“It is very easy to be inclusive of someone who is similar to you. Whereas if someone is different, you need to be committed to it because it is harder work. You need to be conscious of your biases. Organizations are twice as likely to meet or exceed financial targets if they are inclusive.”
– Dr. Juliet Bourke, Human Capital Partner, Deloitte
In the quote from Dr. Bourke, she is asking how to know if your company is inclusive so that all team members feel valued. Is your company prepared to take business opportunities that you would not have otherwise? By answering these questions, you can take honest stock of your organization’s practices to learn what biases – unconscious or conscious – may be at play in hiring and audit your company to remove biases and increase your bottom line.
Audit Your Company Hiring Procedures
Think about who has you’ve hired over time; subcontractors, internal promotions, and new hires. Are hiring decisions based on ‘who we have always used; no time to change now’? If so, this may produce the opposite of good business.
Today’s stressed work environment presents us with opportunities to develop different solutions. Successful organizations prosper during challenging times, giving license to new ideas and approaches. When things are going well, there is no incentive to change.
Audit Your Company Organization
An organizational audit will reveal biases confirming reliance on partners that make you comfortable versus partners that open opportunities to win new business. An audit may answer questions like those below that examine an organization’s openness to inclusion.
Does the leadership team treat members with equal or preferential treatment?
Is your company’s business culture driving your success or driving you out of business?
Does your company undermine effective communications among managers, subcontractors, and clients?
Is your search for subcontractors limited to a favored group or open to new partners?
Cultural Intelligence (CQ) Audit
CQ – otherwise known as Cultural Intelligence – is a well-researched and validated organization audit. It tests the assumptions that drive decision-making. Understanding assumptions will focus on whether the organization is practicing inclusion that leads to increases in the bottom line – or not.
With the construction industry’s shortage of workforce, amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, a winning bid relies on a highly qualified workforce now more than ever. How do we do this when there are fewer and fewer qualified workers in the marketplace? When you audit your company using a CQ bias audit, it will provide more information about bias and how to counteract it to ensure a larger, well-trained, and well-prepared workforce.
Nancy J. Overholt
Nancy J. Overholt is an expert in professional development training. She has conducted training for the government, corporate, and private sectors over the past 30 years in the US and globally. Clients have included ministerial-level executives from the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia, Nigeria, and Chile. Her corporate sector training includes clients such as Toyota Motor Sales, USA Inc, LG, and Aramco. In 2019, Ms. Overholt opened Overholt International Training & Consultancy. In the years 2019 and before, she held several leadership positions at the Institute of International Education (IIE).