We began with leadership education sessions to establish a unified understanding of diversity management and to secure commitment. These sessions were followed closely by skill-building training for managers and associates. We used eLearning for knowledge reinforcement, and created a diversity council to guide the diversity management process within the organization. We also analyzed and updated policies and practices that hindered access to talent.
Employing Diversity Management as a Pathway to Success
Broadening Market Share
M&D sought to seize emerging markets, especially the Hispanic, African-American & Gay/Lesbian markets. It desired greater representation and fuller utilization of minority and women associates, as well as an increased interest in the U.S. based concept of diversity by European Leaders.
- We worked with leaders and the Diversity Council to build common understanding, develop strategy and articulate a company business case for developing greater diversity management capability.
- The Sales Force was initially resistant to proposed changes due to the pressure for generating sales. We introduced a pilot program for the sales force as early adopters. Once they saw the benefits, we conducted a full roll-out of training to the entire workforce of about 400-500 people.
- We established a Diversity Council to manage key relationships within the organization as the diversity strategies emerged.
- We used eLearning for pre-education and post-classroom reinforcement learning and key communications.
- We used the corporate calendar, featuring holidays/observances as opportunities to communicate the importance of diversity, respect and inclusion to the workforce and to reinforce the classroom experience.
There was enhanced market share, sales and profits across the desired emerging markets – first with Hispanics, quickly followed by the Gay and Lesbian community, and then the African American community.
- The company built partnerships with key minority organizations and schools, fostering good will in key communities. This was evidenced by numerous awards for best practices.
- The company was named a Best Place to Work, established a regional reputation as a diversity leader, and became a frequently requested source for national speaker invitations.
- They engendered stronger results in the recruitment of minorities and women, consistently increasing ethnic, minority and women hires over a three year period; and improved retention of the same.
- Course completions and post-course self-assessments, indicated enhanced diversity maturity for managers and employees.
- Improved “teaming” was demonstrated by managers soliciting input to get multiple perspectives on key business issues (Marketing, Product Development, Customer Service, Sales).