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Diversity and Inclusion

Developing an Anti-Bullying Policy

By Patricia Licata, PhD
 
Bullying at work has gotten a great deal of attention in the press, in the political arena, and in the workplace. Although bullying in the workplace is not a new phenomenon, the harmful effects of bullying are now being recognized as having a negative impact on performance and productivity. As human resource professionals, it’s our job to help create a work environment that makes it easy for people to perform at their best and highest level. That’s why creating awareness around bullying, what it is and how to prevent it, needs to be a top priority for the human resources department.  
 
One way to create awareness and prevent bullying is to have a clear policy that defines unacceptable behavior and the consequences for such behavior. In order to help human resources professional develop a policy that works for their organizations, the JSAHR Diversity & Inclusion Committee would like to share a template to help jumpstart the process. The template is not meant to be adopted word-for-word, but as a resource that can be edited and amended to suit your organization. Please click here for the Respectful Workplace Template Policy.

 

The Business Case for Diversity

By Patricia Licata, PhD

A question I’m frequently asked is “How can I convince the leaders in my company that investing in a program to increase diversity and inclusion is the right thing to do?” The problem is that if people could always be relied on to do the right thing, wouldn't’t need diversity programs. 

Instead of trying to convince management that it’s the right thing to do, we need to devote our efforts to making the business case for diversity. The term “business case” usually refers to a document that outlines the justification for doing something, usually in quantitative terms. Therefore, a business case for diversity will show how workforce diversity has been proven as having a positive impact on business.

When you’re looking to implement a program that doesn't yet exist, you obviously can’t prove its current benefit.  But you can show published data that makes your case for you. There’s a significant amount of data that shows how diversity positively impacts the bottom line, including examples of increased revenue, stronger profitability, and higher stock prices. 

So where can you find this data?  Here are three solid examples to get you started:

The American Sociological Review published a 2009 article called Does Diversity Pay?  This article presents research that shows how racial diversity is associated with increased sales revenue, more customers, greater market share, and greater relative profits. Gender diversity is associated with increased sales revenue, more customers, and greater relative profits.

The Business Case for Diversity, a book written by DiversityInc Staff (diversityinc.com is an on-line magazine devoted to providing news, resources and commentary on the role of diversity in strengthening the corporate bottom line) and Gwen Moran, discusses research that showed that companies with strong diversity enjoyed a 23.5 percent higher return than the S&P 500 when examined over a ten-year period.

An article called Competitiveness through Management of Diversity: Effects on Stock Price Valuation, published in the Academy of Management Journal, 38(1), 1995, contains evidence that the ability to effectively manage diversity has a positive impact on stock price. The authors found that announcements or awards for exemplary diversity efforts resulted in significant positive changes in stock prices while announcements of discrimination suits resulted in significant negative changes in stock prices. 

These are just three sources that cite concrete research and hard data that support the benefits of a diverse workforce. An internet search on the term “business case for diversity” will yield many hits; the challenge is to find the ones that best support your organization’s needs.

 

Diversity and Inclusion Committee

The Diversity and Inclusion Committee is responsible for coordinating chapter efforts aimed at achieving membership diversity that more closely reflects the demographics of the human resources profession in the Monmouth and Ocean county areas. The Committee keeps JSAHR members informed of diversity initiatives which might help meet the needs of their own employees.

The Diversity and Inclusion Committee partners with the Workforce Readiness Committee to present seminars at job fairs in the community. In addition, the committee members generally present a short diversity and inclusion topic at the beginning of the monthly JSAHR chapter meetings. This "Diversity Minute" presentation creates awareness of the importance of Diversity and Inclusion in our personal and professional lives.