Advice From Leaders – Inclusion and Diversity with Murray Davison

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Working in Recruitment, we see many incredible organizations doing amazing things, and we get to meet the phenomenal people behind this great work. This is what has inspired our series – Advice from Leaders - where we have the opportunity to hear from leaders in industry about specific themes and challenges faced by organizations every day. This month, we sought the advice of Murray Davison, Director, Career Connections at Goodwill Industries of Alberta. Murray’s post provides valuable insight into treating people like people and fostering a supportive workplace.

Name of Organization:  Goodwill Industries of Alberta

Director, Career Connections: Murray Davison

Inclusive Hiring - Going Beyond the Numbers!

Inclusive hiring cannot end with just “including” diverse individuals in your workforce by hiring them.  We often hear employers state: “15% of our team has a disability”.  Now as great as that is, that is not where inclusiveness ends.  What is truly important to an inclusive hiring program is the entire process!  This is not only true for people with disabilities, but all groups who have barriers to employment.

The hiring process itself needs to be truly inclusive.  Make sure the individuals are treated, interviewed, etc., the same way anyone else being considered for the position.  At the end of the day, we are all just people with various strengths and weaknesses that make us the unique individuals we are.  If we think about it, we all make accommodations for individuals various communication styles, skill sets, etc., in order to set up our employees for success.  This is no different for individuals with disabilities.  The many strengths they have can far outweigh any obstacles, and with good management you will get the best out of your team. Be conscious of your entire teams:

  • Strengths

  • Areas for development

  • Communication style

  • Motivators

  • Skills

Natural supports in the workplace are very important for diversity to flourish.  We need to ensure that teammates and the environment surrounding team members are respectful and supportive for each other.  This makes the entire team stronger and keeps them all performing to reach their full potential. 

Provide support for your team and eliminate barriers wherever possible. Encourage kindness, patience, and communication. Making the work environment inviting and supportive is key. This might include:

·         A ramp to access the office,

·         A flexible schedule for childcare,

·         A quiet/prayer room for those with various religious needs.

This does not mean we need to overlook performance issues and challenges! On the contrary. We need to hold all team members accountable for performance and behaviors.  We are not doing anyone any favours by neglecting to hold each other accountable and trying to bring the best out in everyone. 

Communication is key, and relationships shape all that we do. This is why we cannot measure the success of our inclusive hiring process by the number of diverse individuals we have hired on our team.  We should be measured by how we treat and support our entire team making us truly diverse and inclusive.  

How do you provide inclusiveness in your hiring practices? What does your workplace do to support diversity? Do you have any other suggestions to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace? Leave us a comment below!