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March 23, 2021
May 20, 2021
Has your organization committed to implementing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the workplace? Here are some tips to make the process easy and efficient.
It’s likely you’ve heard the term DEI enough to know it refers to diversity, equity, and inclusion. At one point it was just a group of buzzwords with little contextually relevant meaning to most organizations except for a bit of lip service. It’s since gained significance, both for its enrichment of the workplace and its contribution to organizational success.
That begs the question – what really is DEI?
It’s a broad term encompassing the presence of social and cultural differences in the workplace and the means of removing barriers through organizational policies to encourage representation. Diversity and inclusion are often treated like they’re one and the same, but let’s set things straight:
In theory, and in practice, each principle should be enough in its own right. Right? Well, you’d be surprised. Realizing the full potential of these principles involves a willingness to strategize and collaborate to develop a comprehensive and cohesive DEI strategy within your organization.
We’ve broken it down to each individual piece, and that’s where a lot of companies get stuck. They’ll hire a few women and people of color, and pat themselves on the back for a job well done. It isn’t enough to hire diversely yet neglect to develop a supportive environment where differences are uplifted. That’s a recipe for dissatisfaction – not just for your disenchanted employees, but for you and your organization. Because here’s the kicker – employees recognize when they’re dealt the bare minimum. If they’re hired merely for show, it’s reasonable to expect that effort and performance won’t be up to par.
That’s just one reason, among the many merits discussed below, why DEI procedures in the workplace are so important.
Programs that promote inclusivity produce happier, satisfied employees who experience increased job involvement and engagement, in turn leading to better performance. It’s a win-win situation; organizational goals are met with renewed fervor, and employees thrive in a warm, diversity-rich climate.
If your workforce comprises individuals from all walks of life – in cultural and social characteristics, in education – expect to watch your company innovate and grow. Your people’s diverse experiences are an integral part of decision-making and problem-solving. Bringing different, sometimes minority perspectives to the table and giving each voice the opportunity to be heard opens the door to more creative solutions, and less go-with-the-flow groupthink ideas.
Now more than ever, employees seek inclusive work environments that value diversity in a meaningful way. That means a determining factor of an organization’s attractiveness is the presence of DEI policies, thus lending itself to a larger pool of qualified candidates – if a talented individual is debating between two job offers, diversity may just be the tipping factor towards one or the other.
A McKinsey & Company study shows that companies with demonstrated diversity experience positive financial results and bring in more customers. Greater representation is a predictor of outperformance in profitability compared to peer organizations.
Undoubtedly, prioritizing DEI improves the culture of your workplace, the qualities of potential hires, and the gratification of your employees. Now that you know the benefits, it’s time to implement.
It won’t happen overnight, but if you want to see positive improvement, intention is only half of the equation.
At Avanti, we’re dedicated to DEI initiatives that bring about effective change, such as hiring without bias and sharing information with underrepresented groups. Here are a few key strategies for cultivating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment in your workplace:
Erase the bias in your recruitment process – there’s always room for improvement.
Open up your recruitment channels so that underrepresented groups such as minority races or individuals with disabilities can access the same opportunities as their more advantaged peers.
At Avanti, we’re committed to sharing opportunities as they arise with underrepresented groups, through our partnerships with organizations such as Chic Geek, Calgary Youth Employment Centre, Calgary Immigrant Women's Association, Immigrant Services Calgary, In-TAC, and budding relationships with organizations like ICON Talent Partners.
Start networking so you don’t limit the reach of your offered opportunities, making them available to a diverse group of individuals.
It’s one thing to promise diversity and inclusivity at the recruitment stage, but deliver through on that promise in the workplace.
DEI is not a complicated concept, but its positive impact at every level of the organization is undeniable. While there’s no universal strategy that will work best for every company, these tips are a surefire way to get started. Putting diversity, equity, and inclusion into action requires a thorough overview of your own company, identifying areas that are lacking, and developing a DEI approach that will put your employees and workplace environment at the forefront. Put in the work, and reap the benefits.