If you had a million dollars (or more) to investigate your culture, what would you find out? (Music fans may appreciate the classic “If I Had a Million Dollars” song from the Barenaked Ladies. You’re welcome.)
Well, Uber engaged a lawfirm, Covington & Burling, and the former Attorney General Eric Holder to do just that — interviews with over 200 people, reviews of over 3 million documents — and discovered a lot. It isn’t pretty.
Thankfully, the firm released its recommendations for all the world to see. In doing so, the report actually can serve as a bit of a road map of what to do at your company if you have some similar issues. All for free.
You can and should review the report here. There are some specifics that won’t be helpful — like allocating the responsibilities of the CEO. But there are many others which show what the best practices are at companies in 2017. Here are a few to get you started:
- Use Performance Reviews to Hold Senior Leaders Accountable. This recommendation is straightforward, but suggests that companies should have metrics that are tied to “improving diversity, responsiveness to employee complaints, employee satisfaction, and compliance.” If you don’t hold senior leaders accountable, things will fall through the cracks.
- Increase the Profile of  Head of Diversity and the Efforts of His Organization. This recommendation suggests something that may come as a surprise to some companies but reflects a growing shift in corporate culture, that is, that an “empowered senior leader who is responsible for diversity and inclusion is key to the integrity of” a company’s efforts. Note the dual emphasis. As the report later explains, “It is equally important that the role address both diversity and inclusion. Diversity is generally viewed as focusing on the presence of diverse employees based on religion, race, age, sexual orientation, gender, and culture. Inclusion, on the other hand, focuses not just on the presence of diverse employees, but on the inclusion and engagement of such employees in all aspects of an organization’s operations.”
- Human Resources Record-Keeping. With the buzz about data, this recommendation reflections the growing wisdom that a company should have “appropriate tools, including complaint tracking software, to keep better track of complaints, personnel records and employee data.” More than that, a company should “emphasize the importance of record-keeping to all Human Resources staff, and impose consequences for failure to adhere to record-keeping requirements.” In other words, no longer should HR be viewed as secondary to a company’s mission. It’s front and center.
- Training, Training, and Training. I’m cheating a bit on this one because the report actually breaks down training at various levels, but the need for training is emphasized for senior leaders, HR staff, and managers. And more than that, the company should also “require employees who routinely interview candidates…to undergo training on interviewing skills, conducting inclusive interviews and unconscious bias.”
There’s much more to the report, including additional suggestions specifically on diversity and inclusion efforts. It’s a helpful roadmap for all companies.