A diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace drives progress and creates a plethora of growth opportunities. In recent years businesses have begun to recognize the value of creating a welcoming work environment.
US companies annually spend nearly $8 billion dollars on diversity trainings. Organizations used to tokenize people of color to check the diversity box. Over time businesses have begun to see the real value in creating an inclusive work environment. Keep reading to learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion and how they can improve the success of a business.
Clearly Define DE&I Expectations
Perhaps the most important step in creating a workplace environment that values diversity, equity, and inclusion, is clearly defining the terms. Businesses need to integrate opportunities to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I).
Once businesses set transparent goals with their employee and upper management, they can cultivate a welcoming environment.
Highlight Diversity in the Workplace
Diversity is a relational concept. There is no such thing as a diverse candidate; a diverse workplace means there is a dissimilar pool of employees.
Diversity in the workplace can mean a variety of things. It can mean a variety of backgrounds, socioeconomic backgrounds, or political ideologies are welcome. Rather than just scouting out people of color, you should look at adding heterogeneity to the workplace.
Utilize Employee Resource Groups
Business managers can highlight diversity in the workplace by encouraging employee resource groups (ERGs). ERGs are smaller communities built amongst employees that have shared characteristics, interests, or values. Some common examples of ERGs are ones centered around race or sexual orientation.
Corporate leadership can promote the creation of these groups by providing them funding for out-of-office networking opportunities. ERGs can work as advocates for that particular subset of people; they can provide guidance and feedback on behalf of the community.
Welcome Diverse Referrals
If you can show that your company is looking for people of varied backgrounds, you can quickly diversify your workforce. Making sure that employees know you value an assortment of referrals can bring you faster hires with less advertising. Being intentional about requesting a diverse pool of referrals can put you on solid footing as you look to diversify your workforce.
Promote Equity in the Workplace
Equity is the equal treatment of all employees. A signal of equity is when everyone has proportional representation.
Unlike equality, where everyone is offered the same opportunities, equity means that the organization recognizes the resources each person has access to. In an equitable environment, employees don’t feel discriminated against and are welcome to have a seat at the table.
Conducting Skills-Based Hiring
Instead of focusing on resumes, if businesses focus on the necessary skills when hiring, they can cut down some inherited biases. Skills-based hiring can help ensure that there is diverse cross-level representation. When businesses are looking to check a box, they fill low-authority jobs with minorities.
Provide Inclusive Incentives and Benefits
Equity requires being considerate of employees’ circumstances. You can demonstrate company-wide equity by providing inclusive benefit packages. These benefits may include maternal and paternal leave as well as spousal packages for same-sex couples.
Hosting out-of-office events that require a particular dress code, maybe alienate some populations. Keeping in mind that everyone’s resources may not be similar can help provide recognition-based incentives to avoid excluding employees.
Offer Continued Education Programs
Providing opportunities for continued education can help provide resources to your employees. Employees that seize the opportunities for continued education are actively pursuing the chance to qualify for a higher salary or authority role. Encouraging employees to have a thirst for learning teaches them to generate innovative practices in the industry.
Create an Inclusive Work Environment
Inclusivity is the prioritization of respect and value in the workplace. When businesses are considerate of the employee experience, they are actively taking steps to create an inclusive environment.
In an inclusive environment, when prompted with actionable feedback, businesses are eager to take action. A truly inclusive environment is receptive to feedback. They use feedback to make informative decisions.
Building Spaces for People to Practice
An inclusive work environment prioritizes making spaces for people. These new spaces could include a room for new mothers to pump their breast milk or to practice their religion. Offering private spaces for these groups of people to practice and pray shows a certain standard of cultural respect.
Internal Feedback Surveys
When businesses routinely collect employee feedback survey’s they exhibit responsiveness to employee needs and wants. Feedback leads to higher employee retention rates and improved productivity. Conducting surveys shows your employees that their opinions are valued.
Offering anonymity to these surveys can help a business make sure that institutional changes are data-driven without an inherent bias. Showing employees that your business is willing to adapt to be more inclusive increases morale.
Prioritize DEI Programs
Businesses can support DEI programs by proactively changing the conversation. When your employees start using the working definition of DEI, they can gain a relational understanding. By analyzing talent practices and funding DEI programs, you can create a prosperous workplace culture.
Management can lead effectively when you set transparent goals. Companies can improve their environment by targeting areas by implementing plans of action.
Work to Advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Upper management must lead effectively to pave the for progress in business. Reinforcing DEI programs at work helps employees perform at their best. With a constantly growing pool of resources to make your business more inviting to prospective and current employees.
Connect with us to learn more about how to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.