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Viewpoint - May 2019

Better Execution to Drive Diversity and Inclusionby Bob Gershberg, CEO/Managing Partner Wray Executive Search We have certainly come a long way in recognizing the need for aggressive programs to insure workforce diversity. Attracting and retaining a diverse group of people, however, requires a welcoming and inclusive environment as well as a culture which embraces differences. The ultimate goal is to get beyond the need to mirror communities served and to create a talented team of varied race, gender, age, orientation, lifestyle and cultural background. Leading organizations in any industry are most often those who welcome, value and encourage divergence in thought and perspective. The latest census results firmly established that the ethnic make-up of the U.S. is changing at a faster rate than anyone anticipated. Corporate America is already aware of the changing demographics; in fact many corporate front-runners established diversity initiatives back in the mid-90s. More than two decades later, the bottom-line results have not been measured in dollars, but rather in the demographics of women and minority recruitment and retention and supplier diversity. In the talent acquisition process, merely indicating a preference for diversity candidates is not enough. The ability to think outside of the box is often required. The talent pool is at times, somewhat light in gender and race diversity in particular disciplines. When sourcing or recruiting for these disciplines, we are well advised to look at similar fields in which a candidate’s skill sets and competencies are easily transferable. To execute well on these initiatives, a tune-up of our recruiting, hiring, developing, on-boarding and performance review procedures might be in order. Our hiring authorities may not be as well-trained in these competencies as they ought to be or as their human resources counterparts are.  Diversity goals must be included in strategic planning processes and managers need to be responsible for specific objectives. Ongoing diversity training is a must for all team members including upper management. If your company does not have a diversity task force, create one. Empower this group to provide strategies to enhance diversity, inclusion, and understanding within all four industry components - workforce, suppliers, customers and community. Leverage diversity and inclusion to attain your company’s loftiest goals, and everybody benefits. As the labor pool continues to shrink and the need for talent dramatically increases, the challenges we face will require more aggressive, proactive and creative methods to attract, recruit and retain the industry’s best talent. Employees at both staff and executive level will clearly have choices as the talent war maintains its rage. Now is the time to enhance diversity sourcing strategies and develop inclusive hiring metrics. As our society becomes far more disparate in ethnicity, race and creed, striving to attain a workforce which mirrors our customer constituency becomes more important. Equally as critical, our executive teams ought to mirror our overall staff. The ultimate goal is to create a talented team of varied race, gender, age, lifestyle and cultural background. Leading organizations in any industry are most often those who welcome, value, and encourage divergence in thought and perspective. Human resource studies clearly indicate diverse groups make better decisions. Leadership teams displaying diversity in age, gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation will own greater perspective due to varied insights and multiplicity of thought. Companies that embrace inclusion coupled with best people practices will weather the test of a tight labor market far better than their competitors.  They also will benefit from an enriched pool with wide-ranging creativity, skills, talents and experiences. Workforce diversity is no longer driven by social or legal responsibility; a sound focus on diversity and inclusion is essential to sustain growth and viability of any business in today’s global economy. The restaurant industry has been more effective than many in its efforts to attract and develop diverse teams. We do however, have miles to go. Recognizing the myriad of advantages and unmistakable long-term competitive edge diversity recruiting can produce is imperative. Value inclusion and drive it. The rewards will be enormous. All the best,

Bob Gershberg |CEO|Managing Partner| (888) 875-9993 ext 102 Finding tomorrow’s leaders today!

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