DEI- Diversity, equity and inclusion is increasingly becoming a topic of discussion and debate amongst workplace leaders. This meticulous consideration of DEI is a result of the pandemic as the same led to the growth of inequalities in some companies to a greater extent.
“Only 1 in 5 companies hold themselves accountable for DEI, in their business practices and 40% see diversity as primarily an issue of compliance.”
The topic picked up soon after Josh Bersin gave his two cents on it and talked about the five key strategies that can help implement DEI in workplaces.
DEI, largely, is still seen as a hiring problem. In this blog, we attempt to move the needle further by telling you the ways to knit DEI into your core business strategy, especially in the Indian context. Below is what we aim to cover-
- Benefits of DEI for Employees and Employers
- The Current State of DEI in the Workplace
- 5 tips to improve DEI
Click to watch the second episode of the #CHROSpeak series with Ms. Shayantani Sen, Executive Director HR and OB Practice Lead of The Judge Group sharing her unique perspective on DEI with Thomas Abraham, Advisor – HROne and Founder, HR2Tech.
Benefits of DEI for Employees and Employers
There is a gamut of benefits, here we tell you some of the proven ones.
- Diverse companies have the potential to outperform the non-diverse companies
- Diverse companies are more innovative because of the ideas and perspective that different set of people bring to the table
- They also have a higher employee engagement and retention level.
- As a result of increased engagement, they observe a much happier clientele as well
“The financial performance of companies who improved their DEI increased by almost around 25%”
The Current State of DEI in the Workplace
The realisation that employers must actively work to create meaningful change in spite of the history of injustice that has marginalized underrepresented groups within the workplace has only been recent. While DEI seems to be the best approach to boost engagement, productivity and offering everyone the same ability to get promoted, to contribute and have the same impact — in the world and in the workplace — as their peers; all of it is still a blur.
Here are some of the facts that reflect upon the current DEI state-
- 11% of recruiters are evaluated on the basis of sourcing from underrepresented groups and 12% hold managers responsible for hiring diverse people
- More than 75% of organisation barely have any DEI goals set
- 75% don’t have DEI included in the L&D curriculum
- Just 32% have mandated this training for employees and 34% for their managers
All this is because DEI is seen as a compliance issue. For companies to achieve DEI excellence they need to make it a part of their core business strategies. It is not a game of numbers, it’s an effort to push the numbers that matter higher.
Just like the man himself quoted, till the time we are not inclusive, the business issues will continue to thrive.
5 Tips to Improve DEI
The five essential strategies that Josh Bersin mentioned are-
- Listen, Hear and Act-
Companies can activate a continuous listening wheel to begin the process. Here are some suggestions.
- Make employee listening forums
- Conduct polls, surveys (can be done easily with HR software)
- Do sentiment analysis
- Create focus groups
- Strengthen HR capabilities-
Here are a couple of things you can do.
- Review your HR programs
- Check policies through DEI perspective
- Identify gaps and areas of opportunity in recruitment, and performance
- Use HR software that offers 9 box matrix for better financial planning
- Consider training the employees
- Engage senior leaders
Leaders after educating themselves can steer the DEI efforts in the direction they want, company-wide.
- Be personally involved and accountable
- Talk about inclusion and really believe in it
Remember without the engagement of leadership in DEI, the efforts would be fleeting and give short term results.
- Set and measure goals
Set goals not to set a number to achieve but to see how correct the efforts being made are.
- It helps in identify opportunity areas and create plans
- Set a benchmark outside your company. For instance- Another company in the same industry
- Communicate DEI metrics internally
- Hold accountability for results
To attain the highest level of DEI maturity, you need to be accountable. And this must happen at every level. No one person or group should be held responsible, it is a collective effort. The outcomes and progress made is imperative and must be shared to create a meaningful impact.
Lastly, HR software is always there to help you get DEI right. We hope you were able to get some acute takeaways and a roadmap on how to shift mindsets, behaviors, and practices to be more equitable, diverse, and inclusive as a company.