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DIVERSITY

DIVERSITY & INCLUSION

ENHANCE PRODUCTIVITY BY APPRECIATING DIFFERENCES

Elaine and Lindsay have a deep expertise on gender dynamics in organizations. They blend diversity seamlessly with team effectiveness and leadership development, in a way that makes “natural” sense.

Lisa Kepinski

Director, Global Diversity & Inclusion. Microsoft, Berlin, Germany

Many issues under the heading of Diversity are being examined in order to attract and maintain top employees, to enhance productivity by appreciating differences and to create what each of us knows is a healthy workplace.

The Yarbrough Group can help you assess your entire organization in terms of the current state of your diverse workforce (numbers, attitudes, strengths and concerns); plan and conduct training; and conduct strategic planning to align the system with your vision to utilize your diverse workforce.

  • Entrance of women into the workplace,

  • Continuing awareness of racial inequalities and failure to use special skills of diverse people,

  • An aging workforce,

  • Diverse customer base,

  • Focus on work/life balance,

  • A growing gap in educational levels of workers,

  • Migration of highly qualified workers into Western European countries and the U.S.

  • Shrinking pool of qualified labor from traditional sources,

  • Diverse life styles and a desire to be open about them,

  • Demand for better teamwork in a diverse employee environment

All of these trends necessitate understanding how to create a work environment that is inclusive and welcoming to diverse people so that employees can support the organization by contributing their best and the organization can support them in leading balanced lives.

CHANGES THAT NECESSITATE A FOCUS ON DIVERSITY INCLUDE:

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MEN & WOMEN

WORKING TOGETHER

This course looks at the diversity of women and men working together as colleagues for greater productivity and satisfaction. Since every person is on the gender spectrum, many companies have chosen to begin diversity work through the door of Women and Men Working Together. In addition, demographics point to gender diversity as a key focus. In the last two decades, women have entered the workforce in staggering numbers so that today over 40% of all women worldwide work outside the home. Women have moved into lower supervisory and management positions but only a fraction of a percent of top level positions are held by women. With the aging of the workforce and the decreasing education of entrants into the workforce, women represent some of the most qualified applicants and hence must be tapped for the well being of the organization.

GOALS

1. How socialization affects values and behaviors toward our own and the opposite gender.
2. How men and women collude to maintain helpful and unhelpful patterns.

SKILLS FOR

3. Improving communication between women and men.
4. Managing uncomfortable situations between women and men.
5. Creating healthy work partnerships between women and men.

IMPROVEMENT IN THE BUSINESS CLIMATE BY

6. Legitimizing honest, serious discussions between women and men.
7. Increasing support across and between genders.
8. Creating organizational rewards for managing diversity.
9. Increasing leadership for managing diversity.

Improve Communication
Appreciate Differences
Enhance Productivity
Create a Healthy Workplace

AWARENESS OF

HOW TO CREATE AN INCLUSIVE WORKPLACE

The course provides an overview of the issues in creating an inclusive environment for a diverse workforce. It includes information and dialogue about:

  • Overall economic and global trends that necessitate a focus on diversity

  • Conditions in the workplace that allow and encourage all people to perform their best

  • Communication skills needed for being successful as an individual and company in a diverse environment

  • Special information about diverse groups to increase understanding and improve working relationships

  • Predictable dynamics that keep employees excluded

  • Specific action steps for individuals and organizations to manage diversity better

TRAINING OF DIVERSITY CHANGE AGENTS

For diversity efforts to be successful, there must be visionary and effective leadership. This course guides diversity specialists, managers who champion diversity, and human resources professionals through the maze of diversity issues to increase their competency in creating cultures that value all people and promote their highest contribution.

  • Greater understanding of organizational approaches to creating and developing diversity programs

  • Building interpersonal skills needed for diversity

  • More precise observation skills regarding diversity dynamics: how people are included and excluded

  • Greater awareness of self: our own needs and biases and stages of development

  • Development of a support network for managing the stress and sharing the accomplishments of diversity work

  • Development of action plans for future diversity work

GOALS

DIVERSITY

NEXT STEPS FOR SYSTEMS CHANGE

When organizations begin work on diversity, typical patterns emerge including many initiatives that may be uncoordinated leading to frustration by well intentioned leaders and from those who have traditionally been left out of the mainstream. In our diversity work, we are now working on prevention of negative consequences of positively intended change, building on the excitement generated by diversity educational courses, and beginning system wide changes for an inclusive work environment.

Toward those ends, one of the methods we use for fast forward change is a Search Conference. A Search Conference is a group planning meeting for people to seek common ground for joint action toward their defined future. Participants are chosen who have information about and are committed to the outcomes of  the conference. With the right people in the room and with the conditions for success created, the organization produces faster, more coordinated action and builds more trusting relationships which support quality, productivity, and innovation.

Diversity is not just how your organization looks.  It’s about gaining competitive advantage by integrating ideas from different age groups, backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences.