DEI Best practices overhead desk shot

DEI Best Practices to Build a Stronger Workplace

In today’s business landscape, embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s a strategic imperative. Companies championing DEI are reaping the rewards and setting a standard for the future of work. Here, we break down how you can be a part of this transformation (and why you should be). 

The Importance of DEI in the Workplace

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are more than just buzzwords. These principles represent your company’s commitment to recognizing and appreciating differences, providing equal opportunities, and creating a space where employees feel they belong.  When these principles are part of the fabric of your organization:

Innovation flourishes: A diverse workforce means you have various perspectives, experiences, and ideas driving your creativity and innovation. 

Decision-making improves: Different backgrounds give you a more comprehensive view of issues, resulting in more informed decision-making. 

Employee engagement increases: Inclusive workplaces where individuals feel valued and understood lead to better employee experiences. According to ADP, employees who are happy with their company’s DEI efforts are two times more engaged than unhappy employees.

Strategies for Recruiting Diverse Talent

Revisit job descriptions

You may not realize it, but job descriptions can inadvertently favor one group based on gender, sexual orientation, or other criteria. For example, a company may use gender-neutral pronouns but include descriptive words with gendered connotations. Even listing “must-have” qualifications can alienate top candidates who may be missing a few competencies but bring new skills and perspectives.

Create diverse hiring panels

Ensure human resource teams and hiring panels include diverse individuals. This minimizes the impact of unconscious bias while demonstrating your company’s commitment to diversity to potential hires. 

Evaluate your employer brand

Dive deep into your employer branding. Is diversity showcased on your website and marketing materials? Are you highlighting your DEI efforts? Promoting a diverse and inclusive brand (and acting on your commitments) increases your chances of attracting a varied candidate pool. You’ll also signal to potential employees that your company is a space where they can be themselves and thrive. 

Eliminate entry barriers for underrepresented groups

Traditional recruitment methods often sideline underrepresented groups. For example, recruiting from elite universities and specific geographical areas may exclude candidates from diverse socio-economic, racial, or educational backgrounds. To avoid this, many companies now offer virtual interviews and more remote work opportunities. 

How to Keep Your Talent

Foster inclusivity from the top down

Leadership should be the DEI torchbearers (and not just your chief diversity officer). When top executives openly support and engage in DEI initiatives, it sets a precedent for the entire company and builds accountability at every level of the organization. 

Continuous education

To help promote a culture of understanding and acceptance, offer training sessions that educate employees about unconscious biases, cultural differences, and the importance of DEI in the workplace. These training sessions shouldn’t be a one-time event but a continuous process, evolving alongside the broader DEI landscape. 

Mentorship and growth opportunities

Create mentorship programs that help underrepresented employees navigate their careers within the company. Additionally, ensure that promotion opportunities are transparent and equally accessible to everyone.

Create employee resource groups (ERGs)

ERGs, such as groups for LGBTQIA+, women, or people of color, provide safe spaces for employees to connect, share experiences, and voice any concerns. They encourage dialogue and conversation, leading to a more empathetic workplace culture.  

Celebrate diversity

Organize events, workshops, and discussions celebrating various cultures, festivals, and significant days. These celebrations can go a long way in creating a sense of belonging, fostering understanding, and showing that the company values the diverse backgrounds of its employees. 

Open feedback channels

Ensure that there are channels through which employees can voice their concerns or provide feedback about the company’s DEI initiatives. This ensures employees’ voices are heard while being a great resource when setting goals for improvement. 

Ready for a more equitable approach to attract and retain talent? Empower Partnerships is here to guide you every step of the way with holistic, data-driven talent acquisition and retention services. Reach out to us today, and let’s build a better workplace.