When we speak to business owners, CEOs and HR leaders, there are two things that almost always appear on their sizeable ongoing ‘to do’ lists. Amongst everything else demanding their attention and time (and budgets), two things seem to follow them wherever they go.
They know that they need to be doing more to promote inclusion and diversity within their organisation and enhance their employee value proposition to make them more attractive to prospective talent. Look after the people you’ve already got and be more attractive to those you want if you like!
There are a number of factors that make both of these rather daunting tasks, including the usual suspects (budget, resources, required expertise etc). However, what can often make these seem far more intimidating than they potentially need to be is that they are regularly seen as two separate initiatives to take on – and this isn’t necessarily the case.
The majority of projects that we work on (whether I&D initiatives or those focusing on EVP and employer brand), start in exactly the same place – that organisation’s people. Whether done through surveys, workshops or interviews (usually all of the above), our first stop will always be the people. The reasons for this are simple; because people are the most important asset to any business, and they hold practically all of the answers moving forward.
As ever, the answers to any project, or business’s, success lies in asking the right questions and when it comes to our people these questions should include:
- What do they like about your company?
- What don’t they like?
- What would they change?
- How would they change it?
- What brought them to you in the first place?
- How do they feel about the relationships that exist within your organisation?
The answers to these questions can then form the basis of either an I&D action plan, an ongoing EVP or, preferably, both. This information should inform any major changes we make as employers moving forward because we then know what is likely to make an impact, as well as what matters to our people and what doesn’t. Most importantly, any people-centric initiative that isn’t informed by this kind of data is essentially done blind. Not only can we not be sure that it will be successful, but we also can’t be sure that our people will get behind it – and without the support of our people any strategy, initiative or project is most certainly doomed.
If approached properly, your I&D and EVP initiatives or action plans don’t need to be (we might go as far as to say shouldn’t be) separated, or cost prohibitive. They should start in the same place and have the same goals – ensuring that our people have the best possible environment to work in and are the happiest that they can be. With happy people, a positive inclusive culture and strategies that are informed by those they affect most, diversity will follow – as will a flood of new talent that have been looking for exactly this kind of place to work.
MVMNT help organisations be more inclusive to their current staff and sell themselves better to potential candidates. Look after the people you’ve got and be more attractive to those you want. By developing a sense of belonging in your workforce, you’ll not only benefit from the better performance and growth that a happy culture brings, you’ll become a magnet for new diverse talent who want to be part of it.