How Employers Can Build Strength With DEI Initiatives In The Workplace.
Diversity, Equity And Inclusion Are “Buzzing” Around The Workplace.
Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is a lot more than the newest buzzword in HR. It’s a critical element to success these days. Calls for diverse and inclusive workplaces are now becoming more common in many organizations due to major social changes.
According to a 2019 McKinsey study, employers with diverse executive teams post larger profit margins than employers with less diverse executive teams. The study suggests employers who implement diversity and inclusion programs tend to benefit from increased innovation, improved business outcomes and enhanced visibility in the marketplace.
Some HR professionals address challenges surrounding diversity and inclusion in the workplace with the following strategies:
• Adjusting search and screen processes for job candidates
• Providing diversity and inclusion training for managers
• Creating mentorship programs to increase diversity
• Establishing diversity and inclusion teams
Diversity and inclusion will likely continue to be a challenge in 2023.
Even when employers prioritize diversity and inclusion, the path to achieving a diverse and inclusive workplace can remain uncertain.
Building diversity is imperative for HR pros.
As companies continue to prioritize diverse representation in leadership and employment in general, these HR professionals will need to look to work with their staff to implement diversity initiatives –especially as regulatory pressure mounts on HR teams to deliver.
With the emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) growing, here are three strategies to build these programs successfully.
Define diversity-specific initiatives
Compliance and HR teams can partner with senior executives and directors to address questions like, “What do we want to achieve for diversity, regulations aside?” “How would our core ethical values shape what our diversity objectives should be?” “What are the obstacles that we need to overcome?” By answering these questions and clearly defining objectives, it’s easier to put these initiatives into action. Including handbook policies addressing all classes are also important.
- Track and report data
Once diversity goals have been set, organizations can more easily set measurable goals, collect data and report on progress.
Remember that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requires employers who have at least 100 employees, and federal contractors who have at least 50 employees, to submit an EEO-1 Report each year. As a result, many companies are already tracking diversity data, including ethnicity, race and gender.
Because EEO-1 reports aren’t publicly available from the EEOC, companies can choose to disclose this data or not. There are pros and cons to sharing this data more broadly. But corporate leaders are still responsible for transparency about diversity.
- Foster a Speak-up culture
It is important to remember that diversity isn’t the same as inclusion. If an organization is diverse, but employees fear retaliation or policies aren’t enforced, employees can’t contribute the most value to their company.
To facilitate the process, train the first and middle management level where complaints about employee behaviors are typically raised. Teach them how to recognize a concern and the resources that are available to address it. Be sure to plan on giving options to employees to ensure that employees have a choice to go where they are most comfortable, and utilizing an anonymous tipline is always a good idea.
Corporate culture has been under a microscope as companies increasingly push to be more diverse, inclusive and equitable But now more than ever, a strong partnership between HR and compliance is critical to success.