Companies are starting to recognize the need to prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) at their organizations. DEI is a conceptual framework that supports the equal and fair treatment of all people, particularly in the workplace, including those often underrepresented or subject to discrimination because of their background. Incorporating talented individuals from all backgrounds to make up a diverse workforce is vital to your organization’s success. However, recruitment professionals find that DEI can be a tricky practice to perfect.
While many industries still struggle with inclusion in the workplace, particularly in executive roles, most organizations now recognize that DEI is not only a necessity but also a moral obligation. Recent, ever-changing (and expedited) social movements have brought DEI to the forefront of every organization’s list of priorities, and for good reason. Employers aren’t the only ones focusing on DEI, as workers themselves prioritize these efforts as well. A recent study published by Glassdoor shows that more than three out of four job seekers and employees (76 percent) report that a diverse workforce is essential when evaluating prospective employers.
More than 3 out of 4 job seekers and employees (76 percent) report that a diverse workforce is essential when evaluating prospective employers.
A diverse workforce offers countless benefits. Individuals with different backgrounds offer distinct outlooks and ideas, helping propel a company’s culture of creativity and innovation. An inclusive environment encourages cultural awareness, which helps companies better understand the needs of their heterogenous consumer base. Evidence has shown that company diversity leads to better profits. According to analyses done by McKinsey & Company, ” … companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 25 percent more likely to have above-average profitability.”
Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 25 percent more likely to have above-average profitability.
Begin with Self-Awareness
If you want your company to be truly inclusive, you must be honest. Think objectively about your company’s policies. Ask yourself (and your teammates) some tough questions or create a company-wide survey. Some questions to explore might include: What is your recruiting and hiring process like? What is the composition of your various departments? What about your managers and executives? Does your company invest in DEI training programs?
Once you’ve gathered this information, you can analyze the steps your company can take to improve. For example, your human resources department could begin recruiting at colleges with a higher international student population, or you could invite your female managers to participate in roundtable discussions with executives. When considering new approaches, be sure to consult with others to ensure that they will be valuable.
We don’t see the world as it is, and we see the world as we are.
Lead by Example
Leaders in any organization must step up to create a more inclusive culture for all employees. Sometimes, this can be more difficult than we think. As Howard Ross says in his exclusive Accel5 video, “we don’t see the world as it is, and we see the world as we are.”
In all departments, managers should learn to recognize any unconscious bias. These biases may present themselves in any aspect of leadership — from hiring to promoting and any business decision in between. It would be valuable to share with managers any information gathered from your company’s self-reflection to understand how others see the organization.
Once managers have recognized any bias within themselves or the company, they should work together to create clear guidelines on how to approach diversity within teams. Managers should be required to complete written goals regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion, such as attending additional training sessions. Be sure to hold managers accountable by meeting regularly to discuss their goals and the company’s trajectory.
Evolve Your Company’s Culture
An essential part of creating an inclusive work environment is ensuring that all employees are involved. You can begin by implementing a company-wide diversity training workshop to help employees understand company policies and why they are crucial. It is also a good idea to have employees explore these topics on their own. A microlearning tool such as Accel5 offers concise and actionable lessons in formats including videos, book summaries and articles. By providing learning tools, employees have the freedom to study topics related to DEI.
Of course, evolving your company culture should go beyond workshops and lessons. Encourage your employees to interact with each other by hosting networking lunches, creating DEI groups or participating in after-work activities. Your company should also consider recognizing holidays of all religions and cultures. Depending on company policies, this can be done through at-work celebrations, paid time off, or just a simple announcement via email, intranet, or physical signs wishing those that celebrate a happy holiday.
- Begin within: Ask yourself (and your teammates) some tough questions or create a company-wide survey. Use findings to create plan of action.
- Set a good example: Recognize unconscious bias and use self-reflection to better understand how others see the organization. Use this reflection to set goals for diversifying your employee base.
- Get employees involved. Help create DEI groups and celebrate their cultures.
Creating a company that values DEI should be at the top of your organization’s priorities. Establishing an inclusive work environment does not have to be difficult, expensive, or time-consuming when you have the right mindset and tools. With Accel5, your employees can discover hundreds of book summaries, videos, and articles on diversity, as well as many other essential business topics.
To keep your employees invested in DEI, set up a free trial of Accel5.