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Tips for Creating a Corporate Diversity Policy

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By Michelle Benjamin

One of the best ways to initiate and maintain a diverse workforce is to create and follow a corporate diversity policy. By putting this policy into place, a company defines their commitment to diversity, and clearly defines how diversity practices should be executed. It has been shown that increased diversity in your workforce can affect employee morale, workplace environment and the corporate bottom line. So how do you create an effective diversity policy?

• Define a team – Identify team members from all levels of the organization that will be responsible for creating the policy. Make sure to include a representative from all minority groups on the team. By having a diverse team creating the policy, there will be a greater likelihood that the policy will address concerns from all groups. Once the policy has been created, this team can stay intact as “Diversity Champions” to ensure adherence to the policy and maintenance to the policy as needed.

• Draft a “Diversity Vision” – Define the company’s vision or mission statement for diversity in the workplace. This should be one of the first portions of the policy that is created as it will drive the remainder of the policy.

• Include Purchasing and External Vendors – An effective diversity policy defines corporate purchasing and external vendor engagements. This portion of the policy identifies if a certain portion of these activities will be sourced to small businesses, woman owned businesses or similar minority groups.

• Don’t Forget the Recruitment – One of the most important sections of the policy should address how the company will recruit and hire minorities. This portion could also include creating teaming agreements with minority colleges and universities to assist in supplying qualified candidates.

• Think Outside Your Four Walls – Include a commitment to the local community. This could include volunteer opportunities or assistance with outreach programs.

By creating a corporate diversity policy, a company is clearly defining their commitment to creating and maintaining a diverse workforce. It also allows employees to know and understand their role with regards to diversity.

With more than two decades of operational and talent management experience, Michelle Benjamin has developed a managed labor process to save businesses up to 35% off their labor budgets while gaining operational efficiency. Clients have ranged from corporate giants like Anheuser-Busch, Kohl’s Distribution, Consolidated Edison, General Electric, Entergy and United Parcel Service.

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