Business Best Practices

Innovative Diversity Initiatives

Aug 1, 2018

Written by Ashley Gregory, Centralized Recruiting Center Manager.


man-3365368-1024x828 Innovative Diversity Initiatives

What is thinking outside of the box, anyway?

Thinking out side of the box is a metaphor that means to think differently, unconventionally, or from a new perspective. We are told to think outside of the box often, but what happens when we apply this metaphor to diversity initiatives in the workplace?

Regarding innovative diversity initiatives, we must think from the ground up...An organization must work to create diversity. Diversity, more specifically, Diversity and Inclusion, has only become a catch phrase in the grander scheme of the business world in the recent past. It is for this reason that diversity must be included in the basics of your business.

This starts with a special spot for diversity initiatives in the strategic plan. The strategic plan is the top key system for many organizations and shows that the organization is dedicated to diversity initiatives in their core competencies. The diversity initiatives must then be implemented in all areas of the organization to support themselves.

You’ve got to train for this!

Diversity spans beyond race and gender and includes everything from religion to gender orientation and beyond. It is very important to make a safer work environment for people of all races, ethnicity, religions, abilities, and sexual orientations as well as gender identities. Think outside of the box! If this means workshops and training involving diversity on these topics, there are many community organizations that have people who identify with these diverse identities that offer training. This may also open your organization to hiring the people who represent this diversity because you are showing that your organization cares.

Don’t just let it be a catch phrase, show the workforce you mean it.

If most of the people who you work with look like you there is a problem. Increase the diversity of employees in managerial and senior jobs. Make diversity evident at all levels of your organization. Three years ago, I had a candidate confide in me that they were unsure of working for us because they saw no one who looked like them on our website. Since then HireLevel has rolled out new stock photography that shows our internal employees and our diversity. Think outside of the box! If you have a diverse organization, show it. Not just on your website, but in your print materials and social media presence. Nothing represents better than the people working with you.

Think-outside-the-box. Innovative Diversity Initiatives

Re-evaluate what can make a person successful at your organization.

Think outside of the box! Re-evaluate your interview style. Train recruiters to cater their interviews based on the person and their skills. Interviews must be culturally competent. People come from different backgrounds which can influence their interview style or even affect how comfortable they are with interviewing if they are not familiar with the process. This doesn’t mean they are not qualified, it only means they may need a little help!

Think outside of the box! Consider cognitive diversity. This shows that diversity of thought can raise unique ideas, creative solutions to problem solving, perspectives, and variety of innovative ideas. This also takes into consideration candidates that have transferable skills such as communication, leadership, customer service skills and more.

The bottom line is…

Now is the time for me to tell you what many think the goal of thinking outside of the box for diversity initiatives is. Yes, diversity does affect your bottom line. According to a report by McKinsey and Company, “companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians and in the United States, there is a linear relationship between racial and ethnic diversity and better financial performance: for every 10 percent increase in racial and ethnic diversity on the senior-executive team, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rise 0.8 percent.”

Innovative Diversity Initiatives yield further innovation.

My focus, however,is not solely the financial impact. It is on the benefits, both intrinsic and extrinsic, of thinking out of the box diversity initiatives. Teams are happier and more productive which leads to innovative and out of the box thinking. From my earlier example, your team and its culture are reflected to customers (in our case candidates & employers). As an organization, you’re in a unique place to set the stage for inclusivity and growing business through diversity. Outside of the box diversity initiatives make your company more prepared globally to cultivate leaders and unique initiatives, which leads to company growth. In case you hadn’t already guessed this, a consistent and successful diversity & inclusion program will ensure all employees feel valued and have self-worth, leading to higher job satisfaction and retention. This gives an organization longevity to continue to do what they can do best.

When was the last time you thought outside of the box regarding diversity initiatives?

For more information on training members of your organization on Diversity & Inclusion contact Centralized Recruiting Center Manager Ashley Gregory at

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