With the start of a New Year, there are a number of simple steps professionals should consider for ensuring the best use of their people – one of which can be found in the effective use of the 2011 Diversity Calendar.
I think the CIPD Diversity Calendar is great tool for promoting individuality and recognising who your people are. After all, recognizing your people is a key part of any talent management strategy for all organization types, small or large!
The Diversity Calendar simply shows on a month by month basis key events that we should be aware of for a variety of purposes; including project planning, people management, strategy development, awareness raising, etc – all of which ensure a competitive edge and business advantage needed for the challenging year that 2011.
It should also be mentioned that the Diversity Calendar is not all about those that have a ‘religious’ belief. Importantly, it is also about those that do not have a ‘formal’ religious belief but who may have a philosophical or humanistic belief system – see the Employment Equality Regulations on Faith 2003 for more information on this.
Below are 10 simple ways to use a diversity calendar:
- Use calendar as a consultative document prior to developing/designing an organisational strategy which will have a direct impact on people. Simply mark key religious dates at the start of the working year and set reminders to help you remember these as they approach. This will ensure greater planning capability, best use of time and potential £costs arising from lack of strategic planning.
- Consider tasking those with a skill for writing articles in your team or department to link in key strategic/business articles and write-ups with significant events on the Calender. This will assist demonstrate the strategic impact diversity has to your overall business success and is great positive internal and external PR that all 21st century businesses need.
- Send the calendar out to all your staff at the start of the year, including all staff networks – a good tool for engaging your staff
- Publish calendar on your intranet and/or external website. This shows a proactive approach to engaging staff as discussed in the previous point above, and in addition demontrates that your business stives continuously to be an Employer of Choice.
- Use calendar as a key project planning tool to understand key milestones, dependencies that may directly impact the timely delivery of a project. This will help minimise adverse impact on staff and service users who may have particular religious beliefs not taken into consideration during the project planning phase.
- Use key religious events as a strategic means of sharing best practice within your teams and encourage staff to get involved in learning new things about fellow individuals in the workplace. This can be a simple means of ensuring you business remains a fun place to work – and can be a easy way of promoting the ‘psychological contract’!
- Use calendar to update your own personal awareness of religious festivals and dates – you’ll be surprised at what you can learn and how useful it could be for your continuous professional and personal development.
- Ask yourself: What are the key religious dates I should be aware of, and which will assist promote an air of inclusivity in the workplace? Calendar can easily used as a simple tool to promote equality in the workplace.
- Use the Diversity Calendar to assist ensure that those with religious observances have the facilities in place to allow them meet these. For example, the Calendar can be used to ensure the availability of prayer room facilities during Ramadan, etc. In this sense, where an actual prayer room cannot be set aside permanently, plans can be put in place to ensure the availability of temporary facilities at the approach of a religious event as a ‘reasonable adjustments’ mechanism well in advance. A great tool for ensuring your staff continue to feel that they are valued.
- Finally, simply download a copy and place on the wall in your office for dual use as both a date and events reference for 2011. Shows how organised we are as businesses!
Happy New Year!