Check out this opinion piece from Bloomberg BusinessWeek, "Recruit Me With A Manicure" as food for thought. There is hardly any topic about diversity that doesn't stir up strong emotions or controversy amongst people. As a woman of color, my life experiences and culture studies have informed how I feel about this. Separate from that, we can respond to this article from a Design of Work Experience (DOWE) perspective. It expands our understanding of the concept, and also gives us a different way of looking at this long-debated topic. Let's look at this hypothetically:
1. First, a company could articulate the archetype of qualities that would be successful there--not what they would like, but what would realistically work in that culture. If it doesn't look pretty, I would suggest some transformation work to set the right conditions for top talent to thrive. Gender (as in the case of this article) wouldn't be a quality per se, but the company might decide that the hired group as a whole should reflect diversity to leverage its benefits.
2. Once they know what they are looking for, perhaps they would go out to understand the behaviors and motivations of candidates. They could look for ways in how those aforementioned qualities are demonstrated and select the people that exemplify them best. To attract these target people to their company, perhaps they follow their activities, interests, and interactions. Then they go out and meet them there. In the process, they might discover that some of these candidates enjoy manicures, so they host an recruitment event at a nail bar.
Not as controversial sounding now, huh? It makes sense. A DOWE approach lets the target candidates define the recruitment activities, which makes the company more attractive to them. It ensures a strong job-person-company fit-match, thus ensuring greater hiring success and retention. Compare that to how some things happen today, where companies don't set the conditions for success, think hiring for job requirements is enough, recruitment activities are always the same, matches aren't that strong, and hiring success rate hovers around the 50% mark (thanks, Google). Convinced? Now design for the on boarding experience, DOWE-style!
I've been documenting "moments" of my writing process as a personal ethnography of sorts. For me, the process has been just as important as the book itself will be. I consider myself a lifelong learner--and I've learned so much about research, writing, the publishing process, and even myself. The typing of the keyboard has forced me to organize and hone my thoughts, and the iterative process has given me lots and lots of practice. What a great personal development opportunity this has been. This pic is one of my favorites so far--it reminds me that you can't always choose the moments that ideas come to you. Sometimes it comes in the middle of the night, and I had better take advantage of getting them down because it won't be there in the morning! Having coached others to take opportunities at seemingly inopportune moments, I am happily eating my own advice.
Every organization I have ever worked with, both as an employee and as a consultant, has struggled with recognition. The opportunities range from developing, harmonizing, or rolling out a program to having quality interactions that are actually received as they are intended. Then there are those organizations that have almost no recognition to speak of--those are the worst because it shows in other places (performance, engagement, culture, etc. ) but they blame it on other things. The point is, we all struggle with it, even the ones that do it best. Luckily, there are lots of things out there that offer great learning and stimulus to inspire ideas, like this eBook above from Baudville. Many organizations have failed to see recognition as an employee experience, one that can be purposeful designed for with the employees and their context in mind. Design of Work Experience (DOWE) is the methodology that I've found to be most useful in creating these customized solutions. Best practices only go so far. Contact me to learn more about DOWE...no need to wait for the book the come out!
I tend to treat all groups with the same degree of respect and consideration regardless of role, level, industry or sector. However, this is good fodder for a discussion on generalizations. While it is informative to read, hear, or learn about the perspectives out there, this should not prevent you from developing your own understanding independently, and it should not be THE ONLY source for your decisions and actions. Doing the opposite is where it gets into the dangerous ground of stereotyping. Doesn't this make sense from (I'll use the D word) a DIVERSITY standpoint? Having experienced diversity challenges in the workplace as a change leader and woman of color, this point seems to get glossed over, lost, or altogether ignored when it is oftentimes the source of many diversity, and therefore, company issues. If only more people learned this distinction, we would all save ourselves a little heartache (and lawsuits), and get a lot more benefit from leveraging diversity.
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