It's important to understand that just claiming to be a diverse, equitable, and inclusive company will not cut it. While rules are important, it's more important to promote a corporate culture where everyone feels appreciated and encouraged to perform their best job. Senior leaders can set the tone in all they say and do. We’ll share with you how!
Before we share with you how. Let’s discuss diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Unsurprisingly, diversity is the first step on the continuum. Knowing that companies need to attract people with a wide range of perspectives and skillsets goes hand in hand with the requirement for diversity that can be measured (think: attracting employees of different ethnic backgrounds, genders, and ages at all levels within an organization).
Inclusion is the next logical step after achieving worker diversity. Inclusive work environments are those in which leaders are outspoken about encouraging workers to share their contributions and, when done effectively, make employees feel valued through positive reinforcement and clear results. It is achieved when all workers are empowered and feel empowered to bring their unique ideas and views to the table.
The fact that equality and equity are only separated by two letters, they are often misunderstood. Equality means that everyone in a diverse workforce has equal access to resources. But, equity is when the appropriate resources are given to individuals based on their needs in order to thrive.
The advantages of establishing a diverse, equitable, and inclusive company culture have already been well-publicized. Therefore, the few strategies below will be a resource to serve as an excellent starting point if you are familiar with the advantages but recognize that your company may need a little help being actively committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Strategy One: Take stock of where you are now.
Actively being committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion may be accomplished at your company by assessing the existing organizational behaviors, as well as the behavior you'd want to promote, and then taking the necessary steps to get there. It's important to start by asking yourself a few basic questions about your organization's existing approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as baseline behaviors and culture.
What is your company's stance towards an equitable and fair working environment in your brand message, policies, and communications?
What kind of recruiting strategy do you have in place to reach and recruit a broad range of candidates?
Is your company's viewpoint on diversity, equity, and inclusion known to your employees?
Does your top management team's approach reflect this?
Strategy Two: Take a look at your company’s staff.
Ensure that at all levels of employment it is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. Those in executive positions versus those working on the frontline and everything in between is a good indicator. Company actions, employees' thoughts, and feelings about company actions can be evaluated with a few good questions.
Does the company's staff match the demographics of your patrons and customers?
Is it permissible for your workers to share their thoughts, which may lead to new company ideas and solutions?
When it comes to communicating their requirements, do your workers feel that they can be themselves?
What do your workers have to say about your company's culture on review sites and social media?
Strategy Three: Develop behaviors that are welcoming to everyone.
Every member of your team must abide by your "organizational policy," which serves as a starting point for laying out your position and helping workers understand the behaviors required of them and the penalties associated with not doing so. But, how?
Make diversity a part of your fundamental company strategy and convey it. Once your company's principles have been conveyed, you can begin motivating your workers to uphold them.
Establish an inclusive workplace where people are welcomed as individuals and can work successfully. Provide training and other efforts to engage workers to demonstrate how the rules are being implemented in practice.
Make employees feel that they're a part of the company's overall strategy. Make ongoing two-way communication between management and employees on business performance and future goals a priority.
Include an inclusiveness module in your leadership development program to help shape the company's culture. Develop members of your executive team so they exhibit the appropriate attitudes and behaviors to serve as aspirational figures for employees to follow.
Include succession planning and employee development in your overall people strategy. Employees who feel they belong and believe they have a clear route to success are more likely to feel invested in the business, which reduces employee turnover, and increases productivity.
It is difficult to achieve diversity, equity, and inclusion on one's own. An entirely new strategy is needed to change the way people think. That involves actively searching for methods to promote diversity among your candidates and your retention tactics when building a staff that accurately reflects the broader society or at the very least their customer demographics. Hire an outside firm that can guide you through creating a culture that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. It’s worth the time and investment.
Contact us to see how we can help!