Thursday, November 2, 2017

Diversity & Inclusion: The Journey Continues…

Brad Schneider, Co-founder & Advisor

At last year’s Dreamforce conference, I had the privilege of co-presenting a session titled “How to Weave Diversity and Inclusion into Your Company’s DNA”. During this interactive presentation, we discussed the importance of thoughtfully and intentionally incorporating diversity and inclusion (D&I) as part of HR and hiring practices, and also into every aspect of a business and corporate culture.

At the time of our session, Rightpoint had begun its own journey in elevating D&I as part of our corporate fabric. We started by engaging a strong and passionate team of employees to help drive this intensive process and ensure that it was executed with integrity and purpose.

As a digital agency, we take meticulous steps in developing customer experience solutions for our clients, so it’s no surprise that our D&I journey continued with a multi-layered internal audit including a company-wide survey, group listening sessions, and one-on-one interviews. This discovery exercise revealed some key themes that would help drive the next phase of our D&I work, which included:

  • Creating a diversity statement that defines our guiding principles and vision for D&I, further enhancing our culture.
  • Augmenting our ongoing D&I research with third-party experts in order to provide broader context and unbiased perspective.
  • Developing a long-term roadmap that defines specific goals and tactics to expand our D&I practices.
  • Strengthening our talent acquisition plan with a keen focus on diversity in college recruiting, career forums, and tech-specific events.

While embarking on a D&I journey can seem daunting, rest assured, it is well worth the effort and critical to ensuring long-term employee satisfaction and business success. The good news is that there are some initial steps that any organization can take and many resources to guide you. These include excellent Salesforce Trailhead modules, devoted to this topic, such as Business Value of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategies, and Impact of Unconscious Bias.

Whether D&I is already ingrained in your business, or it is something that you are just starting to explore, here are some of the lessons from our journey that may help guide your efforts:

  • Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable – although your D&I journey may expose some “ugly” realities, this is an opportunity to make improvements that will be felt and appreciated throughout your organization.
  • Don’t assume all is well, or that all perceptions in your organization are the same.
  • Engage in a transparent D&I process – solicit input and feedback along the way from all of your internal stakeholders.
  • You don’t need to agree on everything, but you do need to understand and consider the range of D&I issues that are impacting your organization.
  • Implement meaningful changes – not necessarily in policy, but by making conscious efforts to weave D&I into your corporate culture through collaboration, work style, and other areas that will create a foundation of awareness and insight.

For Rightpoint, this informative, inspiring, and thought-provoking journey has opened our eyes to new opportunities for growth and has yielded both tangible and intangible outcomes that make us Rightpointers proud. Yet, we recognize that D&I must reflect the fact that our organization, along with the world around us, is constantly evolving and changing. With this in mind, Rightpoint’s D&I journey is a “work in progress,” – and if we do things right, it will remain that way.

Brad Schneider is the Co-founder and Co-CEO of Rightpoint. Follow Brad on Twitter and LinkedIn.