Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace have been a topic of interest in organizations for a long time. The past few years’ events, like the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and the ensuing wave of protests have emphasized how critical diversity and inclusion are in the workplace, although this isn’t new information.
The first step towards making your company a more equitable place to work is to evaluate how diverse and inclusive it is currently– and how far you still have to go.
Irrespective of the existing policies and programs at your company, it’s critical to do routine DEI assessments to keep track of how you’re performing. An effective DEI assessment can help you identify where you should target your efforts, offer benchmarking before establishing new programs, and provide helpful feedback on the health of your programs with time.
What is a DEI Assessment?
DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) assessment is a method of gathering accurate data and information about an organization’s performance on critical DEI aspects. Assessment is a crucial step toward long-term success since it offers a data-driven insight into the current state of the organization’s DEI efforts.
A practical DEI assessment ought to include a thorough evaluation of the company’s commitment to a respectful workplace, workplace policies, and training programs. It should also include a review of recruiting practices, employee interviews or surveys (offering actionable feedback), reporting pathways, etc.
Any holes discovered during the assessment of diversity, equity, and inclusion ought to be prioritized and resolved as soon as possible. Remember that DEI evaluations are not a one-shot deal. Regular DEI assessments maintain the long-term viability of your initiatives and programs while also allowing your organization to address potential risks before they become an issue.
The benefits of diversity, equity, and inclusion(DEI) in the workplace
Businesses that fail to implement DEI practices miss out on opportunities to maximize the potential of their employees. As per this Unrealized Impact study, “diverse teams are more innovative and make better decisions, and diverse companies have better shareholder returns.”
Another study, carried out by McKinsey & Company in collaboration with The Society for Human Research Management (SHRM), looked at the performance of businesses with various levels of workplace diversity. They discovered that organizations with higher gender and ethnic diversity outperform their less diverse counterparts by 15% and 35%, respectively. According to the same reports, “organizations with more racial and gender diversity bring in more sales revenue, customers, and profits.”
Organizations that value diversity, equity, and inclusion(DEI) in the workplace benefit in the following way:
Teams that make inclusive decisions are more likely to make better decisions. According to Forbes, organizations with above-average diversity generated 19 percent more revenue from innovation than organizations with below-average diversity.
Recruiting and retaining talent
According to a Glassdoor survey, diversity is a crucial factor for 76 percent of job seekers and employees when it comes to analyzing organizations and job offers. Besides, when it comes to choosing a place to work, most Gen Z candidates (83 percent) feel a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is critical. At the same time, a recent Monster survey showed that nearly half of Hispanic (49%) and Black (47%) applicants and employees left after witnessing or experiencing workplace discrimination.
An Edelman Trust Barometer survey reported that brands that are thought to be good at dealing with racial issues are three times more trustworthy than those that are not. Over half of customers feel companies should speak out against racial injustice and institutional racism in public.
Employee engagement is directly linked to inclusiveness, which is described as a work environment characterized by trust and involvement. Employees who are engaged are more likely to say that their organization values diversities of thought and cares about them as individuals.
They are more successful than those that do not.
Companies with a solid diversity and inclusive atmosphere are more likely to have a workforce with higher trust and job satisfaction levels and will be more engaged. But it’s not only morale that improves when DEI initiatives are prioritized; there are significant benefits at every level of the organization, including:
According to a study conducted by Coqual (formerly Center For Talent Innovation), when a team has at least one member representing their target customer’s gender, culture, age, ethnicity, or sexual orientation, they are 158 percent more likely to understand them.
According to a BCG study, organizations with more diversity in management generated 38 percent more income on average than organizations with less diversity. This could be due to the fact that gender diversity, nationality, career route, and industry background are all strongly linked to innovation.
According to another study by McKinsey, companies with the highest gender diversity on executive leadership teams are 21 percent more likely to be profitable and 27 percent better at developing superior value than those in the bottom quarter. Top quarter organizations that excelled in cultural and ethnic diversity beat those in the fourth quarter by 36%.
How to start and implement a DEI plan from the top down in your organization
1. Listen Carefully and Take Notes.
Set up a systematic process for measuring the organizational pulse, whether through town hall meetings with a good number of employees, roundtable talks with ten or fifteen individuals at a time (make sure to include individuals from all levels), or both. Consider this as a listening tour.
2. Senior Leaders Should Be Enlisted and Aligned
Your DEI initiatives should reach individuals at all levels; success will necessitate everyone’s commitment. So, ensure you discuss the findings of your listening tour with the board of directors and senior management.
Several studies have found a strong link between diversity and performance. As a result, let managers know that diversity aids in problem-solving and promotes innovation.
3. Audit the Culture
After that, you’ll need a formal procedure to determine how your culture is viewed by its stakeholders. Consider an audit to be similar to an archaeological dig.
Your audit will provide facts to back up your initiative: people, promotions, policies, the pipeline, and how far up the corporate ladder your efforts have progressed.
4. Keep a record of what you’re doing right now.
After you learn how your stakeholders perceive your culture, you can assess how their views match reality. This entails assessing your current DEI initiatives or programs to determine what works and what can be improved.
5. Establish Benchmarks
Now is the time to compare your progress with internal benchmarks, as well as those that illustrate how you compare to competitors, other businesses in your area, and society as a whole. The goal is to track your progress quarterly, then annually, to see how well you’re doing in terms of hiring, developing, and keeping a diverse staff.
6. Form Action Learning Teams
Form action learning teams that will collaborate closely with the CEO, CHRO, and other senior executives. These teams should meet once a week to analyze the issues they’ve been given, identify goals and priorities for dealing with them, and provide recommendations on how to proceed.
7. Make an Action Plan
It’s now time to put what you’ve learned together. This necessitates the creation of a change blueprint.
Your action plan ought to include commitments for the next few years. Distribute your action plan all through the organization, so everyone is aware that you are gradually establishing an intentional culture. It is recommended you continue to organize town halls and smaller meetings and keep staff informed about your accomplishments through newsletters and other internal channels.
Get Expert’s Help For Your Organization’s DEI Initiatives
At Partner For Impact, we specialize in providing evidence-based DEIB solutions tailored to your specific needs.
Each organization has its own culture, mission, and objectives. As a result, we collaborate closely with you to pinpoint immediate improvement as well as crucial areas that need development for long-term diversity, equity, and inclusion sustainability in your organization. Please get in touch with us to see how we can support you.