Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives have become an increasing priority within organizations. Studies show that almost 80% of workers desire working at companies who prioritize DEI initiatives.
Your executive team composition can demonstrate just how seriously you take DEI. Here are a few more ways you can prioritize it:.
1. Encouraging Everyone to Talk
One key component of DEI involves encouraging open and honest communication in the workplace. This means creating an atmosphere in which all members can freely express their experiences and perspectives freely, while listening carefully and respectfully to others’ perspectives. As a leader, you can facilitate this by encouraging all employees to contribute during meetings or discussions; even quiet or shy employees deserve to have their ideas heard! If working with teams with an unofficial spokesperson, encourage them to share their opinions but give everyone an equal opportunity to speak their mind.
One key thing to keep in mind when incorporating diversity equity and inclusion discussions into all aspects of your business, such as hiring practices, training programs and employee performance reviews.
As part of any dialogue about diversity and inclusion (DEI), be careful about what words you use when speaking out on these topics. Avoid using confusing or alienating jargon or acronyms that could mislead employees; ensure all employees, not just managers and leaders are included when talking about DEI. When trying to persuade someone of its importance, tailor your approach according to that person’s values and motivations – use specific stories or case studies that show what effect a lack of diversity and inclusion would have in your company.
Education of your entire organization on how to hold these discussions is of utmost importance. This can be accomplished via formal and informal educational settings like workshops and lunch meetings with management or staff; creating an intranet site or other communication channels allows employees to ask questions or voice any concerns directly.
By prioritizing diversity, companies reap many advantages. Not only are they better equipped to recruit top talent, they are more likely to meet their financial goals and achieve business success – as diverse teams tend to be more innovative and creative than homogenous ones, resulting in higher profits and productivity gains.
Even with these positive impacts, some companies are still struggling to see their efforts pay off. LinkedIn’s 2020 Diversity Report revealed that while businesses were discussing promoting greater diversity initially, after just months the conversation had subsided and many discussions have subsided altogether.
2. Creating a Culture of Respect
DEI plays an integral part in cultivating a culture that values respecting differences. Our aim is to foster an environment in which employees feel free to be themselves in the workplace and feel appreciated by their coworkers, so it’s vital that employees feel safe discussing differences such as cultural backgrounds or religions without fear or anxiety about talking about such topics. This means encouraging discussions regarding issues like these; all discussions must remain comfortable for employees involved.
Cultivating a culture of respect also involves recognising that different individuals have various needs, which can help teams work more efficiently together. For instance, inviting someone who might not share as many ideas can ensure the full range of ideas are discussed during meetings and can then be used to develop products or services more quickly.
At times, it can be easy to generalize or stereotype when it comes to an individual’s beliefs and experiences that differ from our own, especially if these differ significantly from our own. A key element of creating an open and respectful workplace environment involves not making snap judgments and treating each person with dignity and respect regardless of background. This means not taking offense at jokes or comments made by another and supporting open-mindedness among all individuals.
Diversity, equity and inclusion must be integral parts of a company’s business practices and not simply seen as guidelines on how to treat others. This includes hiring practices, performance evaluations, promotion policies and even communications using preferred pronouns.
Businesses that make DEI a priority will find that customers, partners, and talent all respond positively. In fact, a 2021 CNBC/SurveyMonkey survey discovered that nearly 80 percent of respondents desired working for companies that prioritize diversity and inclusion. Furthermore, businesses that include diverse leadership teams tend to outperform those without them financially.
Are You Looking to Implement Diversity Equity and Inclusion into Your Organization? Don’t wait; contact us immediately so we can provide the help needed. Our years of experience can deliver the results needed for innovation and growth while creating a supportive workplace culture for all employees.
3. Embracing Age
Though diversity focuses on differences, equity extends further by asking how everyone, from team members to end users, can feel valued and included. It requires acknowledging that people of different ages have unique needs and creating an inclusive workplace culture to accommodate this. A company could designate a special refrigerator for Kosher food or offer floating holidays so employees can take time off when it is most convenient for them.
Many DEI programs focus on the concept of inclusion. However, it’s important to keep in mind that inclusion does not equate to everyone experiencing a sense of belonging; for instance if women are well represented in senior management but do not feel included due to longstanding gender norms or salary discrepancies. A true diversity and inclusion strategy seeks to address any inequities within an organization and foster equality at every stage.
As part of any new project or initiative, it’s also vitally important to distinguish among diversity, equity and inclusion when planning. While they share many similarities between each other, each concept has its own specific meaning and relevance – although some organizations use these terms interchangeably – it’s vitally important for organizations to have a comprehensive understanding of all three so as to avoid misinterpretation or miscommunication which could occur when language evolves so quickly.
As the global landscape shifts, companies must embrace new cultures and perspectives in order to remain competitive in the marketplace. Therefore, an effective diversity, equity and inclusion program must form part of every company’s business strategy – HR Morning has reported that companies with highly diverse workforces tend to outperform those without one.
Though diversity, equity, and inclusion can be challenging tasks to undertake, companies that prioritize these initiatives are better poised for long-term success. By adopting them they can attract and retain top talent while improving productivity and innovation while improving customer service. So start today if you want to make a difference and embrace diversity and inclusion! Start by understanding what these terms mean to both you and your team then create a Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI) Plan as part of their goals for moving forward.
4. Creating a Culture of Innovation
An organization with a culture of diversity and inclusion encourages employees to think creatively when approaching their work, acknowledging that different perspectives lead to better solutions when problems arise. At work, this might mean giving employees “free time” for innovative projects or making sure women are represented in leadership roles.
An inclusive workforce can also better innovate and deliver new products or services to market, due to a wider pool of talent within a company and thus more people will have ideas about how to solve problems that will help keep its business competitive in its industry.
Companies that prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion will experience higher employee retention levels and satisfaction rates. Furthermore, such investments can attract more talented applicants while making future hiring simpler.
According to a 2021 survey by CNBC and SurveyMonkey, 80% of employees prefer working for companies that prioritize equity. Companies making efforts towards becoming more equitable may improve their brand image as a whole and attract top talent more readily in future years.
To achieve true diversity and inclusion, companies must extend these initiatives beyond hiring processes alone. Doing so requires cultural transformation that takes time and dedication. A great way for organizations to track progress is setting benchmarks and tracking results, which helps hold themselves accountable while reaching long-term goals.
One example would be creating policies to recognize and celebrate cultural and religious holidays celebrated by employees. Designating a space to do this and scheduling meetings that take these celebrations into account can make a big difference. Another is providing accommodations for employees with physical or neurological disabilities by designating special refrigerators to store Kosher food or offering floating holidays that give individuals flexibility in scheduling.
Businesses should promote an inclusive workplace culture when communicating with their employees. Instead of questioning potential hires about their salary history during an interview, encourage them to share about their career goals and unique traits instead. This will allow candidates to feel included and bring all their experience and skills to the team.