Diversity or Inclusion?



A note from our founder:


Let’s talk about inclusive culture, shall we? There’s been a surge of diversity hires across all business sectors and while it’s commendable I think there will be a surge of diversity fires or more importantly diversity quitting on the rise very very soon. You see that the problem isn’t always the number of diverse employees, it’s whether or not an employee fits your company culture. Before you can determine whether or not an employee fits your company culture, the culture has to be clearly defined. And this is lacking in so many organizations. Most of you think that because you have a cool logo or an updated website that you stand for something significant. Not true. Ask your employees if you want a reality check.


I like to use the example of a Vegan food company that’s hiring. Their mission is to rid the world of their obsession with meat. All of their current employees believe in the mission and play their role in accomplishing that goal. Enter Sam. Sam is a diversity hire. Sam was hired because Sam is black, and this Vegan food company doesn’t have enough black employees and they don’t want to appear racist. They skip their core values assessment and welcome Sam aboard. One little problem - Sam loves beef. A lot. She typically has a burger every day for lunch and prefers to eat at her desk so she can keep working. Needless to say, this is not well-received by the rest of the team. It creates conflict. But no one says anything, because the company needs that diversity hire. Does that sound like inclusivity? It isn’t. Does that make her a bad person? Does that make her a bad employee? Of course not. But it does make her less of a fit for the company and that’s OK.


As a leader, you are responsible for making sure that your employees line up with the company values as much as possible. So knowing that you are a vegan company and you’re interviewing a person who loves meat as much as Sam, it’s fair to guess there will be a disconnect. When you hire based on core values diversity will take care of itself. As we’ve said before, diversity is a fact but inclusion is a choice. Do you want to create an inclusive company? Or do you just want to have a bunch of diversity hires? That is where I feel corporations should be focusing. More on the values less on the color of skin. There is a huge difference. By hiring to your core values you are working on building a company rich in inclusivity because everyone is on the same page. The focus isn’t on how many Blacks or Hispanics or Asians are working for the company. The focus is on how many of them are aligned with the core values; which changes everything.


Taking it a step further by focusing on hiring to your core values instead of focusing on how many minorities you have lined up, your interview process asks the same questions about your core values and you’re going to get a variety of answers meaning you’ll understand the differences and personalities. But what you’re looking for is the alignment on the core values, the personality is a plus.


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FIG is a certified minority and woman-owned small business. We provide customer-centric growth strategies and consulting services with a savage twist. From research and strategy to design and experiential, we work with our partners to unleash powerful brands.

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