Grow your team

When you become an Inclusive Employers’ Member you grow your I&D team.

Your account manager works with you to understand your goals, your challenges and achievable next steps.

Do you need more support for your inclusive culture to thrive?

Learn about membership today

Inclusion & Diversity Priorities for 2024

Are you busy planning your Inclusion & Diversity strategy for 2024? Or are you currently juggling with different priorities and don’t know where to start?

Here our inclusion experts share their insight on what your inclusion priorities need to be in order to have an impact on I&D in your organisation, next year.

1. Approach inclusion strategically

Set up your roadmap

The first thing to remember when tackling the daunting task of setting your roadmap for the year, is that inclusion is not a one-person job. The road to embedding I&D into your organisation will require not only the support of HR and I&D professionals, but commitment from the top and across all levels of the organisation.

While the unpredictable and volatile environment that we operate in means that whatever plans you make are likely to change in some shape or form, it’s essential to have a roadmap to help you identify and prioritise your objectives. Here are some considerations to help you start:

  • What have your achievements been in 2023? And where did you fall short?
  • What data do you have that can help you evolve your actions in 2024?
  • Do you have metrics of success to help measure progress? Even if they’re light touch, it’s important to understand how your actions are helping move the dial. Consider quantitative and qualitative data, employee surveys, written sentiments, external data such as social media.
  • What are going to be your areas of priority for the new year? The reality is that you cannot tackle everything at once. Assess which areas will need to be prioritise to continue building on what you have already done, or to create strong foundations for bigger and better things to come.
  • Who are the key stakeholders that you need to bring on board? Consider who should lead on different areas of your strategy, and find ways to bring them onboard at an early stage of your development. If your stakeholders feel they have had a say, they are more likely to commit.

Support for your I&D strategy

Would you like support in planning your I&D strategy for 2024? Remember your account manager can support you. Remember we also have the following resources and services available to you:

  • The Inclusive Employers Standard, a powerful inclusion benchmark that will provide you with tangible recommendations to take your inclusion strategy to the next level.
  • Our CMI Level 7 Award is aimed at organisational decision-makers and provides an in-depth understanding of EDI at a strategic level. Delegates explore structural in-equity, discuss approaches to comply with legal and good practices and explore how to develop and land strategic priorities for EDI.
  • Resources in the member’s area, including:

2. Prioritise employee engagement, retention and wellbeing

Understand your employees

Engaged and fulfilled colleagues are more productive, more creative, feel more valued, are more likely to stay with an organisation and less likely to be absent.  Sounds simple doesn’t it? Yet why are there so many organisations not getting this right?

We see many organisations assuming how their colleagues are feeling or what they want from the organisation and its leaders.  This assumption can result in a misalignment of approach, meaning that initiatives and or internal communications don’t land well or have the opposite effect, and disengage rather than engage.

Mechanisms to understand your employees

Let’s use 2024 to create mechanisms to understand how your employees are feeling and what they would like the organisation to prioritise in terms of wellbeing and engagement.

There are many ways to gather this rich insight:

Once you have this information, take time to absorb it and reflect – as it can be easy to get defensive.  If you are a member share this information with your account manager to get a specialist external view. Then create an action plan, share with your colleagues and report back on a regular basis – this creates an ongoing feedback loop, allowing organisations to flex and adapt to how their colleagues are feeling.

“Research demonstrates that diverse teams perform better, unleash potential and drive innovation.”

Make Inclusive Employers your Inclusion and Diversity partner for 2024
Two office people reviewing their inclusion priorities over a laptop

3. Attract diverse talent

Research continues to demonstrates the business case for inclusion and diversity, highlighting that diverse teams perform better, unleash potential and drive innovation. The quest for broader and increasingly diverse talent will continue to be one of the main recruitment trends across sectors in 2024.

We can therefore expect that talent acquisition and inclusive recruitment will become even more critical to inclusion and diversity strategies of organisations that want to measure success through impact and tangible progress.

Person-centred recruitment

We can also observe an incremental shift towards the value of the lived experiences and perspectives, and the transferrable skillsets, knowledge and capabilities that candidates bring. The days of pitch-perfect CVs with the ‘right’ degrees or names in the field are gradually becoming a thing of the past for more and more roles. This approach is proving key to tap into more diverse and conventionally overlooked talent.

AI and recruitment

Another recent trend that will surely continue to evolve in 2024 is the role of artificial intelligence in recruitment: can AI be successfully integrated in talent attraction and selection, while also embedding best practice on inclusive recruitment? In particular, the use of generative AI is on the rise which means key elements of the recruitment process like job descriptions, candidate communications and even interview questions may be prone to unexpected bias pitfalls. Exploring ways for AI to be used in an inclusive way to boost hiring practice sensibly will be crucial for fair and inclusive recruitment moving forward.

New talent values inclusion

Finally, there is an increasing focus on positive candidate experience, which strictly links to inclusion. Businesses are streamlining their processes: they are investing in efficiency and communications, and in greater understanding and implementation of adjustments. Candidates on the other hand, expect simple and fair processes, value flexibility and wish to hear back promptly about the outcome of their interviews.

Ultimately, they are not just people seeking well paid jobs: they are looking for inclusion, recognition and prospects for development, empathy and thought leadership, work-life balance and wellbeing, holistic benefit packages and company values that align with their greater sense of purpose.

4. Be clear on your organisational values

Bring your values to life

All too often we see values up on an office wall, on virtual backgrounds and as part of e-mail signatures, which can give the impression of authenticity, but if organisations do not regularly bring these values to life, then they remain simply words.

Organisation values are so important, they have the power to:

  • Create a common language
  • Provide a way of celebrating achievements
  • Set behavioural expectations for all employees
  • Demonstrate a commitment to inclusion and diversity

It’s vital that organisations create values that are reflective of them, their history and their aspirations for the future. Involve colleagues in the creation of the values, so they feel represented and able to meaningfully demonstrate the values, rather than organisational values feeling like something that is done to them.

It’s important to say this isn’t about creating robots who all act the same – as that wouldn’t be very inclusive or allow diverse talent to grow and thrive!  But, it is about understanding and saying this is what good looks like here, this is what we stand for and this is how we support each other.

Of course, leaders have a role here but colleagues at all levels within organisations need to role model these values in all interactions, in an authentic and meaningful way.

How to bring your organisation’s values to life

Organisations can create opportunities do this many ways:

  • Link values to strategies, policies and procedure
  • Link values to inclusion work
  • Introduce learning opportunities that bring the values to life
  • Link values to one to one conversations
  • Link to appraisals or personal development plans
  • Have values awards
  • Use as themes for internal communications
  • Leaders to provide updates using values as themes

If you would like support in introducing any of these initiatives please get in touch with us.

Here at Inclusive Employers our values are, Inclusion, Expert and Driving Force – and we look forward to keeping inclusion at the heart of what we do in 2024 and beyond.

For members of Inclusive Employers please get in touch with your account manager to follow up with any of the areas highlighted in this blog. If you are not a member, you can learn more about the benefits of joining us, or get in touch below with your request for support. We look forward to hearing from you.

Grow your team

When you become an Inclusive Employers’ Member you grow your I&D team.

Your account manager works with you to understand your goals, your challenges and achievable next steps.

Do you need more support for your inclusive culture to thrive?

Learn about membership today

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