I am a Forbes Council Group Leader in the area of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). Recently, I posted a question to the group on what they had done within their organizations to foster communication in light of the many recent acts of violence, such as the "death by police" of Tyre Nichols to the mass shooting in Nashville, Tenn. by a person who identified as transgender?
I was curious as to how leaders were handling tough conversations with staff, if at all?
The response was deafening silence first, then after several days, one person acknowledged that it was easier to remain quiet about such issues. I agree, it is easier. Why stir the pot? Especially if no one is talking about it? Right?
The problem is, people are talking about it, perhaps only amongst two or three employees during lunch or in hushed tones around the coffee pot. I admit that there’s no way to address every issue not would anyone have the time to address all of racial and equity issues in society today, but you can use the headlines to open a safe-space discussion that allows you to support team members who may be struggling with the reality of societal biases brought to light with those incidents.
If your business or organization has a DEI team, then there’s an opportunity to bring tough conversations to the forefront within the team.
During DEI meetings, the leader of the group has a space to open the discussion and then those team members can be empowered to support the rest of the employees as discussions or issues arise.
The first step though is to employ DEI strategies, such as conducting an assessment to see where your organization is in terms of DEI work, such as do you have a dedicated person or team, do you conduct company-wide trainings or support activities to foster a culture of inclusion or belonging, or are you just starting on the journey? So Motivational Muse can help you and your team no matter where you are in your DEI journey.
DEI strategies are increasingly important in today's workplace. This approach focuses on recognizing, respecting, and valuing differences among employees, while providing an equal opportunity for growth and success regardless of their background or identity. The benefits of implementing DEI in the workplace are too numerous to ignore, and in this blog, I’ll explore the advantages of adopting this mindset:
1. Increased Innovation and Creativity: In a diverse and inclusive workplace, ideas come from different perspectives, experiences and backgrounds. Encouraging employees to bring their authentic selves to work and allow them to express their unique ideas without any fear of judgement or discrimination promotes an inclusive culture that fosters creativity and innovation.
2. Improved Employee Engagement and Retention: Diversity and inclusion enhance the sense of belonging and engagement among employees. Employees who feel they are valued and respected for their uniqueness are more likely to be loyal and committed to their organization, which will ultimately lead to higher retention rates. In a diverse and inclusive workplace, employees are more likely to suggest the company as a great place to work to their friends and family.
3. Increased Productivity and Profitability: An inclusive culture can lead to higher productivity and profitability. Collaborating with colleagues who come from diverse backgrounds promotes creativity and problem-solving, which leads to better decisions and outcomes for the company. The diverse perspectives and insights brought by a diverse team can also lead to a more comprehensive understanding of the market and customer needs.
4. Enhances Reputation and Attracts Top Talent: Companies known for their commitment to DEI and social responsibility often attract top talent. Companies that prioritize hiring, developing and promoting a diverse group of employees enhance their reputation and brand image, making it easier for them to attract top talent.
5. Reduced Risk of Legal Actions: Having a diverse and inclusive workplace can help to mitigate legal issues. Discrimination in the workplace can lead to legal actions, but companies that implement DEI practices hold themselves to high moral standards and will have a more positive work environment.
Promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace is crucial for organizations to establish a healthy and vibrant culture that fosters creativity and innovation. It also boosts employee engagement, retention, productivity and profitability. Companies that prioritize DEI, not only create a better workplace for their employees, but it is also a step toward a more socially responsible organization.