Recognition is probably one of the best strategies you can use to promote diversity and inclusion.
I will explain why and how to leverage recognition to support diversity and inclusion.
Recognition should be a way of life in your organization and not just a programmatic offering. If this is the case where you work, then appreciating people for who they are and recognizing them for what they do will be the great equalizer.
Look at some inherent problems we create for ourselves with recognition that is not diversity minded or inclusive.
When was the last time you reviewed your recognition and reward program data to see if there is any tendency toward hidden biases?
A hidden—or implicit—bias is defined as a preference for, or
against, a person, thing, or group, which is held at an unconscious level. This
means you and I don’t even know our minds are holding onto this bias. In
contrast, an overt—or explicit—bias is an attitude or prejudice which is very
much endorsed at a conscious level.
For example, what is the proportion of
recognition or reward recipients who are male versus female, with respect
to your employee gender ratio? Are rewards given more often to one gender over
another? Is there any general ratio between white and non-white employees? Do
disabled staff equally merit and receive recognition and rewards for exemplary
Perhaps we all need to ask these kinds of
question when identifying whether hidden biases exist in our recognition and
reward practices and programs.
If there are certain principles that
keep recognition and rewards open it is fairness and equity.
What happens when you have a large organization with a wide variety of employee groups? How do make recognition happen for these diversely different employees? Not everyone sits in front of a computer or has an electronic device or smartphone to access online recognition programs.
It all starts with “Why?”
What is your aspirational purpose for giving recognition? (more…)