You may have been involved with diversity training in the past but what is the current standard for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)? When evaluating your current program’s success or implementing changes to your DEI approach, you need to understand each component. It is important to understand the business case for DEI, as well as the societal impact of your efforts. Different perspectives directly influence a product offering. More perspectives make for a better product because different backgrounds with varying life experiences provide unique perspectives that help refine and enhance processes and spur innovation.
Let us first start with diversity and inclusion. The current federal understanding of diversity and inclusion includes the practice of accepting many identities, ethnicities, backgrounds, abilities, cultures, and beliefs. Diversity of thought and perspective is just as important as physical diversity. There are some who cannot tolerate dissent or even a diversity of opinion. Workplace diversity programs should encourage coworkers to discuss ideas and even strong opinions which relate to the business while avoiding non-business conflict.
Equity is also important and represents fairness to all workers in hiring, pay, and promotion. There are some common practices to use that encourage equity in the workplace, such as;
- Employees should be polite and courteous by not interrupting another person when communicating.
- Companies should set goals and use analytics to assess current programs, look for gaps and adjust goals to fill those gaps.
- Human resources managers should review job descriptions and eliminate biased hiring practices such as “group-think”
- Organizations should provide consistent and relevant training for all employees to reinforce company DEI goals