Diversity and inclusion strategy is a must for effective execution of the D&I training and creating a diverse workplace. A diverse and inclusive workplace is one in which everyone feels equally included and encouraged in all aspects of the workplace, irrespective of who they are or even what they contribute to the company. The phrase “all places” is crucial.
Diversity and inclusion (D&I) is much more than policies, initiatives, and employee counts. Inclusive managers outperform their competitors by valuing each team member’s individual needs, opinions, and capabilities. As an outcome, employees are more likely to trust and commit to diverse and inclusive environments.
Most Effective Diversity and Inclusion Strategies
In some firms, it’s easier said than done to promote diversity and inclusion practices, especially if they already have a talent shortage and a varied staff. Although a diverse staff may help the company become more innovative and perform better, it can be difficult for them to implement effective ways. Below is the list of various strategies that work for diversity and inclusion.
- Alter core company values
As long as the company values reflect a corporate climate that is inclusive to everyone, articulating the fundamental values of the company can help to recruit diverse talents. Before considering whether or not to apply for a job opening, applicants will always want to access and examine your corporate values. People nowadays are seeking a fantastic place to work that offers advancement chances and a decent work-life balance.
According to a McKinsey study from 2018, more diversity in the workforce leads to increased efficiency and wealth generation. As a result, showcasing how inclusive and diverse you are or how companies are using diversity and inclusion methods to improve will help you succeed in your job search.
- Use inclusive language
The use of language, especially hyper-casual language, may appear insignificant. However, it has a substantial influence on the feeling of inclusion in the workplace. Managers who use welcomes like “hello guys.” will not receive positive feedback from female employees since they are perceived as non-inclusive and male-centric, implying that a male salutation ought to be the standard.
Computer programmers used to be referred to as “hackers” in the IT industry. Only 2 percent of those who applied were female. They discovered after some study that more inclusive wording would attract more females to apply.
- Hold executive leaders accountable for driving D&I outcomes
Assigning formal ownership to each departmental leader and corporate level leader to attain D&I results, such as diversity results that concentrate on representation and inclusion outcomes that emphasize day-to-day participation such as employee engagement, equality, psychological safety, etc.
Many prominent companies, such as Starbucks and McDonald’s, are already developing D&I performance measures. All of this must be viewed as an integral part of the day job, not an “after-hours” activity, and senior leaders must allocate the necessary time and resources to complete the task.
- Empathetic leadership is key
Managers must experience it firsthand in order to see the link between feeling excluded and making other people feel alienated. That is an important beginning step. Many individuals think of diversity and inclusion as a single HR-led initiative. But, for meaningful change to occur, each leader must believe in the significance of belonging on both a mental and moral level.
Tuning in to empathy is a part of that system, with each participant recalling a moment when they were excluded, embarrassed, interrupted, and so on, in order to learn from those lessons. A company’s D&I practices can only survive if the whole C-suite takes ownership of diversity and inclusion.
- Challenging unconscious biases
Being mindful of unconscious biases is beneficial because managers will realize that even if you apply specific methods inside your firm, they will still view things in a particular manner. The traditional gender role link of MALE = WORK and FEMALE = HOME is one example of unconscious prejudice. We could believe that this simple assumption is no longer valid in today’s culture.
Challenging them by using effective tactics inside your company will assist you in reducing any unconscious prejudice you may be bringing into the workplace. The tactics for increasing diversity and inclusion may be monitored so that you can see how your firm is evolving.
- Conduct pay equity reviews
The Equal Pay Act of 1964 may be nearly 50 years old, yet the pay disparity persists in 2021, with women receiving only 82 cents for every $1 earned by males. This disparity is much more pronounced among Black and Hispanic or Latina women, which makes 61% and 53% of the average pay of Caucasian males, respectively. To guarantee pay balance, do formal assessments of your own pay structure. Then, when gaps are found, make corrections.
- Hold Regular Cultural events
Categorizing a day for all nationalities within the organization might assist in retaining varied talent by honoring the present diversity attitude within the organization. It also implies that the company is more inclusive since everyone will feel respected and appreciate each other’s own nation. Celebrations of International Women’s Day, Gay Pride, and the International Day of Persons with Disabilities are also noteworthy. This demonstrates that your company appreciates and promotes diversity and inclusion, which might help you recruit more talent.
- Demonstrate overall willingness to change
When people’s views are questioned, they are predisposed to react with dread and distrust. While fear may be a tremendous motivator, it also drives individuals to restrict their viewpoints, which is the exact opposite of what we want in the workplace. Finding new ways to look at problems through the prism of possibility and leveraging the power of common experiences and stories to do so increases the chances of meaningful change. Organizations must not just point out areas where they may improve but also highlight and celebrate their successes.
- Shift your focus from diversity training to coaching for leadership development
One-time diversity training programs that are purely focused on eliminating implicit prejudice seldom result in long-term behavior change. Instead, diversity training works best when it’s part of a larger strategic plan that involves both knowledge and skill development and is implemented over time.
As the manager is the most important person for proper employee engagement, it’s equally critical to focus on managers to improve their connections with those they lead. Managers can be trained to personalize their relationships with their teams in order to establish psychological safety and make equitable judgments about the processes they govern, such as salary, performance evaluation, promotions, and job assignments.
- Involve employees in the hiring process
As a strategy to increase diversity and inclusion within an organization, including certain workers in the recruiting process might be useful. Workers may give you a broader perspective on what potential employees can bring to the table, and they may be able to find skill sets that you aren’t aware of. Employees will feel appreciated and that their perspectives matter when making crucial choices for the company if they are included in the recruiting process.
In a Nutshell
Every industry’s structure is changing as a result of technological and societal developments. Hence, there is a universal consensus that workplace diversity and inclusion must be improved. While the list of best practices may appear daunting, picking one and performing it properly will help put the organization on the right track and achieve its goals.