Five Key Steps to Starting a Diversity and Inclusion Program

Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), March 31, 2017

This article highlights five key steps to starting a Diversity and Inclusion initiative in any organization, including small and mid-size organizations. Success requires preparation and persistence from a dedicated professional, but it doesn’t require a large budget. The “essential” steps to launching such an initiative are:

  • Identify and Solicit buy-in from key stakeholders up and down the organizational chart/structure.
  • Identify the business’s/organization’s needs, for without a strong connection to how the organization achieves its business goals, the initiative won’t succeed.
  • Keep it Simple. The diversity and inclusion initiative must be focused and easily understood and executed. It doesn’t have to be massive in scope, especially at the outset.
  • Hold stakeholders accountable. Managers must be responsible for weaving diversity and inclusion into their daily actions. Let them know at the initiative’s inception that their role is critical.
  • Assess and adjust: Your evaluation method must be analyzed periodically and tweaked when and where needed. Engagement surveys can gauge reaction to the initiative. Reports can show whether more diverse job candidates are being contacted and interviewed and whether other program goals are being met.

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