The British Standards Institution (BSI) have published a new code of practice to help organisations create an increasingly diverse and inclusive workplace culture.
The new code of practice
The new code of practice provides organisations with a practical set of recommendations and guidance, as well as a workplace toolkit, to help develop and implement policies and practices to support diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) aims and objectives. The code of practice is designed to be a one stop shop for any size or type of organisation, in any sector, in any country looking for assistance in developing a DEI framework.
The code of practice covers understanding and implementing concepts such as diversity of thought, dimensions of diversity, intercultural competence and cognitive diversity. It also covers practical measures such as recruitment and retention, technology, business models, processes and how to engage and support underrepresented social and cultural groups.
Organisations can start with the code’s recommendations that are likely to deliver change quickly and with minimal disruption such as setting up a Diversity Board or Committee and having a set of HR policies that support DEI. All policies and guidance documents should be drafted using clear and simple language, include anonymised case studies or examples, include references to support mechanisms such as employee networks and be available in different formats such as physical, digital, different languages, braille and audio.
Organisations should provide appropriate training on the DEI strategy and how it should be implemented. The training should include a blend of targeted training, practical initiatives to increase awareness, personal and professional development, performance management to track progress and continuous learning by individuals sharing their experiences in a supportive environment.
Organisations should develop a process for monitoring and auditing its processes and practices against its stated aims and objectives for DEI. They should assess the accuracy and adaptability of job descriptions, source and quality of applicants, evidence of bias in application screening and interview, success against internal targets, internal progression and employee development and make recommendations for improvements.
Organisations are increasingly wanting to support greater DEI in the workplace and this new code of practice is a great practical support for employers to develop and implement a DEI framework, no matter the size or resource of the company.
Although the code does not cover local, national or international employment law, it does include standards and principles organisations can introduce that have been scrutinised by research institutes, government agencies and other bodies.
If you need any advice on DEI policies, or implementing a DEI framework, please contact a member of our Employment Team.