Creating a Diverse, Inclusive, and Equitable Workplace

Creating a Diverse, Inclusive, and Equitable Workplace

A workplace that fosters diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) attracts top talent and drives creativity and better decision-making. 

Aside from the desire to adhere to various laws and build a brand with a good reputation, there are many reasons to develop a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace. These environments can improve employee retention and engagement, improve decision-making processes, and foster a culture where employees are truly satisfied. 

Unfortunately, creating a diverse and inclusive workplace is easier said than done. Every business aiming to build a more equitable workplace must have a strategy in place. Here are a few tips to build into your DEI strategy:

Foster Respect

Committing to DEI initiatives means committing to each and every one of your employees, especially underrepresented individuals. The only way to promote an inclusive and respectful workplace is to train your employees about discrimination, allowing them to understand what it looks like and the biases that affect their decision-making

In addition, employers must foster a respectful environment where everyone feels comfortable voicing their opinions and putting their skills and experience to good use.

Identify Biases 

Developing a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) requires a thorough examination of biases that may exist within an organization. By addressing and overcoming these biases, organizations can create an inclusive environment where individuals from diverse backgrounds can thrive. For instance, implicit biases occur unconsciously and can affect employees' judgment. These biases are those that lead to unfair treatment of certain groups. 

Organizations are also filled with affinity bias, in which particular individuals or groups favor other individuals or groups similar to them. This type of bias can directly impact diversity, making workplaces less diverse because individuals tend to favor those most like them. 

By encouraging an open dialogue and addressing biases, you can create an environment where all employees feel valued and empowered.

Accommodate Others

DEI initiatives require business leaders to understand that no two employees are the same. Organizations must provide reasonable accommodations during employment. For instance, you can offer accommodations for parents that allow them to drop their children off at school before coming to work or flexible working hours that allow individuals to take care of themselves and their families. 

Pay Employees Fairly

To be an equitable employer, you must promote pay equity and pay each employee fairly. Organizations should use data to determine which employees are underpaid for their duties. For instance, you can use people analytics to learn about pay gaps and compare existing employee salaries to determine if they're fair. Remember, individuals with the same title and responsibilities should be paid similarly. 

Acknowledge All Holidays

Again, no two employees are the same. If you honor one person's religious holidays, you should honor everyone's. While Christmas is a common holiday most employers give off, you should consider the individuals who don't celebrate the holiday. Instead, they may celebrate other holidays throughout the year. 

Employers aren't entitled to ask applicants or existing employees about their religion, but you can tell your employees that you'd like to give them the day off for important days in their lives and allow them to submit requests. 

When an employee submits a request for a non-Christian holiday, instead of making them use their PTO, you can give them a free day off to acknowledge their religious celebrations and make them feel more welcome in the workplace. 

Collect Feedback 

Most organizations collect feedback throughout the year. For instance, you might collect feedback on your employee onboarding process and ask for self-assessments during performance reviews. You can send your employees anonymous surveys regularly to encourage them to share feedback and help you better understand how employees feel about your DEI efforts. 

Consider Hiring Practices

Strategies for Hiring Labor Assistance

Implementing a more inclusive recruitment and hiring process can help you attract a more diverse pool of candidates while ensuring fairness. Using diverse job boards or platforms that cater to underrepresented groups, businesses can broaden their reach to attract a more diverse talent pool. 

In addition, you should remove any biased language from job descriptions on job boards. Since job descriptions can unintentionally include language that discourages some groups from applying, employers should review them regularly and revise them when necessary. For instance, you should use gender-neutral terms, avoid pronouns, and emphasize qualifications rather than specific traits. 

Then, when hiring, you should have a diverse interview panel to minimize bias and ensure different perspectives are considered. 

Provide Employee Training

Providing employees and leadership with education and training can raise awareness about bias and microaggression within the workplace while promoting inclusive behaviors. DEI training programs help employees understand the concepts of stereotypes and inequalities in any workplace, allowing them to recognize their biases. 

In addition, these programs help employees build empathy and understanding for others by allowing them to learn about cultural differences and the experiences and perspectives of others. These training experiences foster empathy and understanding for others to reduce potential conflicts and promote inclusive behaviors. 

DEI training programs equip employees with the skills and knowledge they need to practice more inclusive behaviors. Communication strategies like active listening can help create a sense of belonging among employees. 

Training doesn’t have to be limited to that, there can also be educational seminars available that can help all of your employees have the chance to learn about different aspects of your industry and even become certified in some expertise. They can also receive training on things like finances and loans, especially if they are young employees out of school.

Engage in the Community 

Collaborating with non-profits and other organizations in the community can promote a more positive brand image while supporting DEI efforts. By partnering with other local organizations, businesses will have access to expertise and best practices since these organizations tend to have more specialized knowledge in promoting inclusion. 

Promoting DEI in the Workplace 

Promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace is not only the right thing to do, but it also brings numerous benefits to organizations and society as a whole. By actively working towards creating an inclusive work environment, organizations foster a culture where all employees feel valued, respected, and empowered to contribute their unique perspectives and talents.

DEI initiatives require a multifaceted approach that encompasses various aspects of organizational culture, policies, and practices. Working collaboratively with external stakeholders, organizations amplify their impact, learn from others, and drive improvements that benefit the workforce and communities.

Megan Isola

Megan Isola holds a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and a minor in Business Marketing from Cal State University Chico. She enjoys going to concerts, trying new restaurants, and hanging out with friends.

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