How are you currently working to improve DEI within your organization? Diverse and inclusive organizations attract the most talented employees, have increased employee engagement, and achieve higher levels of productivity. CEOs and board executives are under more strain than ever to keep their DEI promises, and one-off DEI projects are simply not enough to fix long-standing gaps. So, what can you do? In this article, we’ll explore how to infuse DEI throughout your organization.
Build a Fair and Inclusive Hiring Process
One of the most important steps you can take to improve DEI in your organization is to build a fair and inclusive hiring process. This means that your team is assessing candidates based on their qualifications, skills, and experience — not their race, gender, or sexual orientation. When you’re looking to fill a position, it’s important to consider all qualified candidates, not just those who fit into a certain box.
There are a few things you can do to make your hiring process more diverse and inclusive:
- Use job descriptions that are accurate and neutral. Avoid using words like “dominant” or “aggressive” that could discourage marginalized groups from applying.
- Implement ‘blind resume reviews’ where you remove any identifying information such as the candidate’s name, school, or address from their resume before they are reviewed.
- Use structured interviews and ask every candidate the same questions. Doing this will allow you to compare each candidate’s answer more objectively.
- Set recruitment KPIs to implement sourcing goals or quotas to ensure your talent acquisition team hires candidates from diverse backgrounds.
- Advertise your listing using a wide range of channels. For example, don’t just reach out to or hire candidates that attended specific universities.
Make DEI Part of Your Business Strategy
A good DEI strategy doesn’t just start and end with your hiring process. A better approach is to ingrain diversity, equity, and inclusion into your core business strategy. This means that DEI should take center stage during any organizational activities or changes. DEI can be implemented in your core business strategy in the following ways:
- Establish DEI goals and put strategies into effect to achieve them. Make DEI a priority and show that you’re willing to put resources behind it.
- Implement DEI measures — such as DEI awareness training — to track DEI initiatives and set benchmarks.
- Use DEI concepts in your day-to-day activities such as regular meetings, job postings, marketing materials, presentations, etc. Find opportunities for everyone to contribute their unique perspectives and experiences so that DEIs can flourish.
Ensure Leaders Are Held Accountable
You can’t expect DEI to flourish unless DEI is part of your organization’s culture and leadership sets an example. Leaders must be held accountable for their efforts to promote diversity and inclusion and holding them accountable only helps to encourage top-down awareness and participation from the rest of the team. To do this, leaders should plan, execute, and track which DEI outcomes they can apply to their role or department. Keep leaders accountable by setting up regular meetings to check in on their progress. Another way of holding everyone accountable is to hire a Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) who will be responsible for overseeing DEI initiatives across the entire organization, and who can check any blind spots in the measures your business is implementing.
Focus on ‘Culture Add’ Rather Than ‘Culture Fit’
When you’re looking to improve DEI in your organization, it’s important to shift your focus from ‘culture fit’ to ‘culture add’. Culture fit is the idea that an employee should be a “like-minded” individual who shares the same values as the company. However, this can often lead to organizations hiring individuals who look and think just like them. Culture add refers to the idea that an employee should bring new and different perspectives to the table, ultimately making the team and organization more diverse and inclusive. Subsequently, DEI initiatives can be difficult to implement if culture fit becomes the focus of your business.
Measure Your DEI Goals and Communicate Them Across the Organization
One of the best ways to improve DEI in your organization is to measure it. Measuring DEI will help you track your progress and ensure that DEI initiatives are having a positive impact on your workplace. You can measure DEI by setting goals and benchmarks, tracking employee engagement and diversity metrics, conducting surveys and audits, or holding focus groups. Communicating your DEI goals across the organization is also essential for helping everyone to understand why DEI is important and what they can do to help further its success. It also fosters transparency and shows that DEI is high on your organization’s list of priorities.
In conclusion, improving DEI in your organization can be a challenge, but it’s worth the effort. Focusing on DEI goals, implementing DEI measures, and holding leaders accountable are all great ways to get started. By making DEI part of your business strategy, you’ll be creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace that benefits everyone.
Want to discuss this topic in more detail? Or perhaps you’re looking to attract diverse candidates to your business? If so, contact us today to find out how we can help.