Improve your EEO program by using the SPLENDID approach


You’ve been tasked with improving your company’s Equal Employment Opportunity program and are wondering how to approach it. Do organizations that operate their EEO compliance procedures above and beyond the minimum basic legal requirements share common characteristics? If so, what are they?


A task force for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission studied the best practices of private-sector employers and found that leading companies seemed to adopt what the task force calls a “SPLENDID” approach to the issues.

  • Study: Since you cannot solve problems that you don’t know exist, know the law, the standards that define your obligations, and the various barriers to EEO and diversity. Assistance can be obtained from the EEOC, professional consultants, associations, or groups.
  • Plan: Know your own circumstances (workforce and demographics — locally, nationally, and globally). Define your problem(s); propose solutions; and develop strategies for achieving them.
  • Lead: Senior, middle, and lower management must champion the cause of diversity as a business imperative and provide leadership for successful attainment of the vision of a diverse workforce at all levels of management.
  • Encourage: Companies should encourage the attainment of diversity by all managers, supervisors and employees, and structure their business practices and reward systems to reinforce those corporate objectives. Link pay and performance not only for technical competencies, but also for how employees interact, support, and respect each other.
  • Notice: Take notice of the impact of your practices after monitoring and assessing company progress. Self-analysis is a key part of this process. Ensure that a corrective strategy does not cause or result in unfairness.
  • Discussion: Communicate and reinforce the message that diversity is a business asset and a key element of business success in a national and global market.
  • Inclusion: Bring everyone into this process, including white males. Help them understand that EEO initiatives are good for the company and, thus, good for everyone in the company. Include them in the analysis, planning, and implementation.
  • Dedication: Stay persistent in your quest. Long-term gains from these practices may cost in the short term. Invest the needed human and capital resources.

Source: EEOC Task Force Report: Best Practices of Private Sector Employers,

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