Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is not new within the field of Human Resources (HR), but the focus on this in the workplace has never been so intensified.
Although, it has been in the HR department for years, now there is more emphasis on owners and leaders to take on the ownership and lead by example.
Let’s explore why this is the case and how partnering with HR to support the leadership team will lead to a successful initiative.
First, let’s start by looking at what Diversity, Equity and Inclusion means. Using Websters dictionary definitions of these words:
- Diversity is variety.
- Equity is freedom from bias or favoritism.
- Inclusion is the act or practice of including and accommodating people who have historically been excluded (because of their race, gender, sexuality, or ability).
When you break it down to this simplest form, who wouldn’t want to have diversity, equity and inclusion in their workplace!?
Let’s Explore More About the Why?
Here are the top 3 reasons why owners and leaders should care about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in their workplace:
- When an organization has Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, they are more profitable.
Deloitte’s research has revealed that organizations are 20% more innovative and reduce risk by 30% when they have diverse teams. When organizations are diverse and inclusive, they are:
- 2X as likely to meet or exceed financial targets
- 3X as likely to be high-performing
- 8x more likely to achieve better business outcomes.
- When an organization has Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, they attract more top talent.
According to Monster research, 86% of candidates globally say DEI in the workplace is important to them. Additionally, 62% of people would go as far as turning down a job offer if it came from a culture that didn’t support a diverse workforce.
To demonstrate the increased focus on this in recent years, this number has increased 19% over 7 years, from 67% in 2014.
- When an organization has Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, they have more engaged employees.
Deloitte found that it is the combined focus on diversity and inclusion which delivers the highest levels of engagement (101%).
So, How Can HR Continue to Support the Owners and Leaders With Diversity, Equity and Inclusion?
HR still plays a significant role in the success of DEI initiatives and are the partner for the Owners and Leaders.
A holistic or systems approach to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will include several programs within the organization i.e., communication, recognition, pay, etc.
As with any goal, the organization’s Owner or Leader should determine a SMART goal for the DEI initiative. HR can provide data of where they are starting i.e., current workforce demographics, engagement scores, retention rates, etc. The realization of the strategies can then be measured ongoing to adjust actions along the way.
If one of the goals is to have a more diverse workforce demographic, HR should review their recruitment practices. Is there language or requirements in the job descriptions and ads that are not attracting the talent? Do they need to broaden their searches to source diverse groups of people i.e., schools or groups? These types of HR adjustments to support the goal can yield a more diverse applicant pool to choose from.
Training and development through the organization on DEI will help to drive the change into the workplace environment and culture. HR may be able to deliver team building exercises and workshops themselves or they may need to source other external learning opportunities.
When spending money on training, employees may come away with a better understanding of the topic, but HR should ensure there are specific corrective actions for people to take. Coaching can be a powerful and effective tool to help leaders, managers and underrepresented employees come up with solutions to their challenges. The environment and culture should foster a safe space for individuals to open for growth and hold each other accountable. Coaching is also a great tool to develop high potential diverse people.
In the last year, many workplaces have been forced into having more flexibility and work-life balance. In workplaces where this did not exist before, they have now seen the benefits of it to the employer as well as the employees. This way of working now gives opportunity for diversity and inclusion to occur in the workplace.
HR should also audit the company policies and adjust as required to support the initiatives put in place by the Owners and Leaders. They can also offer ideas on how to reward the desired behaviour changes and ensure pay equity through the process.
As an Owner and Leader, you want to create and maintain success with your business. You are always striving to create a better workplace to sustain that. Remember Thriving People = Thriving Business!
Need help to GET STARTED with a DEI Strategic Plan or Coaching to support your leaders with your current plan?
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