Diversity and inclusivity are top of mind for many companies and brands, and with good reason. These aren’t simply buzzwords or fads. These are instrumental in shaping how a business functions and how that company and brand is perceived in the marketplace, by customers, prospects, employees, vendors, and partners.
In a recent survey of HR leaders, Gartner discovered that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is a top priority for 2022.
It Benefits Your Employees & Your Business
It’s been well documented that diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives help employees feel safe, respected, and connected while also driving innovation and excellence. Building a diverse workforce is not only a win for employees, but it’s also a win for the business as well. Studies show that a diverse workforce brings increased creativity to identifying and solving business challenges.
But these can be less tangible things to measure, so many business leaders take a look at the bottom line to get a better idea. It’s been documented the companies that prioritize inclusivity are more profitable and generate higher revenues. In fact, they are more likely to hit their financial goals by up to 120% and produce up to 41% higher revenue. By putting an emphasis on workplace diversity, these companies also see higher employee engagement.
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Improves How Your Brand Is Perceived
A focus on DEI in the workplace also helps to bolster how your brand is perceived outside of your company. Clear DEI initiatives not only shape your brand identity but also show the marketplace that your firm’s leaders are aware and in tune with the current social climate. You aren’t just paying lip service with a DEI statement; your brand is actively taking steps to promote equity and the marketplace takes note of this.
This trickles down into improved customer loyalty and further extends your brand awareness as your industry recognizes you are putting in the work to create a diverse, inclusive workplace. It can also help with your hiring efforts as DEI initiatives are considered an important factor when candidates are evaluating companies to work for and considering job offers.
How To Create Diversity and Inclusivity in Your Company
Implementing DEI initiatives doesn’t happen in a silo and isn’t something that happens overnight. Here are a few tips to help you work towards a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace:
- Get C-suite Buy-In. Change always starts at the top and must be championed by your executive-level team. Start by setting a specific, measurable goal. Example: Have 30% women in executive leadership by 2025. Lead by example to demonstrate your commitment to the initiative. Example: join inclusive leadership workshops, forums, start committees, etc.
- Leverage Diverse Job Boards. Seek out a more diverse applicant pool by using job boards that cater to a diverse job seeker pool.
- Offer Diverse Mentorships. If your industry lacks diversity (through no fault of your own), take the extra step to change your industry by offering diverse mentorships and providing opportunities to gain the skills needed to excel in the industry.
- Conduct Diversity Training/Education. Before you groan, we aren’t talking about those situational videos HR makes you watch. We are talking about real, vetted diversity trainings that actively get your employees and leaders talking and engaging in real discussions. These should always be led by an experienced DEI professional, not just a professional trainer.
- Highlight Diversity on the Career Page of Your Website. Make a concerted effort to ensure that the visuals, photos, and language you use on the career page of your company’s website appeal to a diverse audience. Job seekers want to see people who reflect their demographic.
- Celebrate Employee Differences. Take extra time to get to know what makes your employees special and unique. Highlight these differences in a positive way and engage in activities that appeal to these employees.
- Actively Focus on Building Diverse Teams. Keep this focus front and center in all that you do, checking in regularly with your DEI goals and asking yourself if this appeals to a wider audience and/or makes your employees feel included.
Diversity and inclusivity are something we can all work towards as individuals and as brands. Hopefully, these tips enable you to take the next steps to build up your brand and workforce to be truly inclusive and diverse.