Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) is of critical importance for companies because it creates an inclusive workplace culture which benefits employee well-being and performance. Companies that prioritize DEIB tend to be more successful at recruiting talent, improving decision-making processes and creating better products than their counterparts who fail to prioritize DEIB.
Implementing an inclusive culture doesn’t stop with organizing an annual seminar or survey – it requires making real changes in hiring processes, policies and practices.
Belonging, the final component of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB), refers to employees feeling valued for who they are as individuals – this may include background, identity and perspectives on society at large. Belonging also encompasses their colleagues being accepting of them so they can bring all aspects of themselves to work.
Employee engagement in DEI strategies should always include this component as employees who don’t feel like part of their workplace will never be productive or happy. Research shows that belonging is associated with 56% increases in job performance, 50% reductions in turnover risk, 75% fewer sick days taken due to illness and 167% increases in employer promoter scores as well as 18X more raises.
Created a culture of belonging requires leadership and managers taking active steps to engage their teams, such as making time to listen to employees’ stories and express genuine interest in their well-being. Managers should also communicate the significance of DEIB across all levels of their organization while equipping employees to lead by example.
Companies should encourage employees to be themselves at work and speak up when they notice others being discriminated against. Companies must also offer opportunities for employees to share their stories and offer support during difficult times; furthermore they must create safe spaces for discussing challenging subjects like race and gender bias.
Employers should hold all employees accountable for meeting inclusion goals daily by holding them responsible for implementing DEI initiatives and building a culture of belonging. This will ensure that everyone feels like their role matters to the success of the company and create a more inclusive workforce which serves customers more efficiently and better serves society in general. By prioritizing inclusion, companies can attract top talent while spurring innovation while creating more equitable societies – as well as reduce negative repercussions of crises on global image and license to operate.
Inclusion means creating an atmosphere in which all employees feel welcome, valued, and supported no matter their background or identity. In order to successfully implement inclusion strategies within a workplace culture, companies should pay close attention to its policies, systems and products as a key aspect of inclusion.
To build an inclusive culture, it’s essential to understand what makes people feel unwelcome in the first place. This could include factors like race, religion, age, disability status, cultural background and socioeconomic status – plus any interactions these factors might have on work life – for instance if an employee hailing from marginalized backgrounds finds themselves working alongside predominantly white colleagues with no allies, this can result in feelings of exclusion and isolation.
Building an inclusive culture takes commitment and bravery from every employee, but also changes our way of looking at work. If your company uses words rooted in bias, such as those commonly associated with racism or sexism, it’s crucial that we discontinue using them immediately and find more inclusive language instead. Likewise, as managers it is our duty to create safe spaces where discussions with team members can occur in an open manner.
Measuring how well a company embodies diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging can be a difficult endeavor. Many businesses rely on annual employee surveys, which only scratch the surface and fail to capture all aspects of an issue at hand; additionally not all employees participate in these surveys and so the results may not reflect reality.
Leaders need to demonstrate and reinforce their dedication to DEIB by creating a safe space for open dialogue without blame or blame shifting, encouraging employees to speak freely about their experiences, and including representatives from underrepresented groups in the C-suite to provide insights on how best to support and expand diverse teams – McKinsey found that companies with gender equality in their C-suite are 35% more likely to outperform industry averages on revenue than companies without such gender parity in leadership positions.
Diversity extends beyond backgrounds, genders and races; it encompasses differences in how we interpret the world. Inclusion involves uniting all these differences into an integrated whole that values them all equally for dialogue, innovation, growth and improvement purposes in the company environment. Furthermore, belonging is defined by an employee feeling safe knowing their unique perspectives are valued by their coworkers and colleagues.
Companies can promote equity by ensuring all employees have equal access to resources, promotions and opportunities despite their varied backgrounds. This may mean hiring from a diverse pool of candidates or creating employee resource groups for underrepresented groups as well as offering training on unconscious bias and inclusion. It could also mean making sure all employees have equal voice in decision-making or providing inclusive culturally competent health plan care through your company health plan.
Employees need to feel that they belong in order to feel like part of an inclusive workplace environment, which means allowing themselves to bring all aspects of themselves — women, Black or LGBTQ identities as well as religious views, political stances and ages — into work without feeling restricted by these identities or stigmatised for showing them.
Attaining a sense of belonging requires organizations to be both welcoming and supportive – something which is difficult in practice. This is particularly challenging for marginalized groups that often face unfair treatment and discrimination in the workplace. To address this issue, organizations must prioritize equity when creating DEIB initiatives – this may involve conducting annual pay equity analyses, creating inclusive cultures within organizations, employing employee resource groups or offering ongoing training on unconscious bias and inclusion.
Businesses that prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion (DEIB) are better prepared to attract and retain top talent, increase customer insights, make more accurate decisions and boost performance. But it’s important that organizations understand prioritizing DEIB doesn’t automatically lead to a positive work environment; leaders need to explicitly commit themselves and dedicate sufficient resources and energy toward supporting this effort in order for DEIB policies and programs to work.
Companies that focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) initiatives are reaping tangible benefits. DEIB initiatives help retain employees, recruit top talent and improve innovation and productivity – as well as improving a company’s global image and license to operate.
An effective DEIB strategy begins by setting goals, implementing initiatives and measuring results. HR teams should ensure their DEIB goals align with the company’s mission and values as well as set realistic deadlines; for instance, DEIB goals could include increasing representation of underrepresented groups in leadership roles, creating an inclusive workplace culture and providing unconscious bias training programs.
In order to define diversity properly, it’s essential that we consider all aspects that define an individual as unique – be they gender, skin color, ethnicity, physical ability, age, religion, national origin socioeconomic background sexual orientation — plus any combination thereof known as intersectionality. By including this criteria into your company’s definition of diversity all employees should feel they belong and feel included at work.
Establish DEIB goals that fit within your company culture. Gen Z and millennial workers tend to prefer companies with diversity among leadership positions, and who display strong activism – this requires you to be willing to discuss controversial topics and take risks when creating a diverse workplace environment.
Measure your DEIB goals using hard metrics. Tools like Findem can help track how different genders, races, generations and veterans are represented in your hiring pool; and analytics can measure the percentage of people from underrepresented backgrounds promoted to leadership roles at your company.
As you implement your DEIB strategy, it is essential to remember that results take time. To maintain momentum and assess progress effectively, continually monitoring and evaluating progress is also key – for instance by asking employees for feedback on their experiences or reviewing metrics such as employee retention rates or new hires to identify areas for improvement.