• No Longer in Denial

    Hooray!  I am no longer in denial – as I heard it put by an HR speaker recently. She asked the group – have many of your organizations have an Affirmative Action Plan – and how many of you are still in denial?  Me and my Company are now in compliance with 41 CFR 60.  With the help of a good friend of mine, who is in the HR Consulting business and has written a number of these plans, we are now fully compliant. Yes, we do have an Affirmative Action Plan.

    AAP Image

    Knowing what I know now, I think that actually was the easy part – writing and putting the plan in place.  Now comes the really tough stuff like:

    • Actually trying to find and hire the individuals to help us meet our AAP goals
    • Getting “real” buy-in from department and hiring managers (translations not letting them think this is another BS HR program)
    • Figuring out how to get applicants to voluntarily comply with my requests to provide data
    • Planning for what year two of the plan will bring.

    While it is refreshing to know that if someone from  OFCCP drops in to see me I can proudly tell them, “Yep I have one, do you want to see it.”   Or when anyone from our sales department emails me ans sends me a document about being a Federal Contract and then asks, “What the hell is this all about?”

    I also got  a lot of help and support from my friends over at People Clues.   The system upgrades they have made have allowed me and others to collect the needed information without having to do much, other than open an Excel spreadsheet with a csv file.  This was an awesome fix to my issue.  It works so well  because we have adopted the philosophy that ALL applicants must apply on-line.  This tactic leaves no holes in our data.

    I am still new to this affirmative action stuff but me and my Company are making progress.  There is much to learn and much to accomplish. I would love to swap war stories with anyone who has gone down this path — and learned a few things along the way.



  • Diversity Made Simple

    Diversity seems to keep coming up on my radar these last few weeks. I am not sure what that means. I was speaking with one or my #ProjectSocial (What’s up with that Ben/Victorio ?) partners Laura Schroeder about this matter in one of our Skype conversations.  I asked Laura to give me her take on the big “D”. After a few minutes we  decided to just write about the matter.  If you would like to know what she had to say about it head on over to her Working Girl blog and check it out, and you can find out Lyn Hoyt’s take on it over at her blog the HR Bacon Hut.

    Photo Credit David Sihombing

    In the meantime, I am left to collect my thoughts about Diversity. For some reason my default thought is always Race, Religion and Gender, when someone first speaks the “D” word.  Well I have learned enough in my 50+ years, to know that may well be a small portion of the issue but it ain’t the whole enchilada.

    Diversity has seemed to grow and change over the years. It is as if Diversity has become more diverse!

    When I hear the experts pontificate on the matter,  I hear the stories of how our workplace cultures need to have more diversity in generations, sexual orientation, thought, income levels, where we make our homes, or attended college, not to mention, race, religion and gender, all of which makes good sense – call it organizational balance.  But how does an organization achieve this lofty goal.

    I know how the EEOC wants us to achieve the necessary diversity an employer must maintain to be a Federal contractor, but I am curious as to how to achieve and measure the more squishy aspects of diversity.   I also know what I need to do, in my mind, to ensure our organization is welcoming of others; people who may think, speak,  or view things differently that the majority of the people in our organization.  However ultimately I guess I can’t put a percentage on it.

    While global organizations can take on Diversity with a big stick and a big check, the smaller organizations are left to try to do the right thing with the resources and knowledge that they have available to them.  Sadly sometimes there are few resources and even less knowledge about diversity.

    The one concept I find myself relying upon is something that I learned many years ago in this arena.

    It is unlikely that your organization has made any efforts to exclude anyone or group, BUT have you made a real effort to include people who are different?

    If you can answer yes to that question you are probably in pretty good shape – and forget the numbers.