In 2018 VERCIDA Consulting were asked by a leading merchant and processor of agricultural goods, (processing approximately 80 million tons of products annually) to develop a global diversity and inclusion strategy. The specific aims of this project were to:
1. Create a company specific D&I roadmap – one that is practical in approach and actionable. This D&I roadmap was aligned to a number of their strategic business objectives, including:
- increasing levels of respect in the company
- investing in employee wellness & working conditions
- leveraging diverse talent
- promoting a culture of work-life integration.
2. Create a sense of urgency on the importance of D&I as a strategic enabler, through a series of inclusive leadership workshops; A key objective here was to support leaders to role model inclusive behaviours.
Phase 1: Building the Roadmap
We at VERCIDA Consulting have a proven method for developing strategies of this nature, using our diversity and inclusion DIVE© model. The process for building the D&I roadmap consisted of four key stages:
- Stage 1: Review and benchmarking of existing policies and processes: This was a light touch review of key policy areas covering talent acquisition, talent development, performance management and work-life integration.
- Stage 2: Engagement with key business stakeholders: Conducting interviews with key business stakeholders at the company, including regional HR colleagues and business leaders from across key regional locations – Europe, North America, South Latin America and Asia.
- Stage 3: Building the D&I roadmap: Following the key stakeholder interviews, a number of themes emerged within which to build the roadmap. We aligned this to a global benchmark which resulted in a roadmap aligned to two broad strategy areas – inclusive talent and inclusive culture. The roadmap consists of a set of actions which will be delivered over two key implementation phases: Phase 1: 2019 – 2020 and Phase 2: 2021 – 2023.
Phase 2: Socialising the D&I roadmap and educating the leadership population
As part of gaining buy-in from senior business stakeholders, we devised and facilitated a series of Inclusive Leadership workshops. Delivered in key global hubs, including London, Geneva, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, and Newark (USA) the objectives of these sessions where to:
- Create a sense of urgency on the importance of D&I as a strategic enabler amongst the company’s leadership population
- Educate the company’s leadership population on the principles of inclusive leadership and the role of leaders as role models and as creators of cultures of inclusivity
- To create awareness on current behaviours and their impact on organisational health, together with building knowledge of the advantages of leveraging diversity from a business and commercial standpoint
- To socialise the actions as outlined in the global D&I roadmap and to gain buy-in for local implementation
Stage 3: Embedding
This process consisted of two key areas of work:
- Policies and guiding principles:
Following the inclusive leadership workshops we have developed a set of guiding principles that balance global consistency with the “flexible for local” implementation covering:
- Performance management
- Work-life integration and flexible working
- Data mapping
We are continuing to support the company in the following areas:
- Undertaking an employee mapping exercise to establish a diversity baseline, covering their business priority areas of gender, generation/age and nationality/ethnicity. The data mapping covers key areas of talent acquisition, retention, performance management, pay & reward and training & development.
- Developing an employee drill-down survey with the aim of measuring employee perceptions on unconscious bias and inclusion at work, across their global and regional locations.
This work is continuing throughout 2019 – 2020.