5 Tips to Encourage Executive Support for Affirmative Action Programs

Affirmative Action Programs often fall into the bucket of Gotta Get it Done with a myriad other requ...

Posted by Carolyn Phillips Smith, M.Ed, SHRM-SCP on July 26 2022
Carolyn Phillips Smith, M.Ed, SHRM-SCP

Affirmative Action Programs often fall into the bucket of Gotta Get it Done with a myriad other requirements and regulations in the HR Compliance Realm. How can you help move your Program from a “check-the-box” task to a strategic business tool? Executive Support!

In addition to the Affirmative Action requirements outlined in E.O 11246 41 CFR §60-2.10, your Affirmative Action Program must include an Internal Audit and Reporting System that measures the effectiveness of the total program. This can be completed, in part, by reviewing Affirmative Action Plan results with all levels of management and advising top officials with a measure of program effectiveness and indicated opportunities for improvement. Here are 5 tips to plan a thoughtful Executive Summary that will help satisfy this requirement and encourage buy-in from the stakeholders in your company.

Take a 10,000-foot view

The time you have with your Executive Team is precious. Instead of getting deep in the weeds with detailed regulatory semantics and statistical analysis, focus on the big picture. Offer a high-level overview of your contractual obligations, a company-wide view of your current state, and highlights regarding opportunities for improvement and measures of success. Limit verbiage in favor of bullet points, relevant images and graphs.

Consider your audience

Understand what your results mean and what they say about the areas of responsibility for the people to whom you’re presenting. How will they react if their business unit has placement goals or indications of adverse impact? Are there personality quirks you should consider? One of my former C-Suite folks refused to acknowledge “problems,” preferring instead of invest time in “opportunities for improvement”. Tailoring your delivery to your audience will engage their support.

Align with your current initiatives

Your Affirmative Action Program isn’t a bolt-on accessory to your company’s goals: it should be seen as a strategic tool that delivers meaningful analysis impacting all areas of your business. What other projects would benefit from an Affirmative Action perspective?

Scare Tactics

Sometimes, the bottom line is the most important. The cost of non-compliance could be significant: Some companies have been ordered to pay 6-figures and up to resolve discrimination allegations. News releases detailing conciliation agreements with OFCCP can be found here: https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/ofccp

Be Prepared

Do you need to be an expert to deliver your AAP Results? Maybe not, but if you have one, why not use them! Berkshire can complete an Executive Summary of your AAP, in the format that fits best with your company. We can produce reports tailored to your specific executive audience, with easy-to-read graphs and charts. We are happy to answer regulatory questions and provide guidance on how to move forward. Ask your Berkshire Consultant about how we can prepare your Executive Summary.

Carolyn Phillips Smith, M.Ed, SHRM-SCP
Carolyn Phillips Smith, M.Ed, SHRM-SCP
Associate HR Consultant

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