Companies that place diversity, equity and inclusion (DEIB) at the forefront experience improved employee retention and performance; however, many organizations still need to do a great deal of work in this regard.
Employer Equality and Inclusion Board (DEIB) leaders need to create an inclusive workplace in which employees feel included and respected – here are four strategies they can employ for doing just that.
No matter your field, HR or leadership, chances are you’ve heard of “diversity, inclusion and belonging”. But you may not realize how these four concepts fit together to form the holistic strategy known as DEIB; should any area of it go missing, the consequences can be disastrous.
Diversity encompasses all the characteristics that make each person distinct, such as age, ethnicity, gender identity, national origin, physical ability, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background and any combination thereof; known as intersectionality. DEIB programs emphasize diversity as one key tenet but must realize that it alone will not provide sufficient results.
Inclusion refers to creating an environment in which everyone feels valued, respected and supported by an organization. This involves giving employees the chance to contribute their talents and ideas regardless of where they come from or their background; respecting individual’s beliefs, cultures and values while creating an atmosphere where people feel they belong – this requires leaders who recognize and address bias within their teams.
Belonging is the final component of DEIB model and means feeling welcome within an environment where all individuals are treated equally. McKinsey research indicates that companies with high levels of inclusion see improved revenue and innovation performance, providing key ingredients for workplace happiness and success for individuals from marginalized groups.
Implementing DEIB has many advantages for organizations, yet starting the journey may be challenging for some organizations. They may lack knowledge, resources or motivation necessary for change; have tried before with similar initiatives that failed; or believe the impact won’t justify their effort. But it’s essential to remember that DEIB initiatives not only do good – but are smart too: DEIB initiatives can increase retention, foster innovation and drive productivity while simultaneously increasing employee satisfaction and customer loyalty.
Diversity, equity inclusion and belonging (DEIB) has become a hot topic in business circles. DEIB initiatives have traditionally focused on company policies and employee resource groups; now leaders are being encouraged to extend the focus to include how companies’ systems and products impact individuals as well.
Diversity refers to the many facets that comprise your workforce; Inclusion refers to how those elements come together into one coherent whole. It provides cultural and psychological safety measures which make employees feel included within a company, valued and accepted for who they are as people; encouraging creativity and innovation within your workforce.
Diversity without Inclusion is often met with discrimination and inequality in the workplace. If your company boasts diversity across race and gender but fails to foster an environment in which employees feel accepted as colleagues, this lack of inclusion can create an unfavorable imbalance that hinders performance and productivity.
As such, the best companies have begun taking a more comprehensive approach to DEIB by prioritizing diversity- and equity-inclusive hiring practices, not only recruiting candidates and promoting employees but also making systems, products, and services inclusive for those they serve. This means looking beyond simple hiring targets (“Let’s hire five women”) toward understanding how people of color, those with disabilities, veterans and those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds interact with the company as a whole so they can identify potential areas for improvement.
While it is essential to focus on Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging as key objectives of business operations, it’s also vitally important to recognize their interdependency. Belonging cannot exist without Diversity and Equity both being present – so companies should prioritize efforts aimed at eliminating bias while creating an equal playing field and providing access to resources which allow employees to thrive.
Watch as Cara Pelletier, Senior Director for Diversity & Inclusion at 15Five, breaks down the differences between Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as well as how these elements combine to form a workplace culture that fosters belonging. This video forms part of 15Five Transform’s “Understanding Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging” lesson.
When discussing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), two words you are likely familiar with are diversity and inclusion; however, equity and belonging may be less well known components of DEI.
Equity is the process by which companies ensure all members of a diverse population have equal access to opportunities and resources, creating an atmosphere where employees feel welcomed, supported and accepted within their workplaces – ultimately keeping employees from all backgrounds engaged with the same company despite facing challenges in life.
Establishing an inclusive workplace takes an immense level of commitment from leadership. This involves shifting employee mindset and culture so all workers feel safe being themselves at work, eliminating bias such as racism, sexism, tokenism, ageism, ableism and religion among others, while acknowledging all individuals have equal value and worth.
With business landscapes continually shifting and the diversity of workforce changing, it has never been more crucial for leaders to prioritize DEI. Studies show that diverse companies are more innovative, productive and profitable. And in today’s highly competitive marketplace, businesses that prioritize DEI will outshone competitors.
Measuring how well your organization embodies DEI can be difficult. Employee surveys may provide useful data, but they don’t give an accurate picture of employee sentiment.
An Inclusion Index provides more accurate and detailed measurements. This tool aims to help organizations pinpoint specific areas where improvement needs to take place within their organizations as well as act as a roadmap for future initiatives. Companies looking to understand better the experiences of employees from marginalized communities – women, racial minorities, ethnic and linguistic minorities, LGBTQ+ individuals and those living with disabilities can all find this index particularly helpful when conducting employee surveys; additionally it can identify any bias present within employee survey results while serving as an evaluation of personal or professional experiences when reflecting upon yourself or others!
Belonging is a key concept in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work; however, its terminology can often be overwhelming for newcomers to the field. This framework seeks to provide an initial organizing structure for mapping the belonging literature more readily accessible in order to facilitate knowledge development in this vital domain.
Belonging is defined as the feeling of acceptance and value within an employee’s workplace community, from accepting them for who they are to supporting their unique identities within that context. Belonging is achieved through recognition, support and inclusion of diversity such as age, race, sex, gender sexual orientation socioeconomic status religion disabilities etc in all its complexity. When employees experience belonging they are three times more likely to look forward to coming to work each day and five times more likely to remain with their company over time.
A sense of belonging is both an individual need and a source of strength and connection. When individuals feel they belong, their resilience increases along with their coping skills for managing challenges more effectively, motivating and producing greater work outputs. Furthermore, research shows that when individuals can share experiences they’re less likely to perceive discrimination and prejudice from others.
Companies can foster a sense of belonging among employees through various tactics, including cultural training and encouraging all staff to attend diversity events. Businesses should also ensure everyone’s contributions are recognized and rewarded accordingly; yet achieving such a sense of belonging doesn’t guarantee it; instead it simply implies people are at ease with themselves and accept themselves for who they are.
Though companies strive to create diverse and inclusive workplaces, there remain gaps in opportunities for certain groups of employees. This may be due to social or structural inequalities, bias, prejudice and stereotypes; closing these gaps may prove challenging but there are steps companies can take that may make a difference.