Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) are four concepts that have become the pillars of HR to provide work environments that foster innovation and sustainable growth. While companies commonly focus on attracting individuals with the right skillset and level of experience during their recruitment marketing processes, there is a growing focus on aligning talent according to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) policies. These types of policies seek to ensure that workplaces have staff from a wide variety of demographics, ethnicities and cultural backgrounds.
A recent McKinsey study found that companies with strong DEIB policies tend to outperform their competitors financially. Those with an executive team that included both male and female leadership were 25% more likely to outperform their competitors. Additionally, companies with leaders from a broad range of ethnicities and cultures performed 36% better than companies in the same industry that did not have such a diverse staff.
According to a Deloitte survey of companies that have adopted new DEIB policies, 84% of workers believe that executive leadership plan to back their words with actions. Equally positive, 80% of Individuals surveyed indicated that they believe their leaders are sincere in their DEIB policy adoptions. Clearly, companies that are adopting DEIB are reaping the benefits from both workplace culture and financial perspectives.
Understanding the Definition of DEIB
Prior to adopting DEIB recruitment policies, it helps to have a full understanding of what they encompass.
Diversity refers to the varying characteristics that make up a group of people. These characteristics can relate to age, experience, gender, race, sexual orientation, cultural background and religion. Each one of these characteristics gives people a different level of life experience and background that they draw from when contributing to the workplace environment. Diversity allows different perspectives and opinions to be reflected across departments and teams.
When seeking to establish a diverse work environment, hiring managers must look past the person’s demographics and cultural background to examine the skills, education and experience that they bring to the company. There should not be any emphasis on age, gender, size, culture, religion, or any other factor that causes people to have different life experiences from others.
Building a diverse workforce isn’t easy. In some locations, the talent acquisition pool may be consistently dominated by a specific race or culture. That’s okay — a company can continue to seek a more diverse workforce over time just by adopting DEIB policies. If the company offers remote employment, it may be easier to build a diverse workforce in a shorter time span because the talent pool will naturally expand.
Equity simply means fairness. Workplaces that adopt policies for equity strive to ensure that everyone has the same opportunities for success, regardless of their background or personal identity. For example, in cases where an employee has a disability, a company that values equity will ensure that the employee has access to the resources they need to do their job. They are also given a level playing field when it comes to workplace promotions and key projects.
There are several steps a company can take to promote equity within the workplace and encourage equity during the hiring process. First, hiring teams may consider recruitment through alternative tools that may reach a pool of more diverse candidates than their traditional process can achieve. Using alternative recruitment marketing methods can help companies that find they are having difficulty attracting a diverse talent acquisition pool to choose from.
In an inclusive workplace environment, everyone is made to feel welcome, respected, supported and valued. Employees’ opinions and contributions are sought after by team members and senior leadership. Inclusive workplaces seek to enhance the company’s decision-making capabilities by listening to various perspectives of their employees, regardless of where they sit on the workplace ladder.
There are a number of ways to promote inclusion in the workforce. One is to include more people in meetings that are held by executives and managers. For example, if your department regularly hosts a meeting for managers, consider inviting employees who are not in management or senior-level positions to the meeting as well. This can help to foster a more collaborative work environment. It can also give rise to new ideas that may help to improve business performance.
Another way to promote inclusion is by engaging with people from other departments. While not all company departments are required to collaborate with one another to perform their roles, each department does play a part in the overall success of the business. Talking with workers from different departments can help employees better understand the roles that each person plays in the operations of the business.
Finally, workplaces that adopt policies of belonging seek to ensure that their employees feel comfortable with their teammates and senior leadership. There’s a pervasive sense that everyone has their place on the team that contributes to the company’s success. Workers are given opportunities to improve their connections with other teammates through company events and meetings.
Establishing a culture of belonging begins at the top. This means that senior leadership consistently seeks to engage with their workforce, regardless of the position that they hold in the company or what demographic they fit in with. Senior executives should also encourage their managers to be accepting of the variety of workers that they have and learn from their experiences.
The Importance of Diversity in the Workplace
Increasing diversity in the workplace has a number of benefits. First, by including people from a wide array of backgrounds, you’ll gain employees whose experiences and identities encompass those of your customers. Most companies service a wide array of customers from all sorts of backgrounds and experiences. Having a workplace that reflects this can allow the company to make decisions that are more likely to appeal to its customers.
Diversity also allows individuals to realize when they have biases. Often, people aren’t truly aware that they have an internal bias towards specific groups or demographics until they’re actually confronted with working with them on a regular basis – such as during unconscious bias training. Seeing the results of the work of their contemporaries and witnessing their perspectives can help employees to overcome biases and develop a more holistic approach toward cultural and ethnic differences.
Adopting DEIB policies also helps increase the potential talent acquisition pool in the recruitment marketing process. Companies that implement these values — and stay true to them — are more likely to attract potential workers from all different walks of life. On the other hand, if a business is known for having lots of cliques or an environment of favoritism, well-qualified candidates may seek employment elsewhere.
Finally, diversity actually boosts employee engagement. Workers who feel that they play a part in an organization’s success are more likely to be engaged and focused on helping the business succeed. This increases workplace motivation across the board, as being around productive individuals generally encourages others to increase their own productivity.
Why Do Candidates Value Diversity Initiatives From Companies?
Candidates who are looking for a new position truly value when a company has established diversity initiatives. Diversity initiatives show that the business appreciates all perspectives that can be gained from having a workforce with a variety of different cultures. It’s also indicative of a company that won’t discriminate in its promotions policies. Thus, employees and potential candidates will also likely be provided with information on how they can expand their role or move up in the company over time.
Including diversity initiatives also establishes that the company wants a variety of different workers from various backgrounds. They don’t desire a majority of employees who fit into certain demographics. Instead, they are genuinely welcoming to all who have the ability to perform in the role and have a skillset that aligns with the duties of the job description. This allows potential candidates to perceive that there will be an open work environment that encourages a sense of belonging and collaboration.