Why businesses should prioritize diversity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives...now - by Sue Choe

A typical startup’s Head of People owns an ambitious and ambiguous agenda, usually with an anemic budget and very little guidance. Prioritization and proper phasing of initiatives, therefore, becomes a key success factor (and essential for team sanity and well-being! ). When your daily decisions can impact whether or not people are getting paid properly; are hiring candidates with the right balance of skills and fit; are executing in compliance with federal and state regulations; are fulfilling the promise to employees for continuous learning and growth; etc., it can be hard to rate diversity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives as a near-term priority. (Let’s call these ‘DIB’ for short.) And, just as important, it can be hard to get executives to view DIB as more than a feel-good, socially responsible thing to do — which means that DIB initiatives can be slow to progress.

Here I’ll lay out the 3 business reasons that led me to my epiphany about the value of DIB to a company’s growth and success. And then I’ll outline what we have done/are doing about it at the startup where I work.

First, what is the difference among diversity, inclusion, and belonging?

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Sue ChoeComment
Recap & Takeaways from ScalingNYC 4.0 - The Value Exchange - An Organization & Their People

As we’ve learned from previous panels, scaling organizations wrestle with the topic of talent every day, given their people are the sources of competitive advantage, while being their biggest expense. Like any intangible asset, people are incredibly difficult to quantify and their value typically varies over time.

So we asked ourselves a very simple question – How is value exchanged between an organization and their people?

In our initial research, we observed the adoption of two progressive frameworks – Employee Lifetime Value (ELTV), as a method for measuring and driving the contribution and engagement of employees, and Employer Value Propositions (EVPs), as a tactic for articulating the value an organization provides their employees.

To dig deeper, and ultimately expose the ScalingNYC community to these insights, we sat down with Joris Luijke, VP of People at Grovo, Ciara Lakhani, Head of People & Culture at Compass, Cheryl Roubian, Director of Talent Management at Greenhouse, and Peter Phelan, Founder and CEO at ValuesCulture, to understand what motivated them to develop these frameworks and the lessons they’ve learned applying these concepts during rapid growth.

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Kjael SkaalerudComment