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Diversity and talent development

In their 2010 report Opening Up Talent for Business Success: Integrating Talent Management and Diversity the CIPD stressed the need to ensure that diversity is integrated within organisational talent management activities, thus enabling organisations to reap the benefits of accessing and developing talent from the widest possible pool. Learning and development activities are key organisational people management strategies.

Ways in which bias could be embedded within your organisation’s learning and development programmes:

  1. Making assumptions and generalisations: When making decisions about employees’ development needs, managers tend to make assumptions based on group generalisations.  
  2. Training scheduling: Organising learning opportunities outside of core working hours effectively acts as a barrier to participation for a range of employees who have other commitments. 
  3. Using management discretion: The use of management discretion can lead to favouritism and bias. Managers form personal impressions of their teams that affect their perceptions of an employee’s work biased on personal relationships and unconscious perceptions.  
  4. Missing performance appraisals: Skipping employee appraisals can lead to bias within the learning and development process.  
  5. Bias within the performance review process: Person-centred approaches as opposed to job-centred performance reviews, leads to bias decision-making. Without solid competency based criteria the assessor’s subjective feelings become the dominant factor in judging an employee’s abilities, skills and recommendations for career development.

Avoiding bias and developing inclusive practices. 5 simple tips:

  1. Get the basics right: When designing learning and development activities ensure that the materials and the method of deliver are accessible and inclusive, consider the training location and the times.  
  2. Make the most of new technologies: As well as reducing cost associated with things like hiring training facilities, using technology can be a creative way to promote accessible and inclusive learning. 
  3. Positive Action: Analyse your diversity data. Look for trends and patterns on the take up of learning and development programmes. Consider Positive Action measures to address under-representation. 
  4. Engage line-managers: Line managers can often be reluctant to release staff members to attend learning and development opportunities. Engaging line managers early will reduce the risk of resistance and possible refusals.  
  5. Discuss learning opportunities with all your employees: Ask all your employees about their career aspirations. Develop individualised learning and development KPIs, ensuring strategic fit with organisational goals.

The process of restricting talent: a short scenario

Sponsored by The Law Society.

This video was co-produced by Steps, world leaders in drama
based training.  For more information on their fantastic work around
diversity and inclusion:

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