Thursday, January 7, 2010

Book Review: The Power of Inclusion

Title: The Power of Inclusion: Unlock the Potential and Productivity of Your Workforce
Authors: Michael C. Hyter and Judith Turnock
Rating: 3.5 stars
Available: To purchase online and at various book stores.

With constantly advancing technology and increasing globalization, employee performance is what distinguishes top performing businesses from the rest. Hyter and Turnock highlight the aristocratic approach that many organizations take when deciding which employees are worthy of investing in, exclusively providing select employees with opportunities for advancement. They go on to explain how most management teams hire employees with characteristics similar to themselves, and solely focus training and development on those who they have deemed “high potential” employees. In a business world that is said to promote “equal opportunity” these common practices undoubtedly perpetuate inequality.

The authors make a business case for an inclusive model of human resource management. They detail how the people who are most successful in the workplace achieve their level of success because of the attention and amount of investment management has provided for them, not because they had more potential than any other employee. Subsequent chapters go on to explain how businesses can create an inclusive culture, concentrating development opportunities not just on the select few, but giving those same benefits to everyone; this will help them unlock the potential and productivity of their workforce.

What stood out most for me was the section in the concluding chapter that highlighted assessment and evaluation guidelines to measure progress and results (p 230). The criteria include:

  • Increased breadth of recruitment

  • Increased internal sourcing and advancement

  • Increased diversity across the board

  • Reduced turnover

  • Improved employee satisfaction

  • Improved customer satisfaction

  • Increased market share

I also liked the index that highlighted important terms and topics, and the case studies weaved throughout the book which provided relevant information on real experiences.

What I disliked about this book was that it seemed to focus on medium to large sized businesses. Also the turnaround time for measureable impact of the strategies proposed is fairly long. I think it would have been helpful for the authors included smaller, achievable goals throughout refurbishing process.

Lessons Learned
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket; equal opportunity includes providing every employee with training and development opportunities equally.

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