Diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace are not choices anymore. One must recognize the positive impact of these factors on a growing organization. While we have been discussing terms like diversity for a long time now, it is only recently that organizations have started exploring and acting on them.
It is fairly well established that if you are in a diverse and inclusive workplace, you will reap the benefits of this consistently and in multiple ways. However, it takes work to implement these features.
Do you want to know why? A majority of organizations assume that they are already promoting diversity and inclusion and don’t make an effort to work on them. However, the best way to know if an organization is diverse and inclusive is to ask the employees!
A Gartner survey states that Only 40% of employees agree that their organization promotes diversity and inclusion.
Diversity talks about employing a workforce varied in gender, race, political beliefs, class, and sexual orientation.
Inclusion means making everyone in this diverse crowd feel equally valued, compensated, and respected.
Equity is the practice of providing rewards and recognition, compensation, and opportunities that are fair and equal for one and all.
Initially, there was only diversity and inclusion. After a while, equity came into the picture. Together, these are also called DEI.
Brene Brown, a prevalent HR personality, is advocating the addition of another parameter to DEI – Belonging, suggesting the term be called DEIB. We’ll discuss more on this in future blogs. Let’s get back to DEI in the workplace for now.
Talent is everywhere, and by making diversity and inclusion a part of your hiring culture, you will be able to hire the best of talent, despite who they are, where they are from, and what they believe in.
Here is diversity in workplace examples related to hiring processes.
Your management is slightly inclined towards hiring local graduates who have finished college from the top five colleges in the state. As a result, most of your existing employees come from very similar backgrounds.
The problem with this is that all your employees are likely to think and act similarly, which could be counterproductive if you look for out-of-box ideas and varied thinking.
This could lead to a culture of staying in groups when this happens, and an outsider may need help to sustain such a work culture.
With diversity and inclusion, a wider talent pool will help balance out workplace skills, thoughts, and behavior and keep the atmosphere engaging.
Also, studies show that people in general prefer to work in a place that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion.
A survey states the following.
76% of job seekers expect diversity, equity, and inclusion to be essential to their future workplace.
This is an extension of the first point and is very important for any organization that wishes to grow and not merely exist. In a workplace filled with diversity and inclusion, you will get multiple thoughts, answers, perspectives and viewpoints when you post a single question to all the employees.
This may be great if you want to understand how different people may react to your business idea and then make an informed decision. Your organization can be a mini sample customer pool, thanks to the varied types of people you have hired.
Sometimes the best of minds can miss pointers that someone else can point to, thanks to their tailor-made experiences and growing-up scenarios. DEI would help the organization as a whole.
What is the customer base that you want to sell to? If your products and services are aimed at reaching just the people of limited geography, you may get away with not worrying about DEI in the workplace.
However, diverse teams may be your strategic difference if you aim to reach larger customer pools. A diverse team will be able to design products and services that fit different customer needs instead of offering the exact solution to everyone.
Also, a diverse customer-facing team will positively impact the clients and help improve sales!
There are so many studies and surveys that relate diversity and inclusion with improved business profits. Check these stats out.
Even if none of the above benefits happen, organizations should focus on diversity and inclusion because they are the right thing to do.
From slavery in the past to gender stereotyping and unfair compensation, the human race has gone through different types of inequalities, and the best place to put a stop to these is the workplace.
DEI in the workplace can create an ethical and just atmosphere. When people are treated fairly in their workplace, they have a higher chance of practicing the same outside the office, and this is something all organizations have to work towards.
Leadership attitude toward diversity and inclusion is the first and the most critical element in practicing DEI at the workplace.
One of the biggest challenges to practicing diversity and inclusion is the need for more trust in the process by the management. There could be two problems here.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace take work to quantify. However, the only way the management will know if their efforts are reaping the rewards is to try and measure the values before and after significant interventions.
Use tools like surveys, anonymous feedback, inclusion climate scale, and perceived group inclusion scale to measure DEI in the workplace.
Let’s say your organization has fostered competitiveness and aggressiveness in employees for so long. Employees were used to a SILO mindset. When you start introducing diversity and inclusion as key cultural parameters, it may take work for your employees to trust the decision and make the change. When your existing work culture is deep set and you want to introduce change, your management needs to give the time (years, in many cases) before looking for results.
Do read our blog on culture building through recognition and appreciation next.
Practicing diversity and inclusion is morally right and the need of the hour; even if this doesn’t reap any immediate benefits, you should practice DEI because it makes the world a better place to live in.
However, all the above-discussed features of DEI in the workplace are just added benefits. The first thing for organizations to do is to identify where they stand in embracing diversity as an organization and culture.
Every process must be tweaked accordingly for an organization to be holistically diverse, equal, and inclusive.
Make use of innovative tools to measure existing DEI levels. Intelligent HR technology can help measure the existing values and implement changes that may improve the value over time.
Are you using the right technology for your Performance Management?