How Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Impact the Culture of the Entire Workplace
July 23, 2021 / Corporate Wellness
Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are more than buzzwords — they’re a priority in the workplace today. DEI initiatives are on the rise in countless organizations, as more and more leaders recognize how companies with diverse, equitable and inclusive cultures not only see higher profits and lower turnover, but also greater employee satisfaction, productivity, innovation and more.
The unprecedented events of 2020 only further accelerated DEI conversations, putting an even brighter spotlight on the importance of building a company culture in which everyone feels valued and diversity is celebrated. Learn how diversity, equity and inclusion impact the culture of the entire workplace:
Understanding the Impact of DEI in the Workplace
Strong DEI initiatives have a significant impact on company culture. They build a sense of belonging, ensure equal opportunities for all employees and set the tone for the entire organization. Failed DEI efforts can be catastrophic for companies, often leading to poor satisfaction, high turnover rates and limited innovation.
When companies get DEI right, the positive impact is substantial, driving the following improvements:
Most employees (78%) want to work for a company that prioritizes diversity, equity and inclusion — and their happiness and satisfaction in the organization might even depend on it. According to a recent survey, employees who say their company is doing “about the right amount” of prioritization have a Workforce Happiness Index score of 75, compared to 63 for those who say their company is “not doing enough”.
DEI also impacts employee productivity. When employees feel as though they belong and their voice matters, the entire workforce is more productive and less prone to presenteeism. For example, the U.S. Army’s data-driven DEI action plan resulted in healthier, more productive employees with enhanced performance.
Different backgrounds, cultures, thought processes and lifestyles all contribute to diversity of thought. Diverse thinking is proven to enhance team innovation by up to 20% — especially diversity among leadership. The numbers don’t lie: Companies with diverse management teams report an average 45% total innovation revenue for products and services launched within the last three years, versus 26% for companies with below-average diversity scores.
With diversity of thought comes better decision-making across the board. Diverse, equitable and inclusive organizations make better business decisions at least 87% of the time. Diversity allows for multiple perspectives and more creative solutions to problems, greatly contributing to improved decision-making.
A positive, accepting company culture fosters team-building, workplace relationships and collaboration. DEI-focused organizations can expect to see a 29% increase (or more) in intra-team collaboration.
Tips for Deploying a DEI Strategy That Meets the Mark
Looking for helpful tips and tricks for deploying a DEI strategy that actually works? We’ve got you covered:
Prioritize Each Letter
Diversity, equity and inclusion are all equally important, and must all be considered in order to achieve success — but to do that, you need to understand the inherent differences between them:
- Diversity is the presence of different backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, genders, sexualities, religious beliefs and more.
- Equity is the assurance that all company processes, programs and opportunities are fair and equally available to each individual.
- Inclusion is the practice of ensuring all employees feel an overall sense of belonging in the workplace.
Build Diverse Leadership Teams
To truly be diverse, equitable and inclusive, you need to build diverse teams from the top down. That means every team — including both senior executives and middle management — should be as diverse as the others. Leadership and management teams that reflect a commitment to diversity are more likely to attract great talent, drive innovation and make better, more strategic business decisions.
Along with hiring leaders from a wide range of different backgrounds, cultures and lifestyles, many companies are appointing Chief Diversity Officers (CDO) to ensure accurate representation among leaders. In fact, CDO positions have grown more than 16% over the past year alone.
Encourage Behavior and Culture Change
You can accelerate your DEI strategy by holding people accountable for their behavior and recognizing and rewarding progress toward a cultural change. A fun way to kickstart the conversation is by sharing cultural diversity dice and encouraging your employees to put the suggestions into practice. Then, you can use incentives to reward their progress toward those goals.
Celebrate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Consider celebrating diversity by acknowledging less mainstream cultural and religious holidays. Offering employees a floating holiday is a great way to give employees the freedom to celebrate other culturally relevant holidays and important events that aren’t considered federal holidays.
Use Data to Track Your Effectiveness
Organizations that are not using data to track their DEI initiatives are missing a critical step in their strategy and process. Tracking DEI data and analytics can help you measure progress toward goals and adjust your strategy as necessary.
Offer Employees the Right Resources
Last but certainly not least, you can help your diverse workforce succeed by providing access to a digital wellbeing platform that brings all of your organization’s health, wellbeing, and culture-boosting resources together, such as Homebase for Health®. With a personalized platform at their disposal, every one of your employees will know you’re invested in their health and wellbeing — and have the tools they need to invest in it themselves.
Schedule a demo and learn how building a Homebase for Health® can benefit your employees and your organization as a whole.