According to the McKinsey & Company Diversity Matters Report 2015, diverse leadership teams can financially outperform their direct competitors by up to 35%. There is clear evidence that Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) impacts bottom line profits. EDI also has a significant impact on not for profit organisations in terms of them serving their users, learners, tenants etc.

We’ve put together our top tips for getting the most out of EDI training and initiatives:

  1. Try to think about an holistic approach. Your initiative should ideally be part of a bigger plan around organisational goals and not done in isolation.
  2. Assess where you are now. What are you doing well? Where could you improve? In our experience ‘one-off’ initiatives can only be effective if they are introduced into an organisation with strong, adaptive and inclusive cultures. Too many initiatives fall on rocky ground because there is nowhere for them to take root.
  3. If you don’t have a strong, adaptive and inclusive culture then that is what you should be finding more about.
  4. Have some ideas for how you are going to make the improvements and any resource implications. Think through and design or buy into the EDI initiative you need. Your initiative should address one or more of these things:Help staff become better in performance of their jobs
    make an improvement to operations
    Fix a problem
    Protect you from legal action
    Improve your reputation
    Help you get ahead of your competitors
  5. Inform your Executive leadership team of your findings. The evaluation work should help to create a need for action. The business case for EDI is clear. There is no reason for CEOs or other leaders to keep on asking about the business case as an excuse to keep putting off making changes.
  6. Ensure that the Executive leadership team are involved, informed, committed and appropriately engaged before you start the initiative.
  7. Implementing EDI initiatives has been shown to improve overall EDI within organisations by up to 27%*.
  8. Aims and objectives must be clear as must the success criteria.
  9. Create a strong delivery plan
  10. Measure its success to see if it worked or not.

In creating this sense of belonging though, you must be wary of ostracising the majority groups in your workforce and creating an ‘us vs. them’ atmosphere. A study by Kaiser, Major, and Dover, reported in Fortune, “Groups that typically occupy positions of power may feel alienated and vulnerable when their company claims to value diversity”. This means that it is essential to sure to bring everyone, in both minority and majority groups, into the conversation about Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

EDI Initiatives are not a ‘one size fits all’ solution. In order for them to be successful, you need to know your starting position, and where you want to end up, and to be able to quantitatively measure the changes in workplace culture. Culture change takes time, but fostering a culture of equality, diversity and inclusion is essential to the success of any organisation.

Ready to start your journey to becoming a more equitable, diverse and inclusive organisation? Take our free 5-minute health check, to find out where you could improve.

*81.3% of organisations completing two sets of the same diagnostics for Investors in Diversity or Leaders in Diversity showed an overall improvement, of which the greatest increase was 27.9%.