Ten Steps for Communicators to Boost Organizational Diversity

Article excerpt

If there was ever any doubt that work-force diversity is a critical business issue with serious, bottom-line consequences, the Texaco lawsuit has erased those doubts forever.

But, a well-publicized racial discrimination lawsuit - and associated boycott - is just one extreme example of how your organization can be hurt if it isn't actively working to manage and leverage work-force diversity.

Other organizational costs could include depressed employee morale and loyalty, increased turnover and poor productivity. On the other hand, if managed well, a diverse work force can boost productivity and creativity, increase market share and make your organization more responsive to diverse markets.

Communicator's Role Critical

We often read about how communicators must actively shape organizational policies - not just report, react and respond.

Diversity is an excellent example. We should be shaping messages and keeping diversity at the forefront of the minds of executives, middle managers and rank-and-file employees. This will make our organizations stronger, healthier and better able to take on the challenges of the next century.

Ten Action Steps You Can Take To Be more Effective:

1) Spend time reading and learning about work-force diversity and how it affects bottom-line success. Attend an awareness-raising session if your company holds one.

2) Partner with diversity officers. Help them sell their business cases to key executives to get the essential top-level buy in. And, help craft a clear, consistent message to the mass audience.

3) Tie diversity into bottom-line corporate strategic issues. Managing diversity is both the right thing and the smart thing to do. But for your diversity effort to succeed, it must be seen as inseparable from strategic issues. …