How DEI Best Practices Make for Better Workplace Outcomes
Practicing DEI values elevates all employees and drives drive real systemic change. Leaders must intentionally address the systemic discriminations impacting an employee’s success to make this change possible. By implementing inclusive and sustainable strategies, organizations can grow and thrive across their target communities and increase the commitment and value of their teams. Unfortunately, workplaces have yet to fully implement practices and metrics to launch and sustain a DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) centered culture.
So, what does this look like outside of commitment statements and hiring practices? And how will this contribute to the success of your organization and mission?
For our organization, the term diversity is inclusive of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, (dis)ability, age, veteran status, and socioeconomic status.
A recent Harvard Business Review highlights meaningful strategies for creating a more inclusive workplace:
- Emphasize the Business Case for Diversity and Inclusion
Research finds that when workplace teams reflect on their target customers, the entire team is more than twice as likely to innovate effectively.
- Recognize Bias
We all come from different backgrounds and develop unconscious biases over time. It is imperative that leaders recognize how best to control inclinations, and commit to offering roles and responsibilities to all employees.
- Practice Inclusive Leadership
Leaders should embrace the input of employees whose backgrounds or expertise differ from their own, foster collaboration, ask questions, facilitate constructive arguments, and give actionable feedback.
- Hold Leaders Accountable
Inclusion needs to be a core principle, not just a check in a box. Organizations should establish metrics and proper reporting processes to track progress toward their diversity and inclusion goals.
What are the benefits of a more diverse and inclusive workplace? Establishing a culture centered on DEI promotes truly meaningful change in the workplace AND provides a sound business strategy. A more inclusive environment also can lead to:
- Increased Innovation
Innovation is essential for organizations of all sizes and structures, yet if the same people are ideating and making the decisions, the mission may never reach its full potential. Different perspectives are essential.
- Boosts in Productivity
According to the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton People Analytics, employees who feel a greater sense of belonging take 75% fewer sick days and are 56% more productive than those who may feel isolated or excluded.
- Increased Substantive Staff Commitment and Collaboration
More inclusive organizations leverage all employee voices, providing individuals with a sense of value and responsibility. This fosters a more collaborative environment, can help break down silos and promotes organization-wide inclusion.
As an SBA-certified HUBZone employer and minority, woman-led business, STRATA9 is committed to working with changemakers to design more inclusive, high-performing organizations. The STRATA9 team can help you grow your workplace productivity and innovation by conducting organizational assessments, strengthening your strategic planning processes, and helping to ensure that your social media and communications plans reflect DEI values. For information about how we can help you maximize your social impact and grow more diverse teams, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.