Does your organization care about DEI?
By Hebba Youssef
Did you read the headline and immediately think, nope?
Well, buckle up because this might be just for you!
But first, WTF has been going on lately?
In the last year:
- Around 25 states are considering legislation to defund DEI initiatives at state agencies and public universities (30 legislative bills)
- Companies are being sued over their DEI initiatives
It’s been alarming reading about the attack on DEI initiatives because we know that diversity and inclusion is good for business and your culture.
You’ve heard the phrase a dozen times, maybe more, that the more diverse a company is, the more innovative it is, the more profitable it becomes.
Don’t believe me?
The World Economic Forum did research and companies with above-average diversity drive 45% average revenue from innovation.
Companies with below-average diversity? Only 26%
And when it comes to culture, companies with strong DEI initiatives have:
- Higher employee retention (5.4 times!)
- Improved problem solving
- More innovation (see above)
- Improved team collaboration
- Higher employee happiness
- Better decision making at work
That list of things sounds… dreamy.
How do you actually ensure your organization cares about DEI and its many amazing benefits?
Here are 2 things (of many) that you can do:
- Get leadership’s commitment
- Audit your processes
Bonus: HR Therapy this week will go even deeper into this! And we’re back to a full hour for Q&A on what you’re dealing with.
Securing leadership’s commitment:
We all know, nothing gets done well if it doesn’t have leadership’s commitment.
Not just one leader, all your leaders need to be onboard!
But how do you actually secure that buy-in?
5 ways to secure buy-in:
- Understand your leaders’ perspective: what are their concerns, questions, and priorities? Knowing this helps you tailor your approach to how you secure their buy in on DEI initiatives.
- Explain the impact: there will be one day where we hopefully don’t have to make the business case for DEI but a lot of leaders are still expecting to hear about that before all the other reasons. See the reasons above!
- Connect it back to your organizational goals: DEI initiatives can actually help a company achieve their goals. What leader doesn’t want to hear that?
- Solicit feedback from leaders: this is super powerful to securing buy-in, you should listen to what your leaders are saying! There can be a lot of clues there as well as context about a specific team’s wants and needs.
- Double down on communication: for every initiative you launch make sure you are communicating what you are doing, why, and the impact. Don’t forget to share success stories and what you’ve learned!
Securing buy-in is crucial to successfully launching DEI initiatives and ensuring your organization cares about what is being done.
But, I wouldn’t be me without sharing a caveat.
Your leaders might not care about DEI.
You know what I wish?
That if companies didn’t care about DEI that they’d stop claiming they do because it causes more harm than good! Cough say/do gap cough.
Employees see right through it and you better believe that impacts your culture.
If your leaders don’t care about DEI, you may have an uphill battle to accomplish any of your initiatives.
It’s the reality many of us are facing on HR teams but that is another topic for a different day. I need about 18 newsletters to fully cover this!
If you’re in this situation – know that you’re not alone as many of us are struggling with this today.
But that does not mean the work should stop.
Audit your processes:
My favorite thing to do in Q4?
Audit all our processes!
Auditing your processes is important for ensuring your organization isn’t inadvertently creating barriers.
Common processes were bias can be introduced:
This guide has a series of questions to ask yourself as you are auditing these processes.
The new year is an awesome time to roll out new processes and educate your company on what’s changing!
If you have a budget you can also hire an external consultant to audit your processes for you. I highly recommend it because sometimes it’s hard to see what needs to change and external eyes can absolutely help!
We’ve been on a ride this quarter!
My focus has been all about culture but I swear I could write a year of newsletters just about this topic.
We’re wrapping up Q3 next week and I want my last edition to focus on how to measure your culture.
Have I mentioned, data is my love language?
More on that next week.