L&D Best Practices

Udemy L&D Roundup August 2017: Your Top 5 Diversity Reads

Jennifer Juo

HR and L&D Insights Editor at Udemy for Business

August 30, 2017

With diversity and inclusion at the top of everyone’s minds this month, we’ve curated 5 new reads to help you innovate ways to tackle this issue at your organization.

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1. You Call it: HR Best Practices or HR Biased Practices?

Gabby Burlacu, Workforce

Why we picked this for you: Many HR best practices were designed decades ago for a workforce that was more homogenous than it is today with fewer women and minorities. There’s a good chance these traditional HR “best practices” might actually be hurting the productivity of your workforce.

Key takeaways:

  • The “best practice” of awarding merit-based raises and bonuses as a percentage of an employee’s current salary actually serves to widen the compensation gap between men, women, and minorities.

  • With this practice, white males who start out with higher salaries are able to grow their salary at a faster rate, further increasing the pay chasm.

  • The best practices of the past have become biased practices and are no longer optimal for our diverse and evolving workforce.

  • Organizations need to constantly re-evaluate their HR practices to reflect the needs of today’s workforce. Read more here.

2. Diversity Training Should Focus on Acceptance, Not Shaming

Ave Rio, Chief Learning Officer

Why we picked this for you: We should rethink diversity and inclusion training so it’s not just about raising awareness, but also teaching the skills and practices to change behavior. If white males feel blamed or shamed by the training, then that can be a problem too.

Key takeaways:

  • Diversity & Inclusion training is the most effective when employees receive individual training with a goal of learning specific behavioral expectations and desired competencies. Training should be personalized, not one-size-fits-all.

  • For example, some people may feel uncomfortable because they haven’t been around a lot of diversity in their lives and they need to learn how to talk about it effectively and become more at ease.

  • Diversity & Inclusion training must also be accompanied by accountability systems within organizations to change behavior.

  • Training is just one of many tools to reinforce a set of skills, but it can’t be standalone. It has to be linked with other efforts within the organization. Read more here.

3. Stop Hiring for Cultural Fit, and Start Hiring for Cultural Fitness

Gustavo Razzetti, Talent Management and HR

Why we picked this for you: Hiring for cultural fit forces new employees to conform and smothers different points of view. It also stunts the ability of your organization to be dynamic, think out of the box, and go off in new directions.

Key takeaways:

  • Hire for cultural disruption and cultural fitness, not fit.

  • Stretch your culture by hiring people who make your team more adaptive, experimental, and resilient.

  • Hire people with diverse backgrounds, skills, and personalities to bring in different opinions and challenge the status quo. Shake things up with outsiders.

  • Diversity takes training. The real problem behind diversity is that teams aren’t trained to deal with differences of opinions.

  • It’s not about hiring diverse people just to meet quotas, but hiring people who are different so you can learn something new. Read more here.

4. Can Data Solve Employers’ Compensation Headache?

Kathryn Moody, HR Dive

Why we picked this for you: Pay inequities are rooted in deeper social issues making employers often feel powerless against it. So how can you begin to fix bias at your company? Start with the real numbers.

Key Takeaways:

  • The goal: employees with the same role, performance level, education, and experience should get the same pay. But achieving this goal is easier said than done.

  • Employers who want to lead on pay equity will have to ask the hard questions and do the hard number crunching. For example, what measures should account for pay variation within a single role?

  • The act of collecting, sorting, and analyzing the data helps do some of the work for you. Organizations can get visibility into variations in pay across teams and unmask managers that may be relying on biases and prejudices for promotions and pay increases.

  • This data can become a useful tool to enforce your compensation policy, plug up sources of attrition, and predict future performance issues. Read more here.

5. What 11 CEOs Have Learned About Championing Diversity

Stephanie K. Johnson, Harvard Business Review

Why we picked this for you: Diversity initiatives have more success if they start at the top. Here are best practices from 11 leading CEOs on the diversity front.

Key Takeaways:

  • Why do these CEOs care about diversity? Greater diversity leads to greater diversity of thought, increases their ability to attract and retain top talent, and provides a better understanding of their customer base. What are these 11 CEOs doing to increase diversity?

  • Leading by example: many CEOs are personally involved in driving diversity initiatives. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson refuses to fill leadership positions until they have a diverse slate of candidates. Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, publicly opposed discriminatory legislation in Indiana and Georgia.

  • Setting and following through on diversity goals is the most effective method for increasing underrepresentation of women and minorities.

  • Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, asks managers for updates on their numbers around diversity. Through efforts focused on supporting women (e.g. longer maternity leave and funding women’s groups), she has increased the representation of female employees from 24% to nearly 30% since taking over as CEO in 2014.

  • At Kaiser Permanente, more than 60% of their total workforce is made up of minorities and 73% are women. 50% of managers and leaders are minorities and 75% are women. According to CEO Bernard J. Tyson, they achieved these outcomes through deliberate planning, development of current talent, and outreach to the communities they serve. Read more here.

Stay tuned for our next L&D roundup!

Udemy for Business is a learning platform that helps companies stay competitive in the digital transformation of the workplace by offering fresh, relevant, and personalized on-demand learning content, curated from the Udemy marketplace. Our mission is to help employees do whatever comes next—whether that’s the next project to do, skill to learn, or role to master. We’d love to partner with you on your employee development needs. Get in touch with us at business@udemy.com

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