It’s that time of year where we bid adieu to the past year. We celebrate our successes and note our failures. 2017 has been an eventful and extremely busy year in the field of Human Resources and Diversity. The hot topics this past year ranged from workforce equality, workers’ rights, immigration, gender pay and most lately—-harassment and discrimination protections. Diversity has finally garnered the heightened attention that has been sought for decades; just not in the manner that was expected. Harassment cases and allegations of improper behavior has plagued the social, political and media arena. You cannot read a newspaper article or view a television feature without mentioning the need for diversity and inclusion. Diversity is also center stage within the business realm because of its impact to employee productivity, customer satisfaction, corporate sustainability and profitability.
Human Resources and Diversity practitioners alike will need to work together in 2018 to bridge the behavioral gaps and transform the business culture to one that is quickly receptive to embracing change and is highly receptive to inclusion for all. Your individual efforts will lay the foundation on what is deemed necessary and critical to achieving success for your organization. It is quite common to create a personal resolution list. Do something different this year and conduct a year-end self-check to help develop your top three diversity resolutions for the coming year.
- First, where does your workplace or business culture rank in terms of employee satisfaction? Is it where it should be? Does it need improvement? Or is it failing your employees, customers and business? (e. Your company has not traditionally hired women in its C-Suite positions.) If you responded that it needs improvement, what programs or actions plans do you have in place or need to develop to help improve this area? Have you considered implementing or enhancing the offered training or further evaluating the existing employee programs to remedy this area of improvement?
- Second, if you have an ideal working environment where your business is viewed as a model organization, how will you further advance your organization? Are you and your stakeholders happy with the current state? If so, share your best practices to help those organizations that are seeking to improve their businesses by speaking at conferences, conducting webinars, or developing white papers.
- If you believe your culture does need any improvement or change is not needed, always remember, a single event can trigger a major calamity or downfall for your business. So, how will you protect your business from any potential threats? Assess the current state and develop a strategic plan similar to an operational plan to manage your business culture.
Now, that you have created your diversity resolution list; share it with your team and get to work! Your culture is the report card for your business. Creating a positive and thriving culture demonstrates your company’s ability to keep its employees happy and motivated. If 2018 is anything like 2017, be prepared for a bumpy ride. 2018 will prove to be the year that diversity is no longer viewed as a “nice to have” but a “necessity” to thrive in today’s global economy.
By Angie Jones-Hamilton, MBA
Angie is a HR and Diversity Professional who is committed to helping others create workplace cultures where everyone is embraced, respected and included. You may follow Angie on LinkedIn: Angie Jones-Hamilton.
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