Over the past few months I have been on the road nonstop traveling around the world speaking on key issues that are keeping HR professionals and business leaders up at night. Having spoken to more than 5,000 HR professionals this year alone, the most common question I was asked is “what is HR’s role in fostering more inclusive and innovative cultures and what strategies can we implement?”
Here are my Top Ten Tips for all HR professionals and they apply to all business leaders:
1. Inclusive cultures enable the opportunity for ALL talent to obtain a seat at the table. Make sure that your over-performers are not undervalued – or they will leave. Find the ‘hidden figures” in your organization who aren’t always visible or vocal, but they are adding value.
2. Embed Diversity & Inclusion into your company’s strategic/operating plan – not just the HR strategy.
3. If HR doesn’t upgrade and digitize, it will lose the ability to compete and add value, because by 2020 nearly 37 billion things will be connected, according to Cisco Systems (Right Figure). Digital transformation is key for HR’s transformation – cloud based HRIS, recruitment solutions, internal communication platforms, workforce engagement.
4. Without inclusion you will not attract top talent. Physical & psychological safety issues will arise; and mental, emotional & physical wellness will suffer, which will lead to complaints, lawsuits, low engagement, high turnover, and absenteeism. All of these result into $7 trillion in lost productivity every year, according to Gallup!
5. Think of Diversity like an iceberg. Most often we make 90% of judgments/biased decisions on the 10% that we see above the waterline (Left Figure). There is so much that makes us unique and diverse.
6. Learn to take greater risks and get out of your comfort zone. Being risk averse, rigid, and complacent are antithesis to innovation.
7. It’s HR’s strategic role and responsibility to build bench strength and leadership capability inside the organization and ensure that leaders develop the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA) that will be needed in the future (via workforce planning, succession planning, and predictive analytics).
8. Stop using stock photos to show diversity in your company. If you don’t have it, go get it – They are not in the usual places you recruit, so cast your net wider.
9. If we are doing our jobs effectively, we don’t hire disengaged employees. They become disengaged from the culture experience or bad leaders. Stop selling candidates on experiences, perks, and benefits that are not actual. Otherwise, they suffer from buyer’s remorse and become disengaged, disenfranchised, and disconnected.
10. Recruit for the things that can’t be trained, such as honesty, integrity, passion, trust, motivation, & attitude – you can train for skills but not for heart and soul.