The Benefits of Focusing on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Your Organization
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are becoming increasingly important for companies, as they strive to create a more inclusive and equitable workplace culture. DEI promotes understanding and appreciation of differences, and helps companies to better engage and retain employees, foster innovation and creativity, and improve bottom-line performance.
These elements of diversity don't just include ethnicity, they can be ethnicity-related, but they can also include gender, age, physical and mental abilities, or any other characteristics which might be seen as "differences."
DEI helps companies to leverage these differences as potential strengths that can contribute to the success of the organization as a whole.
In this article, we will explore what DEI is, why companies should be interested in it, what outcomes it can help to achieve, how it can be communicated, and who is responsible for practicing it and putting it into place within the culture.
What does DEI promote?
DEI promotes understanding and appreciation of differences, and helps to create a more inclusive workplace culture. By fostering an environment where all employees feel valued, respected, and included, companies can improve employee engagement and satisfaction, and create a workplace where everyone is encouraged to bring their unique perspectives and ideas to the table.
This can lead to improved decision-making, problem-solving, and innovation, as well as increased diversity in the workforce and leadership.
Specifically with regard to leadership, as the McKinsey article, "What is diversity, equity, and inclusion?" states, "...companies where more than 30 percent of the executives are women were more likely to outperform companies where this percentage ranged from only 10 to 30."
Outcomes that DEI Can Help to Achieve
By implementing DEI initiatives, companies can reap a range of benefits of having a much more diverse team contributing all of their ideas and differential perspectives. These can result in a much more innovative team, perhaps even a more creative team, or one that excels at decision-making.
These outcomes are driven by a workplace culture that values diversity of thought, background, lifestyle, and helps to promote those values within the flow of work.
Communication and Implementation of DEI
For DEI initiatives to be successful, it is important for companies to communicate their goals and expectations clearly, and to engage all stakeholders in the process.
This can involve integrating DEI into the company culture via onboarding practices, continuous training, holding team events, and quite importantly, seeking ongoing feedback from employees.
DEI policies can also be introduced to employee sourcing practices as well as personnel decision-making practices later in the employee lifecycle.
Who is Responsible for Practicing DEI?
HR managers and executives play a critical role in the implementation of DEI initiatives. However, it is important for all employees to be involved and invested in the process.
This can be achieved through employee engagement, buy-in, and training, and by creating a workplace culture that values differential thinking and bringing new ideas to the table.
DEI is an Ongoing Practice
In today's fast-paced business landscape, diversity, equity, and inclusion are the foundation of a thriving workplace culture. A workplace that values and celebrates the differences of its employees is always a good thing.
DEI is a journey, and HR managers and small business executives have a key role to play in paving the way towards a more inclusive future. By creating a culture where all employees feel valued, respected, and included, companies can lay the foundation for continued growth and success.