Inclusiveness Initiative

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Setting Goals for Staff Composition

Before taking action to recruit and retain staff of color, give some consideration to the extent to which your organization wants to set concrete, numeric goals regarding the composition of the staff. Some organizations choose to deliberately establish diversity goals regarding staff composition.

Position Descriptions/Job Qualifications

As you draft the description for a new position, it is very important to give serious consideration to the necessary qualifications. In nonprofit organizations, knowledge of the communities that are being served is usually a reasonable job qualification. In some cases, this kind of knowledge needs to be about a particular population group (e.g., high school students). In other cases, providing general knowledge of diverse communities is important to help an organization achieve its goals.

Announcing and Advertising Personnel Openings

Once you develop a position description, disseminate the description widely. In many cases, nonprofit organizations utilize informal networks to find candidates for a new position. While this is an effective strategy from the point of view of identifying candidates, unless such networks are diverse, they usually don't elicit a very diverse candidate pool.

Interviewing and Selecting Candidates

Once you have a pool of candidates, the next step is to decide whom to interview and then conduct interviews. At this point in the process, it is very useful to ask a diverse group of people to review résumés and participate in interviews. As you will quickly find if you try this experiment, asking a diverse group of individuals to review resumes will probably result in a bigger, more diverse pool of candidates to interview than you might select on your own.

Retaining Personnel of Color

As stated earlier in the Personnel section, there are plenty of costs involved with replacing staff once they leave an organization. And, there are plenty of reasons why people leave organizations.

In many cases, people leave for better-paying positions, new challenges, and so on.

Sometimes people leave because they feel that they have not been treated with respect.

Performance Reviews

  
Formal Evaluations

Many managers in the nonprofit sector do not conduct formal evaluations of their staff or do not conduct thorough, full evaluations. An effective evaluation process, however, can uncover a lot about how an individual behaves toward others, especially toward people from diverse backgrounds.

If disrespectful behavior is identified early, then there is a possibility it can be rectified.

Professional Development

Not surprisingly, people sometimes single out individuals in whose professional development they want to invest. Many factors go into an individual's personal preferences about whom they want to work with, who they want to see advance within the organization, and who they decide to mentor formally or informally.

Exit Interview Process

The exit interview process presents an opportunity for organizations to learn about their culture and practices.  The opening section of Personnel section cites a survey which found that 63 percent of African Americans, as opposed to 26 percent of whites said that race was a moderate to great source of tension in their workplace. Thus, white managers may sometimes perceive that their organizations are addressing racial tensions when, in fact, from the point of view of some of the people of color within these organizations, they are not.

Employment Policies

Various policies related to hiring, firing, and management of employees can have an impact on staff retention. Again, some policies, such as a conflict resolution policy, that do not relate directly to inclusiveness can have an indirect effect on staff retention. Remember, policies are only as effective as the people who implement them. Violation of policies can result in lawsuits, so it is important not only to follow the policies created but also to train staff to comply with all personnel policies.

Developing Partnerships with Others Who Have Cultural Competence in Your Field

Fortunately, you don't have to do the work of creating more inclusive programs alone. Chances are good that you can develop partnerships with other organizations in your community to strengthen your programs.