Ever heard the term DE&I floating around the workplace? You’re probably wondering what it means. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) are three important components that businesses must embrace to build a strong and inclusive workplace culture. In today's global and diverse business landscape, companies must take steps to ensure they promote and uphold DE&I values. This blog post will discuss what DE&I is – and what it means, why it matters to small businesses, and how you can incorporate it into your business.
DE&I basically refers to the efforts made in a workplace to create an equitable, diverse, and inclusive work environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and supported.
These terms have their own individual meanings too;
Diversity refers to the presence of a variety of people with different cultural backgrounds, ethnicities, ages, religions, genders, sexual orientations, abilities, and experiences in the workplace. Equity, on the other hand, refers to the fair treatment of all employees regardless of their differences. Inclusion means creating a work environment that welcomes and values diverse perspectives and contributions.
DE&I is a comprehensive approach to creating a workplace culture that values and respects differences, promotes fairness and equity, and fosters an inclusive environment that empowers all employees to succeed. This approach recognises that diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences can help drive innovation, creativity, and productivity in the workplace.
Now that you know what it stands for, and what it means, you must be wondering how relevant it is to you and your small business. Small businesses that embrace DE&I values can benefit in various ways.
DE&I can help attract and retain top talent by creating a work environment that is welcoming, supportive, and respectful. It can help small businesses connect with a broader range of customers and clients, resulting in increased revenues and growth opportunities. Employees from all walks of life and with all sorts of skill sets will always be drawn to more inclusive and supportive work spaces.
Research shows that customers prefer to do business with companies that promote diversity and inclusion, making it essential for small businesses to embrace DE&I values. It found that 50% of customers were more likely to support a business simply because they felt included – whether in terms of race, gender, etc.
Poor diversity and inclusion in a workplace can greatly limit and restrict your talent pool. It can also improve productivity and innovation by creating a culture where diverse perspectives and ideas are encouraged and valued.
Diversity in the workplace can bring many benefits to businesses. Here is a quick list of some of the benefits of cultural diversity in the workplace:
Incorporating DE&I into your business can help create a culture that values and respects differences and promotes fairness and equity. Here’s a breakdown of how you can incorporate DE&I into your workplace as a small business:
It is crucial to obtain feedback from your employees, to get a good gauge of how they're interacting with one another, and how included they feel at work. You’re also going to want to spend more time paying attention to your workplace, notice how employees interact, respond and work alongside each other in the workplace. This way, you’ll be able to identify the potential areas that could be improved regarding DE&I in the workplace.
Encourage and support employee resource groups (ERGs) to help promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. It's good to dedicate resources to support groups that specifically focus on helping and improving inclusiveness. In these groups, you’ll be able to directly communicate and understand your employees better as well as what they think of the workplace in regards to DE&I
Evaluate your company's benefits and policies to ensure they are inclusive and equitable. Once you’ve identified some possible areas that could be improved, it’s best to devise a working policy that summarises and details the requirements to ensure DE&I in your workplace.
Showcase these sets of policies to your team of employees and ensure they resonate, understand and are willing to implement them into their working methods. Implement training methods to help employees streamline their workflows into one that is DE&I inclusive.
You should also pay special attention during the hiring process, to not only ensure you’re hiring fairly and inclusively, but to also ensure that your employees display a good range in terms of diversity. Foster open and honest communication by encouraging employees to share their thoughts and ideas. This can be similar to the support groups mentioned above, or even starting a routine or policy that encourages employees to speak up.
DE&I is an essential component of creating a successful and inclusive workplace culture. Without it, businesses are at risk, with minimised talent pools and difficulty retaining top performing employees.
Building workplaces that value and respect differences, promote fairness and equity, and foster an inclusive environment that empowers all employees to succeed should be one of the top priorities of any small business. This can benefit small businesses in many ways, including increased productivity, innovation, and customer loyalty.
You’ll want every single one of your employees to feel valued, respected, and supported. So, take the necessary steps to incorporate DE&I into your business and start reaping the benefits today. If you’re perhaps in a hurdle and unsure as to how to go about incorporating DE&I into your workplace, feel free to reach out to our team over at INTERLUNAR for a quick chat!