At Piedmont, we strive and are committed to hiring and supporting a diverse workforce that fosters skilled and motivated people working together to deliver results in support of our core business values. We encourage all employees, tenants, and vendors to mutually respect one another’s diversity in order to maintain a cohesive work environment that values fairness, and equal treatment; brings together people with varied and broad work experience; and exposes a talented workforce to a breath of opinions.
Piedmont uses diversity and inclusion initiatives for both compliance obligations and to increase the overall bottom line with a more diverse workforce. Developing a diversity and inclusion initiative involves four main phases:
The following nine steps break down these main phases into action steps Piedmont will take to develop a diversity and inclusion initiative.
Piedmont will review its workforce and compare with the labor market and industry specific data (company-wide and regionally). By capturing data on employee demographics, Piedmont is better able to understand the diversity of its employees and identify any areas of concern or trends. Demographic data may include the following (including EEO-1 required reporting categories):
Piedmont will begin with a high-level review of demographics such as age, gender and race representation, and then continue to drill down by location, department, position, etc. Identification of underrepresented areas can include questions such as:
Additional information gained from employee feedback via informal discussions, exit interviews, and industry survey data may identify other areas of concern. If needed for additional feedback Piedmont could collect additional data from employees through surveys to help identify other areas of concern. Employee attitudes on culture may or may not match the demographic survey results. If they do match, then we may have a clearer path to what change is needed; if not, the organization may wish to conduct employee focus groups to better understand the disconnect. In addition, if results indicate little to no diversity in sexual orientation or religion, for example, it is possible that individuals don’t have trust in the organization to divulge such personal information. As suggested in the previous step, we may need to outsource the data collection or use other means to collect data anonymously.
Piedmont must determine if there are barriers impeding the employment of individuals from different demographic groups. Organizations should consider if any policies or practices need to be eliminated or adjusted. Some examples to start with include:
Identifying how a diverse and inclusive workforce can aid in achieving business objectives aligned with the company’s strategy is the next step in the process. The organization must set specific goals related to diversity and inclusion based on the company’s strategic objectives. Having a more diverse workforce in both staff and leadership positions allows for more creative and innovative approach to setting and achieving business goals and can serve as an attractive draw to other potential employees. Providing for better decision making and problem solving that can improve the company’s overall bottom line. Such as requiring minority vendors and contractors.
For the diversity initiative to succeed, senior level buy-in and support are vital. Senior management must understand the business case for diversity and inclusion initiatives, with direct links to the company’s strategic goals. It is helpful to identify a senior-level champion who can be tasked with visible support of the initiative and ultimately responsible for keeping the program “alive.”
Another task is to identify how management will be held accountable for supporting and engaging in the diversity and inclusion initiatives. Examples of manager expectations include ongoing dialogue with staff regarding diversity and inclusion, training for team members, and holding direct reports accountable for their individual actions related to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace.
Senior Management and HR can support the following:
Examples of diversity and inclusion initiatives are changes in policies and practices, staff training, and targeted recruiting. Piedmont must develop an action plan to implement these initiatives by setting realistic goals and starting with the elements that have the greatest business value or that are readily achievable to build momentum for the initiative.
Below is one example of an action plan:
Initiative: All Staff Meeting provide both employee and manager diversity and inclusion training.
Responsibly: CFO & Human Resources
Action items: Research an external trainer, develop training and implement. Recruit from more diverse sources such as, but not limited to, job boards, job fairs, schools, etc.
Timeframes: Action items complete by March for May All Staff Meeting.
Piedmont can identify different stakeholders and design messages for each stakeholder to inform, educate, engage or empower as appropriate. People vary in how they understand messages, and it is important for each person to receive an ongoing stream of communications about the initiatives. The communication plan should incorporate executive presentations and all available media, including social media. Newsletters, intranet and e-mail can also be successful communication tools. The organization should use metrics and success stories to connect the diversity and inclusion efforts to its own goals and strategic plan.
It is imperative to measure the results of the diversity initiatives that have been implemented. Outcomes such as increased representation of identified groups and improved employee survey scores should be captured. Other measurements, such as improved employee retention, and public recognition, such as employer awards or social media accolades, can also indicate how an employer is performing in its diversity and inclusion initiatives. Although some efforts may seem intangible, there are measures that can indicate the success levels of such action items. If diversity training is implemented to increase retention, participant retention can be tracked over time, and participants can be surveyed to determine if training was a factor, and how much so, in their continued employment.
The results of the initiatives should be communicated at all levels to demonstrate the return on investment and value-add to the organization. Communication tools can include infographics for senior leadership meetings, memos to staff, and company website videos for potential candidates.
Diversity and inclusion initiatives are not static, and an ongoing review of the workforce and a response to changing needs are necessary. Piedmont should establish procedures for periodic review of the diversity and inclusion initiatives and goals. After a diversity initiative has been implemented for a period of time, the company should review measures in place to report the progress of the company’s efforts. Periodically, Piedmont may need to start at step 1 again and collect data to refocus its diversity and inclusion program.
At Piedmont, we strive and are committed to hiring and supporting a diverse workforce that fosters skilled and motivated people working together to deliver results in support of our core business values. We encourage all employees, tenants, and vendors to mutually respect one another’s diversity in order to maintain a cohesive work environment that values fairness and equal treatment.
To be engaged, you must feel included and valued. Piedmont strives to build and nurture a culture that supports a diverse and inclusive environment where employees feel empowered to share their experiences and ideas. Where there is a shared deep sense of pride, passion and a commitment to excellence, innovation and respect.
|Training||Identify Applied||Human Resources||March 2020 May 2020|
|Communications||Review Propose Changes||Human Resources/Senior Management||December 2019|
|Staff||Identify staffing need Activate Search||Human Resources/ Senior Management||December 2019|
|Metric Review*||Determine diversity metrics. Once determined review for progress.||Human Resources||September 2020|