Common misconception is that diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives automatically lead to an inclusive work environment. Successful DEI policies instead are rooted in fairness and equality within organizational processes ranging from talent acquisition and hiring practices to workplace standards.
According to a 2019 McKinsey report, companies that value diversity are more likely to find business success. Below are a few diversity equity and inclusion examples that companies could look into.
1. Listen to Your Diverse Employees
One of the best ways to understand diversity and inclusion challenges is by talking with those most affected by them – this means setting aside one-on-one time with employees, conducting employee surveys, or convening focus groups specifically designed to address inclusivity issues. Listening closely to your diverse employees allows you to better identify where there are gaps in current systems and develop plans to address them.
Step one in creating a diverse and inclusive workplace is ensuring your company is fully committed. Start by reviewing current demographics and assessing if there are enough people of various races, genders, religions, backgrounds, sexual orientations and disabilities within your workforce. If not, it is crucial that leadership takes an honest assessment and makes any necessary adjustments if necessary.
Once you have an accurate grasp on the state of your business, it is time to implement a plan. A DEI initiative should aim at infusing fairness into every facet of the organization from talent screening and hiring processes all the way to workplace standards – in doing so you ensure all employees have equal chances for success and feel like they are being treated fairly.
Sharing resources, providing forums where individuals can express themselves freely, and creating safe spaces are all effective strategies for creating an inclusive culture in your workplace. Employees will learn how to value differences that make each of their colleagues distinctive.
Diversity may produce better business results, but inclusion is what keeps employees feeling appreciated and respected on the job. If an employee feels they don’t belong, they will eventually leave.
By prioritizing inclusion, you can ensure all employees feel included and welcome at your company. By catering to the needs of a diverse workforce, you will attract more candidates while keeping them employed longer.
2. Create a Culture of Inclusion
At work, it is vital that everyone feels welcome to bring all aspects of themselves into the workplace – this means embracing differences, honoring cultural backgrounds and learning about specific traditions. Furthermore, inclusion is the practice of making sure employees who have disabilities or special needs feel supported – this process is an integral part of business operations.
Establishing an inclusive culture within a company starts from within and extends throughout its entirety. Leadership team must set an example by modeling what constitutes an inclusive workplace and making sure employees understand how their behavior impacts others – perhaps through training sessions or workshops that promote inclusivity while stressing its significance in your business model.
Another effective way of creating an inclusive culture is encouraging employee feedback. This can be accomplished using anonymized questionnaires, interviews hosted by an impartial external organisation or facilitated workshops; once all the feedback has been collected by leadership they can identify any major issues and take appropriate measures.
To ensure the greatest possible inclusion within your business, it is wise to establish an inclusion team. This should consist of people from various parts of your organization who will address early issues that may arise from diversity initiatives. Furthermore, including this team in goal setting processes so they can relay any issues as necessary up or down the chain of command.
By creating this team, you can ensure all employees are treated fairly and their individual qualities are recognized within your business. Furthermore, creating an inclusive workplace can attract new talent while increasing retention by making current workers feel appreciated – it has even been shown that businesses which prioritize inclusion are twice more likely to meet financial goals and three times more likely to perform. So don’t wait – start on your journey toward being inclusive now! The results will speak for themselves!
3. Encourage Employee Feedback
Your employees know what needs changing in your company better than anyone, so engaging them in dialogue about diversity initiatives and workplace culture should help build trust between employees and establish ownership over DEI efforts. Scheduling one-on-one meetings between managers and their direct reports to solicit constructive feedback can help establish this connection and foster success for DEI efforts.
Diversity refers to acknowledging differences, while inclusion goes one step further by considering how everyone – team members and end users alike–feels when coming into contact with your company. For instance, having a diverse team could still lead to feelings of exclusion due to gender disparity within senior management or failing to accommodate religious/spiritual practices during business hours.
To address these issues, it’s wise to implement a transparency policy around your DEI efforts. This involves making your DEI report available publicly on your website, while outlining steps your company is taking towards building a positive work culture that embraces diversity. Doing this shows your dedication to improving employee experience while making it less likely that workers leave for more supportive working conditions elsewhere.
Encourage your workers to discuss DEI openly among themselves as well, which will allow them to feel supported and empowered to voice their opinions without fear of retribution or reprisals. Involving employees is also a great way of gathering their ideas so you can implement any necessary changes for everyone in your company to thrive.
Many companies are realizing the advantages of welcoming diversity into their workforces. Studies show that companies which prioritize DEI perform more efficiently than those who don’t prioritize it. Although implementing diversity and equity may require spending money – such as increasing talent acquisition budgets or hiring trainers – the initial investment will pay dividends in long-term profitability of your business.
More perspectives provide more innovative approaches for any given company project or issue, making for greater creativity in solving problems and finding creative solutions to outdated or harmful assumptions. A well-rounded team is therefore essential in order to reach these results.
4. Create a Mission Statement
Your organization’s mission statement should encompass its core beliefs and values, with an eye toward encouraging employees to “walk the talk.” According to Falkowski, such statements should also serve as motivational tools, prompting employees to “walk their talk.” To make sure it resonates, conduct tests on it with employees so you know it doesn’t exclude or narrow its point too narrowly or vaguely – depending on company size this could mean posting it in employee breakroom walls or including it all marketing materials as your organization values are essential components of its identity and reputation – use tests with employees so you know exactly where and when.