In the kind of an aggressive & competitive global economy like we have one today, every company is looking for ways to infuse diversity into their organizational structure. And that requires a lot of work from the HR’s side.
Many organizations have tried to capitalize on a strategy that comprises elements of both HR & diversity but have failed miserably in doing so. That’s because in such companies, either the HR function & diversity could not maintain the synergy to perform in collaboration or co-existed while causing friction in the organization.
It is an unfortunate fact that many companies are not giving diversity the kind of importance that it deserves. They are not able to integrate diversity with their management and talent acquisition strategy which means that the diversity function is not able to make an impact on the talent equation of an organization.
There is growing importance of talent practices being integrated with the diversity function which is difficult to achieve due to the lack of resources with diversity leaders for gathering organizational talent or to build talent pipelines. In cases like these, such diversity leaders mostly have to depend on the company’s talent management practitioners to execute training programs that promote cultural change, discourage subtle biases & infuse diversity into the mindset of the stakeholders.
In this article, I am going to discuss the four main challenges faced by several organizations when they try to execute an all-inclusive diversity & HR strategy.
Here they are…
1. There is lack from the side of the stakeholders to take a collective ownership of the combined diversity/HR functions:
It is essential for a company’s stakeholder to take collective responsibility for the integrated diversity/HR functions going on in the organization. And this is possible only if the diversity & HR leaders make the efforts to be fully immersed in the idea themselves.
Carolynn Brooks who is the chief diversity officer with OfficeMax describes how things work in her corporation that has 29000 employees in it. She explained how they sit with the talent management practitioners of the company to discuss & meet goals. Moreover, she told that in her company, they all collaborate in the pursuance of creating a diverse workforce and not combat with one another.
2. There is an absence of a proper business case created for integrated diversity/HR efforts:
Today’s talent paradigm demands an understandable business case that endorses an association between diversity & HR. Also, it is essential to convey it to people that why change is important. It is only then that they would be more accepting towards the diversity & HR strategy.
3. There is a lack of recognition among HR leaders about diversity as being a critical component of their responsibility: Some HR leaders are just too reluctant in entering the diversity domain. They don’t really feel that diversity is supposed to be an important aspect of their job profile. And this mostly happens when the organization’s leaders ignore to define diversity work as a part of the HR’s responsibilities.