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There are many methods to improve the overall efficiency and wellbeing of your company. In fact, one of the most effective ways is by creating a healthy working environment, where all employees feel welcome and can continue to thrive.
Introducing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace allows your employees to become more personally invested in the vision and mission of your organisation. Feeling considered as an integral part of an organisation improves the desire to continue contributing. The value of diversity in the workplace shouldn’t be underestimated in significantly improving the position of your company and promoting equity and inclusion.
While the definitions of diversity, equity and inclusion can seem similar, the impact that they have on the efficiency and productivity of your company are very different.
This involves practising diverse hiring practices, such as the employment of different genders, races, and people of various physical abilities. Widening the types of perspectives we get from employees can lead to more creative ideas and higher productivity.
Additionally, this helps your company to become more culturally aware and sensitive, and increases the possibility of international expansions and partnerships. It is during times like these where having the right team can make your company go from good to great.
Having equity in the workplace means that there’s a proportional representation of employees amongst the opportunities presented to the people in your organisation. Having fair representation reminds your workers that they have a good shot at anything compared to their colleagues, which can result in a range of benefits.
Most notably, this encourages achievement and meritocracy amongst employees, and even leads to a higher employee retention rate and an influx of talent.
Lastly, inclusion represents providing your workers with equal opportunities in the workplace, regardless of their background. Doing so reminds them that they’re part of a team, and prevents anyone from developing feelings of isolation or loneliness.
This allows you to expand on your team’s innovation and creativity through the encouragement of diverse opinions and ideas. When implemented, it can lead to an expansion of your talent pool compared to others with more stringent hiring policies.
While many may view DEI as a luxury, it’s actually a necessity. Implementing it in all aspects of your company, from recruitment, training, to engagement, allows you to have an all-encompassing organisational culture of openness and trust amongst your team members. Some simple methods to introduce DEI include:
By putting DEI at the heart of what your company does, it allows you to place more importance on an inclusive workforce, rather than just as a secondary objective. For instance, make it clear that the organisation hires fairly regardless of background.
Providing more seasoned employees with the responsibility to ensure DEI is actively applied allows you to enforce this mindset amongst everyone. This also leads to less instances of implicit bias and more acceptance. Allow senior employees to lead meetings, plan events, and mentor juniors.
Acknowledging and respecting the different cultural and religious backgrounds of your employees, including making new company holidays, reminds your employees that everyone is welcome. This act leads to a more inclusive team. A simple way would be to hold a company lunch in lieu of cultural holidays, keeping everyone’s interests in mind.
Of course, not every policy is going to hit the ground running. Much like integrating environmental sustainability into your organisation, DEI is a long-term project in organisational change. In the end, only you know the dynamics of your team, so it’s important to be receptive to change and make tweaks along the way to ensure effective growth.