We held our first UWI hybrid workshop event yesterday--and boy was that a challenge! Nevertheless, despite our technology trying to resist change, it was also a great learning experience. Through the contributions of our remarkably expert panel, we learned about the priorities, progress, challenges, and remedies looking at how to attract and retain neurodivergent talent and how to nurture a diverse and inclusive workforce.
The top two priorities of attendees were to create a belonging culture and educate hiring managers. The topic of education featured widely in the discussion that followed, and the importance of objectivity when it comes to priorities and working out, as Jonathan Pilgrim puts it, '..what the destination looks like.'
Mike Clargo makes the profound point that you 'get the behaviors that you reward,' while Kalpesh Baxi makes the point, '...when hiring for a job, your brochure won't normally tell anyone about the culture and what's it's about... so it's about honesty in communications.'
Jonathan Pilgrim adds, 'When I do discovery for the first time in organizations around their change strategy and agenda, there is a lack of alignment. If people are not rewarded for the right behaviors, there will always be that kind of conflict between goals and outcomes.'
The best-covered building blocks were inclusive policies and recruitment and onboarding, whereas the weakest links were employee awareness and taking steps to ensure 'whole workforce' welfare.
Ritu Kiran-Jackson says, 'Usually I would see this flipped around because the start-point is normally about listening as organizations lack a baseline and there's a huge amount of work to be done there to establish a start-point.'
Jodie Greer makes the point that when she explores the topic of neurodiversity recruitment, firms often fixate on one demographic (i.e., dyslexia, autism, etc.) rather than a holistic approach that encourages building the belonging culture, so I think we need to change the narrative.
Rebecca Friese thinks, 'Wouldn't it be great if people came to us with the challenge statement of "I want to create a diverse workforce because we believe XYZ" but even in this quick poll, we see that HR departments are completely overwhelmed. We never stop and ask ourselves why before we launch into these things..."
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