Many organizations have recently put greater emphasis on how to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The first route companies take is to strengthen the recruitment of women, BIPOC, non-binary, or neurodiverse workers. However, it's only one aspect of boosting workplace diversity and inclusion.
Did you know? 💡
Over 80% of employees consider inclusion an essential factor in choosing an employer.
DE&I involves incorporating true inclusion into your organization's culture, which means going beyond simply hiring a diverse workforce to make sure those individuals are valued, engaged, and empowered.
What is diversity and inclusion in the workplace?
DE&I is a strategy or an ethos that values different viewpoints and strongly emphasizes employee satisfaction and social inclusion as key components of success. Companies that value diversity, equity, and inclusion generate more revenue, are more willing to try new things, and have better employee satisfaction.
Many organizations put forth incredible effort to establish programs and policies because of the various benefits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, but these efforts often fail to cultivate the right work culture. Diversity, inclusion, and equity are essential but not enough. The missing piece? A culture that fosters a sense of belonging.
The key to diversity is belonging; it's how you build a strong team that brings each person's unique talents together to take on challenging issues and large projects. Efforts for workplace diversity and inclusion without belonging cannot hold their weight. You can successfully diversify your hiring pool, but without a sense of belonging, you'll discover that your employees are disengaged, dissatisfied, and eager to go.
How can you promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace?
Achieving DE&I requires intentional efforts and commitment from all levels of the organization. Here are 10 insights on how to improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace, from recruiting a diverse workforce to creating a culture of inclusivity.
- Craft policies that reflect your values
A diverse and inclusive workplace is built on the foundation of purposeful and intentional policies and practices, which address the unique needs and challenges of your diverse workforce. By building a welcoming and inclusive workplace, organizations can attract and retain top talent, improve employee satisfaction and engagement, and drive innovation and growth.
- Foster workplace diversity and inclusion through education and training
Empower your team to promote equality by equipping them with the tools, resources, and knowledge they need through education and training. You can do so through workshops, seminars, and other educational programs aimed at improving employees' knowledge and skills in identifying and addressing discriminatory practices, and unconscious biases. It can broaden horizons, foster empathy, and create a more inclusive work environment.
- Champion fairness and non-discrimination in every aspect of the workplace
Promote fairness, equity, and non-discrimination through policies and practices that provide equal opportunities for all employees. By holding everyone accountable to these standards and promoting a culture of mutual respect, we can create an environment where all employees feel valued and included. Leaders can also encourage fairness and equity by consistently monitoring policies and practices and ensuring no group feels disadvantaged.
- Build safe spaces for employees to share their unique perspectives and experiences
Create a space where employees feel comfortable and safe expressing their thoughts and experiences. Providing opportunities for employees to share their experiences and perspectives can take many forms, such as through group discussions, focus groups, or employee resource groups. Organizations can foster a more inclusive and empathetic workplace culture by actively seeking out and valuing diverse viewpoints.
- Break down barriers to open and honest conversations
Open communication and dialogue among employees from diverse backgrounds are vital to creating a workplace where everyone feels heard and valued. Leaders can set the tone by modeling active listening and seeking input from diverse voices. Training in communication and conflict resolution can also equip employees with the skills to have productive conversations about sensitive topics and create stronger relationships with their colleagues.
💡The Good Tip
If you aim to champion DEI, it's critical to cultivate a sense of belonging within team engagements, the rules and policies you establish, the products you deliver, and how your employees are treated.
- Empower underrepresented voices with mentorship and sponsorship programs
Mentorship and sponsorship programs are catalysts for change, helping to break down the barriers that prevent employees from underrepresented groups from reaching their full potential. Providing access to networks, resources, training, and programs can help close the opportunity gap and ensure all employees can reach their full potential. It can also increase retention rates, foster a sense of belonging, and promote workplace diversity and inclusion.
- Invest in Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
ERGs provide a unique opportunity for employees to learn from one another and create a supportive and inclusive environment for each other, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to connect and advocate for their needs. ERGs provide a platform for employees to share their experiences and promote cultural awareness, contributing to a more vibrant and cohesive workplace culture.
- Open doors to a diverse workforce with better recruitment and hiring practices
By actively seeking out candidates with diverse backgrounds, organizations can bring a wealth of experiences, perspectives, and fresh ideas to the table. Not only does this help reduce bias and promote fairness, but it's also essential for meeting the needs of a diverse customer base and staying competitive in a global market. Improving workplace diversity and inclusion can enhance customer relationships and overall reputation by reflecting the diversity of the communities served.
- Promote unity in diversity with events and celebrations!
By promoting diversity through events and activities, organizations can create a workplace culture that values and respects the unique contributions of every employee. From cultural festivals and heritage months to diversity training and workshops, these events provide an opportunity to learn, share, and celebrate diversity. Such events can build bridges between individuals and groups, creating a more cohesive and collaborative team environment.
- Strive for progress, not perfection
The road to workplace diversity and inclusion is not a one-time journey, but an ongoing process of learning and growth. Ask yourself: what is diversity and inclusion in my workplace? Regular evaluation allows organizations to identify areas for improvement, address unintended consequences, and celebrate successes along the way. By regularly assessing and monitoring diversity initiatives, organizations can ensure they continue promoting meaningful change and progress.
💡Bonus Tip: Get Yourself a Diversity Calendar!
A diversity calendar is like a roadmap that guides organizations to honor and celebrate the unique identities of their employees, customers and communities. It provides a structured approach to planning and organizing events and activities that celebrate and promote diversity while ensuring that they are aligned with important dates and events. Keep your team informed and engaged with our Diversity Calendar
Goodera's curated Diversity Calendar aids D&I teams in monitoring essential workplace diversity and inclusion events and heritage months relevant to their organization. This tool can assist teams in cultivating inclusivity, commemorating and rejoicing in diverse heritages, and creating a strong sense of community within the workplace.