by Diane Thurston

The Challenge

A large regional bank with a strong reputation in the communities it serves recognized the need to make a commitment to diversity and inclusion (D&I). However, when leadership was asked to speak to the impact of the bank's D&I efforts, they found it difficult to articulate the full effect of their current activities or an intentional, multi-year plan to build on them. Leadership engaged Point B, a trusted long-term partner, to assess its current activities against an independent D&I benchmark and build a roadmap to communicate and advance its efforts going forward.

“Where are we now?”

How did the bank's employees experience the current state of D&I in their daily work lives?

To find out, we engaged people across the organization by creating a safe environment to have candid conversations through interviews and workshops. We also designed and led an employee survey and focus group organization. Our findings: People had widely inconsistent experiences around D&I – much more so than   expected. For leadership, this was an eye-opener and a call to action.

A clear two-year roadmap

Based on what we learned, we led a stakeholder workshop to articulate the current state of D&I and agree on an achievable and meaningful future state for the bank. We drew on best practices to build an actionable roadmap that prioritizes and leverages our customer’s existing D&I work along with new initiatives for the next two years. To help prioritize actions, we used the Global Diversity and Inclusion Benchmark maturity model to facilitate alignment and vision among a wide range of stakeholders from across the bank. Throughout this work, we brought Point B's consulting expertise together with our firm's own lessons learned in D&I and creating an award-winning culture that attracts and keeps talented people.

One of the quick win recommendations of this work was a clear vision statement for D&I. It was critical to define the bank's organizational stance and gave more than 1,800 employees a common language to address D&I issues that may arise. Words matter: Across the organization, this new clarity will improve the perception of D&I goals as tangible, valuable and, most important, achievable.

Embracing the future of work

Diversity and inclusion is a journey. Because we deeply engaged our customer’s employees in building their D&I roadmap, they own the insights, processes and reusable supporting materials to address new D&I issues and opportunities as they come up. That's vital to the future of a workplace that wins the loyalty of productive, dedicated people in a competitive market.