Embracing diversity and inclusion is a strategic imperative
An organization’s approach to diversity and inclusion training is either a strategic advantage or a looming risk and liability.
Workplace diversity is no longer just a response to the exclusionary policies and practices. Today, establishing inclusion in the workplace is a core employee value proposition. At CCI Consulting, we believe that our culture assessments, unconscious bias, and diversity and inclusion training are critical elements for any inclusivity initiatives.
- Companies with diverse executive teams are 35% more likely to see better than average profits. (2017, McKinsey & Co., Delivering Through Diversity Report);
- Nearly half of post-Millennials are racial or ethnic minorities and by 2055 Asians are projected to become the largest immigrant group, surpassing Hispanics (Pew);
- 61% of respondents over the age of 45 reported seeing or experiencing age-based discrimination in the workplace (AARP’s 2018 Multicultural Work and Jobs Study)
The Business Case for Creating a Culture that Values Inclusion
Accepting and encouraging a diverse workplace culture reduces discrimination, averts workplace harassment, and minimizes the risk of lawsuits. More importantly, a workplace culture that values diversity and inclusion helps attract and retain high quality people from a variety of backgrounds. CCI’s organizational culture assessments, unconscious bias, and diversity and inclusion training can be used as a power tool to help unify and connect employees while encompassing your company’s core values and mission.
Research shows decision making is improved when there is a diversity of perspectives present in the workplace. Better decision making leads to better organizational outcomes.
In addition, morale increases when everyone feels that he or she is welcome and appreciated, regardless of background. Improved morale leads to improved productivity and performance.
Building an Inclusive, High-performing Culture
Culture is always in the process of formation and change. Building a feeling of identity among those people committed to the organization transcends race, ethnicity, gender, religion, etc. CCI Consulting helps clients create this type of culture through inclusivity training.
We believe the key to a successful diversity and inclusion program is that it not only is aligned to the vision and core values of the organization, but that it also addresses very specific and real behaviors being experienced in the organization. CCI holds expertise in this area and our general approach to this topic is to make sure we are aware of the culture at its most observable level, the lived values, and the underlying assumptions surrounding how relationships work within the current social environment.
CCI Consulting recognizes that building a workplace sensitive to the diversity of background, thought, and contribution is not a one-time event. Instead, it is a process that people go through to change their mindsets and the behaviors they exhibit towards one another. We have worked with many clients around this topic and through our inclusivity training, have helped them achieve great success in creating and sustaining awareness and taking the actions necessary to engage the whole of their diverse workforce.
ChallengeThe CEO of a midsized asset management firm was seeking to develop a more diverse and inclusive environment within his organization. Through conversations with colleagues, he and others recognized that business in general had made progress in diversity hiring, but that the financial services industry as a whole had room for improvement. In reviewing his own staff, he felt that they were too homogeneous in both thinking and experience. As a courageous leader, he wanted to be on the forefront of change, but knew that he may be met with some pushback as many of his executive team members were not aware that a diversity challenge existed. To initiate the conversation, he engaged CCI for guidance and support.
SolutionCCI partnered with the firm’s HR team to develop a customized program that began with leadership alignment. DE&I consultants facilitated sessions with leadership team members to create a shared understanding of what diversity and inclusion meant for their organization as well as providing education on the impact of unconscious bias. They helped them to create a vision for a diverse and inclusive culture accompanied by a strategic action plan that addressed acquiring, retaining, and advancing diverse talent. The educational component was then cascaded down through the organization, first to all people leaders followed by the remaining employee population.
ResultsThe CEO and leadership team expressed that for the first time, they had a unified vision and path forward for diversity, equity, and inclusion at the company. The feedback from the people leaders was equally strong with 93% of attendees stating that they were better able to identify obstacles that might interfere with their performance in this area. In alignment with the strategy, the company established a diversity council who has been charged with developing innovative ways to advance their new DE&I agenda. They are also currently updating recruiting practices and establishing guidelines to remove bias from the interviewing process. The client commented that they appreciated CCI’s style and approach to this sensitive topic which enhanced receptiveness to the crucial and timely change.
