Working Globally: Developing a Glo-cal approach to your D&I strategy.
Global organisations and multinationals have a huge opportunity in promoting equality and a culture of respect in the workplace and to impact the communities where they operate. Companies are also beginning to realise the importance of creating a robust and authentic Global D&I strategy, underpinned by local/regional strategies to create this impact. However, for many organizations, the challenge is not about being well-intentioned; it is about knowing where to start. The myth is often that If you want to get a message across globally, you need to do that in the same way across the world.
Wrong! At a global level, many countries have unique challenges for inclusion and simply passing down central D&I initiatives, in an attempt to operate in the same way across the globe is a key mistake. So how does a global organisation encourage meaningful action, build capabilities, and develop a diversity and inclusion strategy that serve her employees working in multiple regions across the globe?
This can be achieved by taking a Glo-cal approach. Glocal means reflecting or characterised by both local and global considerations.
Building Inter-Cultural Competence
Intercultural competence refers to the ability to understand, communicate with, and effectively interact with people of varied backgrounds and experiences. We can think of this as the missing link between many global strategies and local implementation.
A key component of this is Cultural intelligence which is “the ability to look at both the business aspects and the cultural aspects of a situation and to be able to manage the business aspects for results in a way that works effectively within the culture. This does not necessarily mean when in Rome, do as the Romans do. Instead, it means when in Rome, achieve business results in ways that empower the Romans”
Inter-cultural competence is important to cultivate a greater sense of inclusion across regions and ensure a meaningful connection to D&I goals at a local level. For many organizations a first step to achieving this would be recognition of their (Head Office) own cultural context and that of the business’ leaders, and how this differs to each operating region.
Building a robust D&I infrastructure is key to ensuring the global D&I strategy is successful. Things to consider include:
- Ensure the Global Head of D&I role is recognised as a strategic imperative
- Create a central D&I team and appoint regional D&I leaders
- Establish Sponsors for Race, Gender, and other dimensions of diversity
- Create Employee Resource Groups with a clear remit to support and contribute to the development and implementation of the D&I strategy.
Capturing Data Effectively
Data drives change. Organisations will need to create a robust mechanism for gathering, interpreting, and using demographic data to deliver meaningful outcomes. Central to data collection is the understanding of legal aspects of diversity and inclusion and data monitoring around the world.
Empowering Employee Voices
Engaging diverse talent from across the organisation in the development and implementation of a global strategy will be critical to its success. Organisations should consider:
- Launching Global D&I surveys and assessing the D&I maturity for each region.
- Educating employees and ensuring everyone is clear that they are accountable. Education programmes should be tailored to each different operating region
- Providing psychological safety for minoritized employees working globally (race and ethnic background, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, disabilities, and gender.)
The Clear Company enable our clients to build effective global strategies and work inclusively and successfully across borders.