When we asked our clients about what's preventing them or slowing them down in implementing a more inclusive workplace they said it was primarily:
A lack of time, people and funding to implement the changes they want to make. Their to-do list is very long. They are also struggling to satisfy everybody in the organisation.
A lack of engagement from the senior leadership team. Or senior leaders intellectually understand the advantages of a diverse workforce but are not walking the talk in inclusive leadership behaviours.
Frustration that change is not happening quick enough in building an inclusive workplace.
Upon closer inspection we identified a number of missteps that organisations often take when implementing diversity and inclusion interventions, namely:
Lacking a focus on culture and an overemphasis on tactical interventions that are unsustainable in the long run and not really making a difference. For example, organising a mental health awareness day but not addressing the root causes of mental well-being in the business.
Trying to fix people rather than processes holding people back or preventing people from entering an organisation. For example, running women in leadership development programmes but not addressing flexible and agile working practices that could increase employee engagement and retention.
Not linking the benefits of a diverse workforce or inclusive culture to business vision, mission or values, therefore, not giving it a strategic priority.