ChallengeA major company was going through a period of difficult reorganization spearheaded by a cross-functional team. Team members were unable to break out of their silos and think at the enterprise level. Complex problems could not be solved and team members were often stalled in the decision making process. Actions from team members were uncoordinated and often at cross purposes with the greater good of the company.
SolutionCCI designed a customized course with a series of interactive sessions to improve essential leadership skills and connect them to real business situations and company operations. Teaching resilience became an integral part of each course session. Each team member was provided with weekly one-on-one coaching from a course facilitator, to help them understand how to apply the course content to the specific issues they were facing.
ResultsFor the first time, team members acted in a unified and directed manner. Every member of the team was engaged in a meaningful way and had learned to think outside his or her own comfort zone. Participants gained useful leadership and resiliency tools and were able to successfully apply both to their work on the team. The COO described the course as a key reason for the team’s nearly flawless migration of records in its second year, as compared to the chaos in its first year.
ChallengeNew CEO and VP of HR needed to change the leadership culture to better align with market demands and to develop leaders. Goals: Drive a culture change from corporate command-and-control to more localized decision making. Target audience was managers, frontline supervisors, and high potential management prospects. Needed a real-world business training approach that would provide actionable learning.
SolutionCCI designed a customized course of interactive sessions to improve essential management skills and to connect the skills to real business situations and company operations. The course was delivered multiple times, in six single-day sessions, one per month over a six month period. Participants of the course were provided with new tools and techniques they could use immediately, driving changes to company culture while improving employee engagement.
ResultsMore than 60 managers completed the course over a two-year period. A clear understanding was gained of the difference between a leader and a manager. The CEO described the course as "a key tool in facilitating a culture change from command-and-control to more localized decision making." Participants were able to successfully pass on to their direct reports the tools, techniques and lessons they had learned.
Challenge:One of the largest compounding pharmacies in the United States needed to make strengthening leadership, managerial and supervisory capacity at the company a priority. The organization had seen steady growth over the prior decade, growing from a start-up to an industry leader in a relatively short period of time. An organized leadership development program was never offered to its staff, resulting in the business beginning to outpace their capabilities. Having worked with CCI two years earlier to develop a competency model, the company engaged CCI to create a developmental program for all its people leaders.
Solution:To gain insight and perspective into the needs of the organization, CCI used the previously identified competencies as a back drop while conducting a comprehensive learning needs assessment. To understand and prioritize the needs, CCI conducted face-to-face interviews with each member of the leadership team and several high-performing employees. In addition, an electronic training needs survey was administered to each leadership level within the organization. As a result of the findings and recommendations, CCI’s Talent Development consultants designed a developmental training curriculum for four levels of people leaders: Director, Manager, Supervisor, and Assistant Supervisor. Each level included six workshops with topics based on the prioritized gaps from the training needs assessment. To reinforce the training, the leadership team was briefed on the topics and provided a “manager’s toolkit” so they could provide support to their direct reports. Also, the sessions were scheduled in a cascading fashion that allowed for the more senior audience to experience the training first so they could support their direct reports as they went through the workshops. At the program’s onset, each participant also identified a Burning Imperative. This was their own BHAG they were responsible for completing within the next year. After each session, the participants were responsible for applying what they learned to their imperative.
Results:The primary mechanism for measuring program success was through session evaluations. Each cohort-level was asked to complete a session evaluation at the conclusion of each workshop. In addition to the qualitative responses, the three questions of most interest were:
- As a result of the program, I will be a stronger performer for the organization.
- I would rate my performance in this area before this program.
- I would rate my ability to apply what I’ve learned when I return to my team.
|Q1||Q2||Q3||Delta Q2 & Q3|
|Asst. Supervisors||100%||48%||91%||43 points|
Drive success with a more inclusive and impactful culture
Organizational culture assessments and diversity management services give our clients an ambitious edge over others. Creating more inclusion in the workplace not only makes for a healthy company culture, it can also enhance and raise awareness to better understand cultural dynamics that can sometimes affect the workplace. Contact us to discuss the variety of ways CCI Consulting’s diversity management can help enhance the workplace culture of your organization and optimize your talent management strategy by embracing diversity and inclusion.