A workplace assessment is key to understanding the current work environment and to making effective recommendations for change to employers. Conducting workplace assessments is an in-depth process, requiring a great deal of collaboration. As we conduct workplace assessments, we create long-term relationships with companies, jointly identifying potential issues and solutions. The anticipated outcome is that companies will better understand issues related to their policies, interviewing practices, orientation processes or worksite facilities that may act as a deterrent for hiring and/or retaining women.
A workplace assessment is the starting point to developing in-depth, customized tools with employers. Based on our assessment, we identify diversity-related needs and provide recommendations for how the company may move forward to enhance its recruitment and retention practices.
WRDC has developed a formal, standardized step-by-step process for workplace assessments:
Step #1 – Assessing Needs: WRDC developed a formal assessment tool to gather information about the employer’s specific diversity needs. This tool enables WRDC to capture information regarding employer needs and strengths. It also identifies and categorizes limitations to assist in next steps. It is important to note that the assessment document includes standard questions about workplace policies and practices related to respect, discrimination and harassment, labour market challenges, and both formal and informal processes regarding hiring, interviewing, and employee orientation.
Step #2 – Developing an Action Plan: WRDC works with employers to develop a strategic plan for diversity, including a vision and definition of diversity and inclusion that are specific to that employer. WRDC also assists in the development of a feasible action plan outlining short, medium and long term goals as well as recommendations on interventions to achieve success.
Step #3 – Implementing Interventions: WRDC has the ability to provide a variety of consultation services and training for management and staff to achieve an employer’s diversity goals. These services may be customized to respond to the organization’s identified needs, and will help them develop in-house capabilities to build and sustain a diverse workforce. For example, providing respectful workplace training for all employees and “Train-the Trainer” for staff who will be responsible for providing the training to new staff on a go forward basis.
Step #4 – Monitoring and Evaluating Progress: In some cases, WRDC will build long-term relationships with organizations by providing monitoring and evaluation services such as climate surveys and focus groups. Some employers will complete this stage using internal resources. WRDC will certainly recommend ongoing evaluation and we anticipate completing some of this work on behalf of employers.
WRDC has demonstrated a strong ability to conduct workplace assessments with a variety of different workplace/worksite settings, sectors, and workforces. We have adapted our approach and tools depending on the type of setting, and respond to any particular needs identified.