Calls for a more just and equitable society have increased over the past few years. As a result, companies that understand the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are taking serious steps to implement DEI strategies. But even with the best intentions, some organizations find it challenging to execute DEI initiatives in a way that is impactful for the people they set out to serve. You may feel discouraged by the lack of noticeable improvement for the amount of effort being exerted. Both leadership and employees across departments may be left wondering: What actually works when it comes to DEI? Let’s take a closer look at some of the strategic diversity and inclusion management techniques that have been found to work.
What Is Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace?
Diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace entails recognizing the presence of a diverse workforce and actively taking steps to ensure it is an inclusive space. Companies do this by rectifying social inequities experienced by marginalized work populations. D&I initiatives are meant to level the playing field by bringing visibility to the lived experiences of marginalized group members and setting policies that ensure fairness and equity.
Beyond the imperative to do the right thing, there is a real cost to not doing D&I in the workplace. Companies that do not have an effective DEI framework lack the benefits of high employee retention and diversity-driven innovation, along with customer representation — all of which lead to greater profitability.
How Can You Implement an Effective Diversity and Inclusion Company Strategy?
Focus on solutions that work rather than failures. The following techniques have been found effective in promoting D&I. Identify which solutions your organization has already implemented and which ones it should work towards.
- Gather and analyze data. To understand the diverse make-up of your employee population, start by collecting data. With data in hand, you can compare your workplace make-up to other organizations in your industry to see where your company stands in terms of diversity. Data also allows you to measure and track the progress that can be shared with stakeholders. And it promotes accountability. Comparing data illuminates blind spots, highlighting areas of improvement. With data in hand, you can effectively identify (and remove) roadblocks to improve diversity.
- Create a safe space to share. Marginalized employees are often hesitant to share their experiences with discrimination in the workplace due to a fear of retaliation. To gather the data you need to drive improvement, assure employees that it is safe to share their experiences. Consider offering anonymity and third-party, unbiased interventions. Negative feedback should be seen as insights that can spark positive organizational change (rather than a type of threat or inconvenience). Ultimately, you want to create a workplace culture that encourages employees to come forward about their experiences to identify and remedy D&I pain points.
- Check your technological toolbox. Be vigilant that the technology you are using, such as to screen potential job candidates, is fair to socio-demographic groups. Choose technological tools that support creating a safe and inclusive workplace by mitigating or eliminating implicit biases.
- Align management with your D&I initiatives. Establish leadership buy-in from the start. To do this, consider having management involved in the design aspect of your D&I strategy so it reflects the realities of your work organization. Management is then likely to be vocal about the value the company places on diversity, which will lead to greater buy-in from every level of the organization.
- Be aware of underrepresented group members. How underrepresented group members are perceived in the workplace shapes their reality in a way that has real consequences. For instance, marginalized group members in larger organizations may be subjected to stereotype-based evaluations or tokenism. The result may be that diverse employees don’t stay at your company for very long, or don’t put in their best effort. Increasing the representation and visibility of marginalized groups while actively counteracting stereotypes is one effective diversity and inclusion strategy.
How Can Diversio Help Your Organization Set a Diversity and Inclusion Strategy that Works?
How your data is collected, measured, and analyzed has a significant impact on your organization’s ability to set an effective D&I strategy. Diversio’s solutions-based program uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing to analyze aggregate data through a granular lens, accounting for the experiences of all workforce population members. Our four-minute, anonymous survey ensures that stakeholders feel safe when reporting their experiences in the workplace. Because the survey is based on six research-based key performance indicators, employee responses to this quick questionnaire provides all the data needed to get practical recommendations tailored to your workplace.
Request a demo to find out how our platform helps organizations across various industries set D&I strategies that drive meaningful change in their workplace.