, whose job will be dedicated to leading the planning and implementation of your EDI strategy. There are huge advantages to this but it can be costly, so it’s important to take budget into account.
We have seen an increase in organisations advertising for senior EDI vacancies, which shows the importance organisations are placing on EDI initiatives.
2. What are your current challenges?
Your strategy should be focused on what you want to achieve and the changes you want to drive within your organisation. However, it’s important to not just let policy inform your EDI strategy; listen to your people too.
It’s one thing to be able to say that you conform to equality legislation but are you really living and breathing it? What do your people think? It’s imperative to hear honest feedback from your colleagues and potentially have some difficult conversations, particularly with those from marginalised groups.
Have one-on-one conversations with your colleagues to gain insight or send out an anonymous employee survey to hear their thoughts and experiences. With the latter, you can more easily quantify and report on results – plus, your colleagues might be more honest.
3. What are you looking to achieve?
Your goals will likely be shaped by the challenges you uncover. Observe what you’ve discovered from your colleagues, as well as diversity issues that you’re already aware of.
Try and keep your goals SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound. For example, if your workforce is 80% male, you could aim to address the gender balance to 60:40 within three years.
Keep your timescales realistic; remember, embedding a culture of equality, diversity and inclusion within your business is a huge undertaking and doesn’t just happen overnight.
4. What’s your starting point?
Again, your starting point will be shaped by your goals. You’ll likely have short- term, medium-term and long-term goals within your strategy.
You might identify some ‘quick wins’ or procedural changes that can be rolled out quickly alongside longer term projects that will have a positive impact. For example, getting more people involved in your hiring process and taking steps to standardise the interview process to help reduce the risk of unconscious bias when recruiting new members of your team.
5. How you are measuring results?
If you’re taking the time to develop and implement a strategy, you need to be able to easily track your progress.
Sending out regular employee surveys are a good way of tracking how your colleagues feel the diversity and inclusivity of your working environment. Technology can also help you, particularly recruitment technology if you’re looking to measure the diversity of your new hires.
Webrecruit ATS, for example, allows you to create equal opportunities questions on your online application form and report on your diversity efforts with the click of a button.
Tracking progress is vital when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of your EDI strategy.
Request a call to learn more about Webrecruit’s EDI solutions and find out how we can help your organisation.