Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Make Sure That Those Who Show Up Know They Count

There's been a lot of press recently claiming that the benefits of diversity management have been over-hyped. In fact, some have gone so far as to say that they can see no difference in the bottom lines of companies with strong diversity policies and practices and those which don't.

Mor Barak at USC has weighed in on this topic with a new book that deserves a look:

WorldatWork: "In Managing Diversity Toward a Globally Inclusive Workplace (SAGE Publications), Mor Barak, of the USC School of Social Work and Marshall School of Business, says many organizations pay lip service to a culture of acceptance, but few have adopted measures for a truly inclusive workplace. She suggests the organizations that ultimately will thrive are those prepared to divest themselves of their prejudicial attitudes and effectively unleash the potential embedded in a heterogeneous workforce.
Coined by Mor Barak, the term 'inclusive workplace' refers to a model work environment that welcomes diversity on all levels. She developed the concept after seven years of research that included interviewing corporate executives, business leaders and employees from around the globe. She also relied on findings from a Rockefeller Foundation-funded international think tank.
'Invariably, the employees who were more included in the organization's decision-making and information networks were more satisfied, more committed to the organization and felt more productive than those who were not,' Mor Barak said. 'After several interviews with women and members of ethnic and racial diverse groups repeatedly telling me how they felt, it finally dawned on me � inclusion was the key.'"

This makes good sense to us. As the war for talent picks back up in the next few years, it may also make sense to an even more important public - the people you are trying to hire.


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