DEI has become a critical and transformational element of today’s modern workplace and society. DEI stands for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Having a workplace that exudes these characteristics is not only important but necessary for any contemporary business wishing to make a positive impact on the world.
What Does DEI Stand For?
As mentioned above, this acronym stands for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within the workplace.
Consider the following breakdown of each aspect for a greater understanding of how it can positively impact your company:
Diversity: This means that there is the presence of differences within your business setting. This could include differences among gender, gender identity, language, sexual orientation, disabilities, neurodiversity, socioeconomic status, age, relations, geography, or veteran status.
Equity: This means that your business is taking steps to ensure that all processes and programs at your company are impartial, and fair, and provide an equal outcome to all.
Inclusion: This element of a workplace means that you create a sense of belonging for all employees.
What Does DEI Mean?
The term in essence refers to all programs, policies, strategies, and practices that support a company’s mission to create and sustain a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment that respects and accommodates everyone.
How to Improve Your Current DEI Standard
Obviously, as a business in today’s society, you will want to seek ways to improve upon our current DEI standard or perhaps ensure that you are headed in the right direction at least. The following is a breakdown of how to go about doing just that, improving each element of your DEI standard:
How to Improve Diversity
The importance of diversity within the workplace comes from the fact that different backgrounds bring different points of view, which ultimately leads to more creative solutions and ideas.
Therefore, it’s important to seek diversity in the workplace, simply to have several viewpoints available on an issue if for no other reason. Consider making the following changes to incorporate more diversity into your brand:
1. Educate Your Hiring Team
This means letting your hiring team know what to look for in terms of diversity within your set workplace. What is diverse in one company will not be diverse in another. The main aspect to focus on is incorporating a variety of backgrounds, beliefs, and appearances into your team.
2. Implement Diversity Policies
This would include setting specific guidelines for hiring that take into account diversity preferences and your company’s current standard as it relates to diversity.
3. Promote Open Communication
Ideally, your business will be a place that welcomes conversation, where your employees will know they are always welcome to communicate their needs, ideas, and more to others without being afraid of pushback, punishment, or worse.
How to Improve Equity
Equity demands that you as an employer recognize barriers and advantages across the organization in order to provide equal circumstances for all employees. While we all know that life, in general, isn’t fair, the idea behind equity is to make things within a place of business as fair as possible. Consider the following actionable ways to do just that:
1. Provide Developmental Opportunities to Everyone in Your Organization
This means that you should incorporate advancement strategies that are open to all employees who meet the required specifications, not only relegated to those who fit a certain physical or belief mold.
2. Ensure Pay Equity
Of course, there will be some differences in pay based on responsibility, time with the company, and more, but in general, if two people are doing the exact same job, they should be paid the same, no matter if they are a man or woman or if their races differ. This is the heart of pay equity.
Furthermore, according to Cheryl Pinarchick, a Fisher Phillips attorney in Boston, “By ensuring employees are paid equitably, employers can increase efficiency, creativity, and productivity by helping attract the best employees, reduce turnover and increase commitment to the organization.”
3. Provide Opportunities for Advancement Across the Board
All your employees should feel like they can move up within your company if they so desire. No one should feel as if they are caged in and unable to move up even a little in the coming years through hard work and added training. Make sure that your business is one that allows upward movement among your employees and even encourages it.
How to Improve Inclusion
All your employees should be able to express themselves freely and feel welcome in an inclusive culture. To ensure that your business is maintaining a level of inclusion that meets this ideal, consider making the following changes:
1. Develop Workplace Policies
This would oversee how people are treated when they are different from others. The idea is to create an even playing field and a welcoming atmosphere within your company. This can also include ensuring that your company provides the necessary tools to make a job possible for someone who is differently abled.
2. Take a Look at Company Culture
Is your business currently a place where everyone would feel welcome to come work, no matter their personal beliefs or their appearance? If the answer is no, you might want to evaluate your company culture. What could be changed from the top down to make sure that you are offering an inclusive environment? Self-evaluating can be a great idea if you are honest with yourself about the results you are getting. Don’t look to sugarcoat the way things are now, but instead consider how much better they could be with some impactful changes.
3. Rethink Benefits
Part of being inclusive is having benefits that meet a wide range of needs and lifestyles. Consider overhauling your benefits package to include some other options that you have not offered before that might benefit your current or new employees. Benefits can be a way to welcome different people into your organization that perhaps would not have considered such employment in years past.
4. Establish a Good Onboarding Process
Your onboarding process at your place of business should include instructions on how to maintain a high level of inclusiveness and equity on the job. New employees should never have to wonder where your brand stands on certain issues or how to handle someone differently. How to navigate this respectfully should be part of every employee’s onboarding process.
5. Celebrate Differences and Honor Them
While inclusivity is about trying to ensure that everyone feels equally welcome at your business, it doesn’t mean that everyone is necessarily thought of as exactly the same. In fact, many people take pride in their differences and want to show them off.
Consequently, this should be something your business encourages and even does itself, by highlighting and honoring all the differences among employees and how they can all uniquely contribute to your brand.
Big Benefits of DEI in the Workplace
The information above highlights how to improve your DEI. Consider the following benefits of making these changes:
Harvard Business Review found that diversity within a company would increase its innovation rates but around 19%. They also found that they were 70% more likely to expand the company’s customer base, capturing new markets.
Promotes Hard Work
Having diversity in your leadership or management team can improve your brand’s overall productivity according to a Changeboard article. It found that diverse leaders motivated employees to work 12% harder.
As any modern business owner knows, fighting against turnovers is a constant battle. Consequently, a good business owner is always looking for ways to increase their retention rate. Thankfully, by focusing on your DEI standards, you will be creating an environment where employees are 19% more likely to stay according to a Corporate Leadership Council piece.
Attracts New Talent
A Glassdoor survey found that around 2/3rds of all job seekers care about a company's diversity and will choose or avoid a company based on its DEI standards.
Bottom Line: DEI is Crucial for Today’s Workplace
Diversity in the workplace allows employees to feel comfortable being themselves, which in turn boosts employee engagement and productivity. Therefore, having a company that is committed to incorporating DEI techniques to create a positive environment will benefit in many ways, not the least of which is simply having employees who enjoy being at work.
Contact us today to learn more about how you can incorporate DEI-specific changes into your company policies and employee training process.