How to Start a Diversity and Inclusion Program for Your Extended Workforce
With a pandemic, a recession and protests over racial injustice, the need for more equity and equality is ever-present. Diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives have generated increased momentum among contingent workforce program leads.
How Diversity and Inclusion Impact your Organization
Diversity, equity and inclusion are not just industry buzzwords. McKinsey & Company and Harvard Business Review discovered that diverse companies have superior outcomes:
- 36% have better financial performance
- 87% have better decision-making
- 40% have higher revenue
According to the latest SIA research, companies considered leaders in D&I efforts around their extended workforce have a competitive advantage when it comes to total workforce management, higher ROI for contingent labor and the ability to retain talent.
Your diversity and inclusion program doesn’t need to be complex. You can start small in one region and replicate where legally permitted, engage other business units, work with HR’s existing D&I initiatives and start collecting data. Once you make progress in one region, you can start to replicate and adjust based on what is required for that area.
Drive Value from Your Systems
Creating reportable D&I data is necessary for both employees and external workers. Several actions may help your organization improve diversity and inclusion among your non-employees, such as:
- Ensuring most contingent workers are captured in systems to enable understanding of all the ways external talent is utilized.
- Establishing an exact code of conduct regarding how external workers are treated.
- Providing D&I training and education to managers responsible for hiring and coaching.
Vendor Management Systems capturing external workforce data are often disconnected from HR and present other weaknesses when integrating D&I. These legacy solutions often don’t have the ability to have a preferred name functionality and can hamper inclusion initiatives for the trans community within your workforce.
Consider your Global Footprint
Contingent workforce program managers with experience building successful D&I programs recommend taking what’s good, seeing what can be translated, and then working within the specific country or region’s parameters. Diversity means different things in each region. For example, religious diversity is more important in Northern Ireland and Israel than it is in the United States
Inclusion is Important
Modern software such as extended workforce systems can obtain worker data via a secure opt-in process. Since workers own their profiles, they can consensually share personal information like gender, education, skills, certification, etc.
Companies dedicated to making consistent change toward D&I integration in contingent workforces typically outperform companies that don’t. Creating a culture where people of all backgrounds thrive will be a key to your organization’s success.