This is an effective strategy that positively impacts any workplace with happier employees, reduced Employee Turnover, better recruitment processes, making better decisions, and much more.
One of the biggest reasons due to which companies miss out on talented candidates while recruiting is unconscious bias. So, how can DEI help in eliminating this?
While Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is still a major challenge for many companies, bias is an unconscious part of our daily lives. Anytime we interact with someone, we unconsciously form an opinion around the factors we observe- be it their age, gender, ethnicity, etc. Focusing on such differences is considered as a form of detrimental stereotyping also known as unconscious bias.
If left unchecked, unconscious bias can lead to workplace discrimination and in turn increase employee turnover and reduce employee morale. These are key metrics that affect the productivity of any company and HRs need to continuously monitor them. Fortunately, the recent progressive world has shed a light on such issues in the workplace.
This is why HR professionals should look towards adopting DEI in their organization. It is a concept that should be extensively learned, discussed, and freely acted upon.
Dealing with such sensitive issues is far from easy, but taking a stand to make necessary changes within the company is the first step towards a more inclusive organization. Industry leaders employ certain strategies that have helped them implement DEI at their workplace.
Let’s discuss a few of these.
The first step to make the DEI strategy successful is to prioritize inclusion. When a workplace promotes inclusivity, it provides a sense of being part of the team for its employees. This helps boost productivity while simultaneously making employees feel more valued.
Inclusion is the foundational strategy where the smallest gestures have long-term positive effects on employee’s outlook of the company.
Once the HRs have succeeded in building an inclusive work environment, the next step is to create recruitment strategies around DEI. The best way to do this is to use Artificial Intelligence or AI in the recruitment process. AI does not discriminate and helps provide impartial results based on a potential candidate’s qualifications instead of assumptions.
With the right technology and tools, a company can simplify its sourcing and screening methods that are based on accurate and reliable data. For example, Bling Testing using AI allows considering a candidate by blinding or hiding their personal information and instead focusing on the candidate’s skills and achievements.
The artificial intelligence for recruitment will compare the question and answers, and accordingly display the ranks of the top-matched answers or top-performed candidates. With partiality like confirmation bias, where the employers form an initial assumption, usually within a matter of seconds, and stick to it throughout the interview, many organizations end up losing the candidate who would have otherwise been perfect for the given job description.
Another advantage of utilizing AI in recruitment is that it provides a third-party opinion that is purely based on qualifications, demonstrated achievements, and candidates.
Transparent Work Culture-
HRs should promote equal sharing of experiences and thoughts among teams to help foster a transparent work culture in the organization. This helps in bringing in a culture that embraces differences of opinions and thoughts while promoting equality among employees.
Educate Your Leaders/Managers-
A company’s leader plays an integral role in bringing DEI into the office culture. It is the role of the leader that will either make or break DEI initiatives taken by aby company. There is a reason a person is assigned as the Head because they are capable of drawing attention and influencing everyone with their thoughts.
But many times, HRs assume that the leaders definitely know the meaning of practicing inclusiveness. To ensure that this doesn’t happen, companies should ensure that leaders at every, level undergo detailed training where they are taught to fight against the unconscious bias, where people make presumptions about a candidate based on their age, gender, religion, etc.
This training helps the leaders to give equal chances to every employee in the meeting, where all opinions and thoughts are heard.
One of the most effective ways to bring DEI into the work culture is by letting the employees know that their traditions and backgrounds are respected and inviting them to share it with everyone. This can be done by undertaking various inclusion events such as
The lunch can be held weekly or monthly, where everyone can bring the delicacy famous in their culture. During lunch, employees should be encouraged to enlighten others about their values and traditions. Not only will this make everyone feel included, but also give everyone knowledge about each other’s lives.
A meditation room-
Every office needs a place where an individual can go and take a creak or be themselves. Creating a space to do by creating a meditation or prayer room can really help in relaxing employees as they feel that they can bring their true selves to work.
A dedicated HR presence for isolated employees-
Rather than maintain just one HR team for the entire office, companies can create an HR presence for every floor or every group of employees. This ensures that HR is available whenever an employee wants to share their grief or any complaints.
Listen to Employees-
To get to know their employees’ thoughts, many companies conduct regular surveys and polls to circle out the issues faced by them. Focus groups can also be created to drill down on inclusion and engagement problems. But while creating a work culture for your employees, it is crucial to ensure that it aligns with the authenticity of the company brand while meeting your employees’ needs.
Conducing regular meetings or polls to know what employees feel not only makes them feel valued, but also increases their engagement and productivity. Just being listened to is important for every human being, thus a company should create an environment where every employee feels safe to share their feelings.
Conduct Effective Meetings-
It is no secret that the most common topic between co-workers is how inclusive their workplace is. In a workplace, the impact of inclusiveness is not decided on the basis of what a CEO or a leader says but is perceived on the opinion of a group of employees who work together every day. It is very important to note the moments that create an impact on the employees.
Meetings are a key example to foster an environment where the contribution of every employee is encouraged. Leaders can prepare the employees for the meeting in certain ways such as-
Distribute the question to be asked and other materials to employees in advance itself. This can prove to be helpful for employees who aren’t fluent in English or for introverts who like to be prepared beforehand.
Contact teleworkers to ensure that the equipment used for the meeting is right and employees have a meaningful experience. Clearly state the agenda of the meeting and make sure everyone gets an opportunity to ask doubts or questions and be involved in the meeting.
Keep the meeting time flexible if your company has a majority of remote workers.
Show appreciation when it’s due. If an idea is put forward and appreciated, let everyone know whose idea it was. Giving an employee credit for their creativity and hard work goes a long way when it comes to DEI in the workplace.
Be aware of the way you are communicating. Don’t assume that the employees are not aware of anything you are talking about. This will make them feel as if they are not smart enough or they are being looked down upon.
Encourage active debate and be supportive of everyone’s opinion. At the end of the meeting give everyone a chance to share their thoughts or ask any doubts.
Bringing DEI into the work-culture is not an easy process and requires constant efforts and evolving processes. An organization’s targets and goals must revolve around the needs of the potential and existing talents. Implementing DEI in the workplace not only gives the employees’ performance a boost but also enhances their loyalty towards the company as they feel they are valued.
These key points can help your workplace be more Diverse in your hiring strategies, boost equality among employees to drastically reduce employee turnover, and finally instil a sense of inclusion within your organization’s team to promote employee engagement.
Remember that while implementing a DEI strategy takes time and continuous efforts, the benefits that can be derived from this great strategy are worth it. For more, follow our recent blogs on workplace and HR management.
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