Outcomes over Optics

Kate Morican, Partner at Deloitte, shared key findings from Deloitte’s Outcomes over optics report which encourages Canadian companies to be more courageous about diversity and deliberate about creating inclusive workplaces.

“Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance,” said speaker Kate Morican. “Diversity is the variety of people, counting differences of employees. Inclusion is creating the environment where we all feel valued and heard.”

Deloitte’s research shows that highly inclusive companies achieve better results by being better equipped to compete internationally, challenging the status quo and delivering better financial performance and employee growth.

What actions can your organization take to move from optics to outcomes?

From Delloite’s own experience and surveying Canadian organizations, the report makes five key recommendations:

1. Set expectations for specific, inclusive leadership behaviours. Make all leaders accountable inside and outside work and responsible for confronting unconscious bias and exclusive behaviour.

2. Protect against a diversity backlash. Avoid tokenism and support traditionally under-represented groups in high-status leadership roles.

3. Empower the “Inclusion Generation” to prepare for the future of work. Millennials and Gen Z are shifting the workplace with a higher demand on employers to be inclusive. Achieve a deep understanding of your people, let employees have a voice and engage all employees in the process to rethink what diversity and inclusion means.

4. Don’t leave future diversity and inclusion issues for future generations to solve. Use tech tools to help remove bias from recruitment process. Don’t treat inclusion performance like sales targets and profit margins, a single metric that can be measured and rated in an annual performance review.

5. Own inclusion inside and outside the office. Stand up for inclusion on an ongoing basis to clients, suppliers, others in your network when they demonstrate biased behaviours.

“When hiring, we talk about cultural fit, but what does that mean? Do we want people to be the same as what we already have? It’s not about cultural fit, it’s about cultural contribution.”

Morican said at Deloitte they work to ensure the line-up of people coming through the leadership pipeline reflects Canadian society and their Canadian clients.

“We have to connect to people, we have to understand what strengths they bring to our organizations. You can’t just make it a nice conversation, you have to do something with it, show employees they have a voice and share what you’re learning.”

She called on companies to take recommendations from the Outcomes Over Optics report seriously and adopt them in their workplaces.

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