DEI stands for diversity, equity, and inclusion. It is an essential indicator that potential and existing employees use to identify the most supportive, innovative, and progressive companies. The businesses that don’t implement DEI strategies don’t typically leave a lasting impression on their audience, future candidates, and potential clientele.
The world and its newer talent have gotten more precise about whom they are willing to work with; they value awareness and inclusion more than any other marketing element. With a successful DEI framework, companies can keep track of diverse talent and uncover any stigma they face in society.
In addition to making your business more inclusive, you will also ensure better growth. However, despite its many benefits, many companies cannot create a successful DEI strategy framework. Without a functional base for these strategies, you won’t be able to avail all the advantages. Or worse, some often implement DEI strategy improperly, which isn’t only counterproductive. Still, it likely sends the wrong message to the targeted audience, potential clients, and candidates.
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A Framework for Starting Your DEI Strategy: Tips and Best Practice
There have been many failures trying to make people of colour and other minorities feel safe. Additionally, there have been more than one case where 1 in 4 Black and Hispanic people have been discriminated against in their workplace.
However, in recent years, there has been significant improvement where large companies and brands have finally recognized the importance of diversity. Most importantly, they realize how people have been facing discrimination and lack of equal opportunity, which has encouraged them to focus on developing a proper framework for their DEI strategy.
To help you along and guide you on how to implement it in the best way, this is to say that it will be functional as well as send the appropriate message where you will be perceived as a progressive choice compared to your competitors.
Ø Identify Any Area to Improve and Recognize Other Opportunities
An essential point that people overlook (or, in some cases, they don’t even know) is recognizing the opportunities and identifying any existing areas they can improve. They have to implement a DEI strategy after doing these assessments. If not, they won’t successfully ensure their organization’s inclusivity, equity, and diversity.
For instance, maybe your business lacks diverse managerial leaders or employees in respective teams. Or, your business only hires people with similar and specific backgrounds, which can be damaging in the future for the company’s name.
When you finally identify and recognize these flaws in your system and overall organization, you will be able to take corrective measures (i.e., hire new talent or implement other techniques to uncover the discriminatory aspect) in an immediate manner.
You will have a developed and specialized course of action without it seeming like a rash decision. Make sure to incorporate your long and short-term goals, the hierarchy of which tasks to tackle, and different timeframes for analysis and completion.
Ø Utilize the Employee Resource Groups
Employee Resource Groups have become pivotal in the industry because they are excellent at ensuring inclusivity among minor and marginalized groups. A company typically holds five pillars: audience, community, platform, customers, and culture. And the ERGs work with these pillars and make sure these pillars and everything else about a company has a touch of diversity, equity, and inclusivity.
ERGs are employee-led and voluntary groups that aim to foster and provide inclusive and diverse people that will align with whatever the organization stands for. These groups are usually led by people who share similar characteristics; it can be a lifestyle, race, identity, religious affiliation, gender, sexuality, etc.
Employee Resource Groups are there to help, support, offer safe space, and create better career development opportunities for those marginalized groups. However, allies can also join the ERGs to show their support.
ERGs are known to improve the working conditions for those secluded employees who have difficulty reaching out for themselves. They help them feel more connected via a common cause or their similarities. They also facilitate everyone in the work environment, ensuring gender-neutral bathrooms are available or ensuring visual and physical accessibility for others.
Therefore, if you want to implement a successful DEI strategy, you have to ensure that you include these individuals to accommodate and provide for inclusivity purposes.
Ø Integrate DEI into Your Mission
The mission of a business is the foundation and driving point for all its actions. The identity of a business depends on its overall mission. If you incorporate a DEI strategy in the ultimate goals of your company, then the importance of your company will increase tenfold. The importance of the organization’s future and current state heavily depends on the ultimate mission.
And when you integrate the DEI strategy into the final goal of the company, and then you will have no qualms about creating a successful framework.
Incorporating a DEI strategy will also signify to your existing and potential customers that you value inclusivity and equity above all else.
Ø Train Your Employees on DEI Strategy and Practice Inclusivity
Even if you have the best DEI strategy for the company’s future, it won’t function perfectly if your employees aren’t performing and practicing inclusivity themselves. Regardless of your efforts, the marginalized groups face significant racism and damaging criticism from their fellow colleagues, and if your workers are not following the protocol, then you need to take disciplinary action against them.
You have to determine whether you are successfully developing your diverse employees and if they have access to proper resources.
If you want to establish your brand as one of the more progressive ones, you need to distinguish your organization from your competitors. Additionally, ensuring you make it easier for people of colour and other minorities to approach your HR will allow you to hire and employ people in a wider range with greater skills and talent.
Creating a functional and successful framework for a DEI strategy is challenging; in fact, if done improperly, it can cause actual damage. However, with the right practices and tips, you can implement the strategy without hesitation.