Corporate DEI strategy: Better outcomes for companies
More and more organizations are strengthening their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion goals for better results.
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Beyond an imposition or a rule, companies have been changing the chip in recent years to understand that financial objectives are more easily achieved through the correct application of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) strategy in all their processes.
Going a step further, the publication Entrepreneur presented an analysis that indicates that for a company to survive it must include these three concepts in its corporate goals.
Change in trend
Seeking to change outdated practices, which do not offer any type of additional compensation for DEI tasks within companies, several organizations have begun to see better results thanks to the fact that employees see these activities, not as a hobby outside their work hours, but as a key part of their work.
“With goals, employees are more likely to prioritize the time spent on education and activities to drive awareness and systemic change,” noted Entrepreneur.
According to data from the Society for Human Resource Management, between September 2017 and 2018, 51 S&P 500 companies included a diversity metric in their compensation program, a number that rose to 99 between February 2020 and 2021.
To ensure that employees understand the expectations generated by being in more inclusive workplaces, it is important, in addition to setting specific goals, to apply the following concepts to the process:
- Specificity: Knowing how to understand when an objective has been completed.
- Measurement: There should be a number or percentage tied to the goal.
- Aspiration: Set challenges that allow achieving the objectives that are not being met.
- Relevance: Employees recognize their role in achieving goals.
- Delimit: Establish a deadline, because without it things are not done.
Also, understanding that the objectives set must be clear and clever, these are some examples of initial goals that should be established:
- Number of hours of diversity education and training
- Participation in Employee Resource Group (ERG) activities
- Activities to support the elimination of bias in recruitment, hiring, promotion, pay, and performance decisions
- Inclusive behavior with 360 data from team members
- Leadership roles in DEI and ERG teams
- Participation in community events for DEI
- Teaching time with others about DEI
- Recognition of other allies
In addition, the publication highlights the following steps for any organization to take on this DEI-based makeover:
- It's a journey, not a destination: Set reasonable goals and targets to close the gaps in talent, salary, and education.
- Make it part of the performance: Demonstrate the benefits so that it is understood that this is not something that could be nice to have, but rather that it is something that must be attained.
- Engage senior leaders in a consistent and intentional set of actions throughout the year: This should be part of every key employee meeting and activity.
- Measure progress: Look beyond representation numbers and dig holistically into attitudes/perceptions.
- Take education to the next level: Go beyond awareness to tangible activities where employees can take action, such as openly addressing bias in systems and liability.
Highlighting how clear objectives lead to higher performance and motivation, especially in business, Entrepreneur highlights these reflections that work like DEI goals and increase the odds of success:
- DEI is not a zero-sum game: By focusing on diversity goals, we cultivate opportunities for innovation and decision-making in business outcomes.
- The majority group is part of the solution, not the problem: Decision makers must prioritize DEI in their decisions to support diversity.
- DEI is not politics: These are human issues that affect people in the workplace.