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5 Ways for Employers to Put Diversity and Inclusion into Action

Rita Mitjans, Chief Diversity & Corporate Social Responsibility Officer

Finding and keeping good people has never been easy, but as the labor market continues to tighten, it’s certainly not getting any easier. As we saw in the Q1 2017 ADP Workforce Vitality Report® and explained in USA Today, people can switch jobs more easily than ever, placing added pressure on employers to tune into workforce demands beyond salary and benefits. Current trends indicate that job searchers are choosing employers based on who they are as an organization and what they stand for, including diversity and inclusion efforts, corporate social responsibility, career mentorship and other dimensions that weren’t always considered fundamental to doing business. In other words, people want to work for organizations that do more than just grow profits.

Over the past few years, businesses have placed a particular emphasis on formalizing diversity and inclusion (D&I) as part of their business practices. In fact, according to a recent study by Deloitte, D&I is now a CEO-level issue – in 2017, the number of executives who cited inclusion as a top priority rose by 32 percent compared to 2014, and overall, more than two-thirds of executives rated diversity and inclusion an important issue. Despite these statistics, the majority of organizations surveyed by Deloitte still have work to do to realize the benefits of an integrated D&I program.

At ADP, we have a diversity and inclusion program that aligns directly with our ADP core values of “social responsibility” and “each person counts.” We also work to help our clients use technology and data-focused analysis to better track how they’re doing in D&I when compared to the market – Pay Equity Explorer looks at pay equality and Visual Search helps to anonymize the recruiting process.

Here are five tips businesses can use to successfully approach various areas of diversity and inclusion, based on best practices we’ve seen work for us and our clients.

  • 1. Start with the data. Before you can address D&I, you must know where you stand – and data is the best place to start. Look at your demographics to understand representation across all levels and examine talent mobility trends, retention and workforce engagement across key dimensions, including gender, race and age.
  • 2. Lead from the front. Tone from the top matters – it is essential for the CEO and senior leaders to be vocal about why diversity and inclusion is a business imperative. Leaders should be visible at diversity-sponsored events and should be intentional about building diverse teams.
  • 3. Build inclusive practices in your culture. Support employee resource groups, forums and open communication channels that allow all voices to be heard. To develop a culture of inclusion, businesses should consider training managers on unconscious bias to create awareness of its impact on hiring and promotions. It is also important for businesses to keep equality of access in mind when developing technology.

  • 4. Add a “diversity lens” to your talent practices. Consider a diverse slate of candidates for open positions and ensure candidates for leadership positions are evaluated by a diverse panel of interviewers. These practices will help address potential biases in hiring and talent development decisions.

  • 5. Hold leaders accountable for results. Establish goals for progress and develop a dashboard of key metrics that is reviewed regularly with other business performance metrics. Accountability will help make sure you’re not just “talking the talk,” but also “walking the walk.”

At ADP, we are committed to diversity and inclusion, because it’s good for our associates, our clients, and the communities we serve. I’m proud that ADP was ranked #17 on the just-announced 2017 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list. Making the Top 50 list is a true testament to the work and commitment of our executive leadership team, Business Resource Groups and associates. It also shows that we don’t just say we are a diverse and inclusive place – we live it! However, the challenge is ongoing. I’m excited to continue working with the leadership team and ADP community to continue to put our values into action.

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  1. Congratulations to ADP and to you Rita for all leadership!! This is a terrific achievement!!

  2. Awesome work! Impressive and consistent too!

  3. This is something to be proud of. Having worked for ADP I can say I always admired the commitment the organization showed on this topic.
    Keep up the good work!

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