Case Study: Boosting Diversity and Inclusion of a Leading Global Hotel Corporation


Our client was a large, highly matrixed hotel chain that was seeing a dip in employee engagement and a subsequent rise in turnover of employees across the organization, specifically among immigrant women. According to an employee engagement survey administered, employees felt that the organization and their teams were “diverse,” but not necessarily “inclusive.” 

Despite meeting quotas, teams were largely siloed and there were clear divisions across IT and various business units based on gender and cultural identity, which reduced communication across these functions. The goal was to bring employee satisfaction and engagement back to previous rates and reinvigorate the entire workforce around diversity and inclusion goals by hiring a Diversity Officer.

When we came into our client, the new Diversity Officer had joined for 6 months and had developed a diversity roadmap based on her surveys across functions. However, it was thus far receiving low engagement across the enterprise. 

Our Solution

We used the Change Assessment 360 to combine survey data with quantitative HRIS data to glean insights on the impact of diversity and inclusion indicators on team performance indicators across 5 customer-facing teams. Thereafter, we worked with the client to develop a Diversity Council with representatives of each business unit to set a vision and overall strategy for incorporating diversity and inclusion as a part of everyday worklife, rather than as an afterthought. This began with a current state assessment which involved one-on-one laser interviews as well as focus groups to understand employee areas of concern more deeply.  Employees across all strata reported that they felt strained and limited in communication opportunities as well as topics. Based on this data, we used our Accelerator to quickly employ a multi-step diversity and inclusion strategy over a period of 4 months:

- Integrating diversity into other programs and portfolios, e.g. in-person diversity workshops 1x a week within agile training
- Implementing customized micro-learning videos 2x a week to instill new behaviors and mindsets related to diversity
- Enabling two-way communication and content sharing on Diversity through creating a Diversity portal within the company intranet addressing the issue of unconscious bias and discrimination
- Launching a quarterly “Open Mic” session where employees were given the opportunity to share cultural stories related to specific themes and ask questions
- Launching a biweekly opt-in Lunch Date program, randomly matching members across teams-- these meals were subsidized by the company. 

Results

We took a pulse survey at 1.5 months and a full employee engagement survey at 4 months, with similar questions and measurement metrics to the first survey used by the company. The survey noted that all employees felt there were greater opportunities to connect across teams and get to know one another, noting that the intranet and workshops were "particularly helpful" in their experience. Minority employees, specifically women-of-color, felt there were more opportunities to share their heritage and culture and be accepted and included as an equal. Over 4 months, employee satisfaction increased as a whole by 15%, and among minority women employees by 23%.
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