Most people can remember experiencing feelings of alienation or discord within relationships at one point in time or another. Such experiences are intensely painful and can make us question where our place in society lies.
Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) are values which many organizations are starting to incorporate into their policies and practices – something which should be encouraged.
1. Invest in Your People
Employees will feel more engaged at work if they feel like members of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace, making it easier for them to bring their best selves and perform at higher levels. Diversity and inclusion may present unique challenges, so leaders should make investments necessary for making everyone feel included.
To provide your team with the support it needs to foster an environment of DEIB, provide them with tools and training necessary to create such an environment. For instance, education about unconscious biases and microaggressions are vitally important as is providing opportunities to take part in professional development activities and employee resource groups – all which will allow them to become better guardians of the company’s values while creating stronger bonds among coworkers.
Leaders should prioritize creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace by ensuring hiring practices are equitable. This may involve partnering with organizations dedicated to diversity recruitment as well as attending job fairs hosted by minority groups. Software such as Findem can also be used to track diversity by tracking how various genders, races/ethnicities, generations, physical abilities and veterans are represented within candidate pools – enabling HR teams to quickly adapt recruitment strategies if their diversity KPIs aren’t being met.
Finally, create a safe space for your team to have open and honest discussions about any challenges they face working in a non-inclusive work environment. This is particularly important when initiating new initiatives that emphasize diversity and inclusion; you must let employees know their voices are valued and their input necessary in order for these initiatives to succeed.
Diversity refers to the demographic makeup of an organization; equity means providing all individuals with equal access to opportunities and resources, correcting any imbalances that have existed for centuries in society, including race/ethnicity/gender/sexual orientation/orientation/orientations as well as socioeconomic status/education levels/national origin/religion beliefs etc. Incorporating all of these components is required to achieve true equity – from diversity in its demographic makeup through equality for everyone as an end goal – something diversity does not allow.
2. Involve Your Employees
If you want your employees to help drive diversity, equity inclusion and belonging, it is critical that they all understand your goals and how they can assist. One way of doing this is through hosting workshops and training sessions that teach diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging; how they impact business; as well as taking an inventory of your company culture to determine how inclusive it truly is. Consider how well you support workers who differ from the majority of employees, such as warehouse workers who only speak Spanish at home, breastfeeding mothers or Muslim employees who follow an Islamic prayer routine that requires them to miss work on certain days each week.
Action can then be taken to change anything that’s not inclusive, like making sure employees have access to all the tools and technology they require for doing their jobs effectively. This may mean offering translation services for those who do not speak English as their first language, kosher food refrigerators, and rooms dedicated to practicing religious rituals in accordance with beliefs. Even simple changes such as altering your communications strategy – like making sure all documents written for internal distribution use plain language without slang, euphemisms or acronyms – can have huge impacts!
Attract employees by supporting and encouraging their ideas and contributions through various means such as employee resource groups, diversity taskforces or DEI training programs. Furthermore, encourage open communication among all employees so they feel comfortable sharing perspectives or discussing sensitive subjects like unconscious bias or microaggressions with each other.
Once your employees feel engaged and included, they can become your strongest advocates in encouraging other members of the organization to do the same. This approach creates an environment that’s truly diverse, equitable, inclusive and welcoming while at the same time being an incredible source of innovation – according to Garter’s 2018 study, teams with greater diversity (in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, age education career path etc) are often the most productive ones.
3. Be Clear About Your Goals
Many companies create diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) goals without fully comprehending how these initiatives will affect their business. Furthermore, many may use incorrect terminology when discussing DEIB strategies – this can cause employee confusion and morale loss; diversity, inclusivity and belonging are distinct concepts with distinct action plans required for implementation.
Diversity recognizes all the ways people differ, including race, gender and sexual orientation; inclusivity seeks to ensure all employees feel welcomed at work by creating an atmosphere in which each employee can express his/her individuality freely and share unique insights with team.
Research has proven that companies with inclusive cultures excel, while being more innovative and creative than those without one. A commitment to inclusion can attract more talent, increase employee retention rates and generate greater revenues for any given business.
Your organization must establish clear goals to foster a culture of diversity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB), communicate these to employees and acknowledge progress made towards these targets. Furthermore, leaders should actively foster DEIB workplace environments by participating in diversity training.
Setting diversity and inclusion performance goals can be difficult for managers due to so many variables at play. To make sure that the goals you set are measurable, attainable, relevant to your business and based on external data that reflects its values and priorities.
As part of your company’s diversity goals, it’s essential that employees play an active role. Employee Resource Groups or mentorship/mentee programs may help, as can training/workshops that equip employees with culturally competent skills and strategies. Furthermore, consider asking employees to help define which areas are most essential in terms of diversity equity and inclusion goals for your business.
4. Encourage Feedback
Have you heard the terms “diversity” and “inclusion” bandied about in conversations about creating an inclusive workplace? Perhaps even involved yourself with diversity, equity and inclusion (DEIB) initiatives at your company – but have struggled to distinguish these terms that often get used interchangeably or have multiple interpretations?
Diversity at DEIB refers to any difference among individuals, whether in race, sex, gender, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, physical abilities and socioeconomic status. Inclusivity refers to acknowledging and welcoming these differences within an atmosphere that feels safe, respectful and welcoming – including providing every employee equal opportunities within the organization while respecting them as unique individuals with individual talents and skillsets.
Companies that prioritize DEIB often outshone those that do not, with more innovative products and services, higher productivity, more loyal employees and stronger revenues. Unfortunately, however, making changes to achieve this benefit can be daunting; leadership needs to promote an environment in which all workers feel they can express themselves fully while on the job.
However, you don’t have to go it alone when creating an inclusive workplace for everyone. Take some simple steps today to ensure everyone feels welcome in your workplace and is encouraged to bring their full selves. Firstly, ensure your company offers diversity, equity and belonging training to all employees which can help identify and avoid unconscious bias. Furthermore, encourage team members from diverse identities share their stories and ensure all voices are heard.
Be sure to include regular and anonymous surveying into your workflow so you can hear from all team members on a regular basis about their experiences at your company. With the results from these surveys, you can make changes that improve employee engagement and a sense of belonging at work – this will lead to greater motivation to succeed and ultimately improved business practices.