Leaders Leading the Way
We all know, commitment to change within an organization starts at the top. Often diversity & inclusion efforts fail or don’t fully accomplish key objectives because of the lack of leadership from the CEO and other top leaders.
Masco’s approach started at the top—with the board, the CEO, and the top 150 executives across the company. A series of continuous and sometimes difficult discussions occurred to engage leaders about the need for a more intentional focus and commitment to D&I. Four elements summarize our approach to building ownership and accountability:
- Leaders Leading the Conversation. Led by the CEO and followed by the executives, the dialogue started with them to our employees, including leaders facilitating group discussions during off-site meetings, town halls, lunch-and-learns, among other forums.
- Bottom-up & Top-down Planning. All business units created a focused action plan that leveraged best-practices from internal/external benchmarking. This ensured our plans are locally owned, tailored to specific needs, while benefiting from our scale and breadth of resources.
- Consistent Check-ins. A series of touchpoints were embedded throughout our business calendar to support ongoing dialogue, assessing progress against our plans, and provide a platform for continuous feedback on how we’re doing.
- Compensation Linked. A portion of variable compensation for our business units has also been linked to D&I efforts.
- Clear accountability demonstrated by leaders to employees
- Sustained dialogue with leaders and employees
- Accelerated action planning buy-in and deployment
- More opportunities for experimentation, learning, and best practice sharing
I know that to authentically move the needle in this area, it starts with me and each leader in the company to help our employees understand why diversity & inclusion is critical to our business. We also know there is not a one-size fit all approach – we are meeting our business units where they are and helping them stretch to be better – just like we do with all of our business imperatives.