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HXM: How HR tech can improve workplace diversity and inclusion

Source | | Laurie Ruettimann

The murder of George Floyd earlier in 2020 prompted many organizations to declare the importance of black lives to their operations. CEOs and their executive peers pledged a renewed commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging. And many seasoned HR professionals asked themselves – again – how to hold their corporate leaders and employers accountable to these commitments.

I know that eliminating systemic racism is not simple or easy. But HR professionals can have a greater impact than most, because we have the power to shape our work environments, and therefore the employee experience.

When we apply both the right diversity strategies and modern human experience management (HXM) solutions to the challenge, we can catalyze change.

HR tech can improve workplace diversity and inclusion, but it must be part of an overall corporate strategy

But let me be clear: Designing a diversity strategy simply as a compassionate or benevolent exercise is not enough. “Your strategy has to address how diversity makes your organization better,” advises Katie Augsburger, an employee experience strategist and founding partner of Future Work Design.

“Ask yourself, ‘what is at stake for us if we don’t get this right?’ When you bake diversity into your strategy this way, it becomes a lever that differentiates your company, making it stronger and more successful. That will help you keep the momentum even when the news cycle changes.”

Maintaining interest in this complex problem is challenging.

“I’ve heard some CEOs say, ‘We’ve talked about race enough.’

I’m sorry to disappoint you, but you can’t solve all systemic racism problems in a 60-minute Zoom call,” says Minda Harts, Founder and CEO of The Memo, LLC, and Adjunct Assistant Professor at NYU.

“It has to be baked into your strategy. And we have to dismantle some of the previous systems to make sure diversity is part of every business case going forward. When it’s there, it’s embedded in everything we do – and the metrics bear that out.”

HR tech can improve workplace diversity and inclusion by helping professionals hold people accountable to the company’s diversity goals. I’ve heard of companies using sentiment analysis solutions, for example, to capture employee feedback from communications efforts like town halls.

“HXM tools can help you track employee perspectives and moods before and after the event, which helps you understand how your message is resonating as a whole,” explains Lars Schmidt, founder of Amplify and cofounder of HR Open Source. “But you can also segment the feedback and see how it is received by underrepresented groups. The response may not be the same.”

This was one of the subjects recently discussed as part of our LinkedIn Live series, The Rise of HXM. This week we discussed HXM, and what putting people at the center of business really means, as it relates to diversity and inclusion.

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