With diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) being such a hot topic in today’s workforce it is important that companies not only focus on their employees’ backgrounds but also what they can do for the company. DEI begins with leaders who advocate for change. Then this trickles down into management positions so all team members feel valued despite differing opinions or experiences. Building and prioritizing DEI initiatives can create meaningful changes within your organization!
What Is DEI?
DEI is about creating a workforce that reflects the world we live in. These programs bring together people with different backgrounds so they can work as one team toward common goals. Inclusive cultures often result from investing time into building relationships at all levels of your company. This helps create an environment where everyone feels welcome to express themselves freely without fear or shame.
The Benefits of Incorporating DEI
Here are some ways that valuing DEI contributions helps your business succeed:
- Innovation: A diverse workforce with equitable opportunities makes all employees feel included and generates creative ideas and solutions for your company. This not only encourages growth but results in increased financial performance for your company.
- Positive culture: A diverse, inclusive, and equitable environment improves your company culture by valuing individuals and their differences. This creates a safe environment founded on respect.
- Engaged workforce: Employees who feel valued in the workplace are more likely to be actively engaged in their work. This leads to a happier and more productive workforce.
- Improved teamwork: Both inclusiveness and diversity help promote relationships between employees. This can helps promote teamwork among coworkers because all employees feel safe and accepted.
- Recruiting benefits: When you actively promote your company’s focus on DEI, you’re bound to see an increase in applicants. This also helps set your company apart in the competitive job market.
Ways to Improve Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace
The benefits of focusing on the individual pieces of DEI can be seen in any company, but it’s also useful to have an overall strategy.
- Form a committee: Build a team dedicated to developing DEI at your company. They can review the current situation and establish or oversee DEI initiatives. The committee should include employees from all levels and backgrounds to ensure multiple voices and perspectives are heard.
- Survey your staff: You need input from staff members to learn their feelings about the current situation. This gives you a baseline and guidance for improving DEI efforts.
- Set goals: Once you gauge the current status on DEI, set goals to improve. Even if you are already incorporating DEI initiatives, you can always set new goals to improve.
- Investigate all complaints: Listen to your employees when they bring up instances of bias or discrimination. Address the situations and use them as inspiration in training for all employees.
- Implement training: Employees at all levels need DEI training. Everyone can help to create an equitable and inclusive environment.
Diversity, equity and inclusion are all important to the functioning of an organization. Focusing on one without paying attention to others can lead DEI down a path that will likely result in its impairment or destruction. Remember, there isn’t a finish line or a an endpoint when you can say your work is done. It’s an ongoing effort companies need to strive for and improve.