“Inclusion of Diversity” Part of BASF Competency Framework

Creating value from differences requires an active and conscious approach that includes open-mindedness to be able to acknowledge and value diversity, and also an inclusive behaviour to integrate and leverage different perspectives, skills or approaches. Most companies have hence developed multi-layered frameworks for Diversity and Inclusion, encompassing different sets of elements the combination of which ensure the effective, and hopefully systematic, management and leverage of differences for business success.
Also BASF has developed its specific approach and understands D+I (diversity + inclusion) as a business principle. The company is positive that its business achievement is determined to a large degree not only by the diversity of its workforce but also by the level of Inclusion. To that end, Inclusion is the prerequisite for diversity at BASF, and signifies the nurturing of a corporate culture that values and respects difference. This, however, is an ambitious goal and many organisation are struggling with concrete approaches and specific ways to implement this. At BASF, the new competency “Inclusion of Diversity” has been added to the company’s Global Competency Framework. This framework has been derived from the requirements of the future markets, BASF’s Vision, BASF Values and Principles. It includes 14 competencies divided into 3 clusters (Entrepreneurship, Social Interaction and Cooperation, Leadership) and will be applied to all employees. “Inclusion of Diversity” has thus become one of the criteria to describe personal behaviour, skills and knowledge, and to help differentiate and leverage on the unique strength of people which is important for recruitment and development process in BASF.
The new competency is one of the D+I measures that underlines the high standards the company expects of its senior executives as role models in the process of change. It will therefore be observed and assessed as part of the regular appraisal and development programmes on an individual basis within the company. All employees are required to do a half-yearly or yearly performance assessment with their direct superior. The various levels of the new competency clearly stress the behavioural aspect of D+I in tapping into the potential of diversity. It starts with “recognises and values differences”, moves through “promotes a culture that embraces diversity” and culminates with “actively leverages diversity”.
For BASF, inclusive behaviour is decisive for effective collaboration but also for the pleasure employees take in working together. It is hence consistent for the company to have introduced “Inclusion of diversity” as part of its competency framework and to measure it in the assessment of its managers. The competencies also enable BASF to focus on the actual needs to perform a given job in a much clearer way and determine more specific training and development needs.
Also Daimler had included ‘Diversity Management’ as one of the group-wide criteria for rating performance and leadership potential. And the global energy corporation E.ON had defined ‘Diversity’ as one of the company’s fundamental behaviours which form part of the corporate vision, values and mission statement ONE E.ON.