Employed Americans seek change in their companies’ diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. According to a recent study by Yoh, 28% of those surveyed said their company had made strides toward becoming a more diverse workplace. These findings show how much more change needs to take place for companies to truly represent the makeup of society.
In this episode of Yoh's Back to Work podcast series, our host, Joe McIntyre, and Day & Zimmermann’s Vice President of Talent & Diversity and Inclusion, Regina Blair, discuss the key strategies employers can take to improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Benefits of a diverse workplace
When it comes to fostering diversity and inclusion in your workplace, there are only numerous benefits. Regina shares that by the end of 2055, it is projected that there will not even be a single racial or ethnic majority in the U.S. This further proves that now is the time for employers to build up diverse workplaces as access to talent continues to evolve.
The competitive advantage is another maximum benefit of having a diverse workforce. With a team that has diverse backgrounds and points of view, it is easier to anticipate the needs of the customer that might arise and come up with innovative ideas to meet those needs and solve their challenges faster. Employee engagement is also increased with a more diverse workforce. Employees who feel comfortable being their authentic selves in the workplace are more likely to enjoy their work and collaborate with their team members.
Policies and practices needed to support diversity
Organizations are seeking ways to show they are focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion and putting their focus into action. Regina encourages organizations to focus on the journey of measuring the outcomes and effectiveness of diversity-driven activities. Defining who is accountable for those outcomes on organizational and individual levels will also help a company work towards its diversity goals.
Evaluating policies and practices on a higher level within your organization is a way to truly practice what you preach about diversity. Regina suggests reevaluating some policies, such as adoption assistance, flexible PTO and parental leave policies, and acknowledging holidays that support your diverse populations and living out what you say. It’s up to the organizations to have these hard conversations about shifting policies to reach all their employees' needs.
Regina notes that employee resource groups (ERGs) are a great advocate for giving voice to employees. At Day & Zimmermann, the leaders of each of the seven ERGs have forums with the CEO and senior leaders regularly around what the population of their group is saying and what is important to them. The balance of activities the ERGs plan and the outcomes of their endeavors create this space for them to advocate for their respective groups.
Learn more ways to support your employees and achieve a diverse workplace by listening to the full podcast episode. Stay tuned for part 2!