Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is an important initiative for your organization. Why? A good DEI program will attract more candidates to your organization. The studies find that 2022 candidates are paying more attention to your efforts to foster a melting pot in your organization. Too, diverse organizations are more productive and innovative than companies that are more hegemonic.
If DEI is a goal for your organization this year, you might be wondering where to start. This blog will give you some tips for creating a better organization through DEI.
How to Create a Better DEI Program
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) provides us with a good tool for initiating any DEI program. They suggest a good DEI initiative has several key tenets, including but not limited to:
- Data collection
- Identify areas of concern
- Address policies affecting DEI
1. Data Collection
To begin your DEI process, SHRM suggests that you must first understand the demographic characteristics of your workforce. While this may be an easy exercise if you have a small business, larger organizations may have a more formal, longer process. It’s important to recognize that the diversity found in your demographic data may (and should) encompass much more than race as a marker. SHRM suggests your organization track:
- Family status
- Gender identity
- Life experience
- Organizational level
- Personality type
- Sexual orientation
- Learning style
- Veteran status
Larger organizations can cull some of this data from EEO reporting, but most employers will need to poll their employees to ask for voluntary self-identification to obtain this data.
2. Identify Concerns
Collecting data is the first step that will inform you of any DEI deficiencies in your organization. Start with some of the typical questions that the data may highlight:
- Are your management teams predominantly white males?
- Are women of color making less than the rest of your team?
- Are departments predominantly gender specific? For example, is HR mostly (or all women)? Is your operations team primarily male?
- Are promotions rarer for employees who speak English as a second language?
Identifying these areas of deficiency will allow you to begin to create policies to make changes in your organization.
3. Address Policies
There are a few policies that can help you shore up any areas of deficiency in areas on your teams. For example:
- An employee referral program can help with “like me” referrals. Since most people tend to refer candidates of the same demographic categories, a paid referral program can help build out certain demographic areas in your organization where it’s apparent you’re missing the mark.
- Create a recruiting process that eliminates unconscious bias. Review your process to spot areas for improvement.
- Company culture must be careful not to exclude anyone who identifies beyond the predominant demographic features of your company. For example, do you only celebrate Christian holidays? Do you have political messages that express a “party line” for your employees?
Once you’ve spotted some of these problem areas, you can assess and make changes as needed. It’s also important to build the support for any initiatives you undertake. This includes all company messaging, training, and recruiting.
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ADD STAFF is committed to a more inclusive and diverse workforce. If you’re looking for talent, we’re here to help you meet your goals. Call on us.