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How a DE&I policy can help your business move forward

Posted by Shivali Anand

March 30, 2022    |     3-minute read (562 words)

According to McKinsey's Diversity wins: How Inclusion Matters study: "The business case for diversity, equity and inclusion is stronger than ever before." Profits of companies with the most diverse staff are now more likely to surpass profits of less diverse competitors, the authors write.

Consequently, more businesses are putting diversity, equality and inclusion policies in place. Three practical benefits of adopting a DE&I policy, according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, comprise:

1. Social responsibility benefits all communities – According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of women, people of color, persons with disabilities, and immigrants that make up the workforce and that are served by businesses are increasing every year. Diversity and inclusion initiatives increase an organization’s ability to meet the needs of individuals with a broader range of experiences and backgrounds and its ability to be sensitive to different ideas and traditions.

2. Promotes innovation – Another advantage of having a diverse staff is that it provides businesses with input from different communities. Historically speaking, when people from many backgrounds came together and collaborated, many of civilization's most significant periods ensued. The Renaissance, for example, arose largely as a result of the meeting of individuals from the East and the West.

Further, research has shown that combining effective diversity management with inclusive work environments promotes organizational performance and innovation. Workers from diverse backgrounds offer a variety of viewpoints, ideas and solutions in the workplace. This can challenge the status quo and lead to the development of new products and services.

3. Gives a higher return on investment – Diversity and inclusion efforts provide a catalyst for increased ROI in terms of human capital. The money a company expects to spend on human resources, such as recruiting, remuneration, benefits, training, development and so on, is one of the essential items in its budget. To see a healthy ROI on human capital and maximize competitive advantage, a business must acquire the top employees, but this is not feasible unless they reach out to all communities where such talent exists.

Employees of all backgrounds also expect a harassment-free workplace in addition to one that offers work-life balance, flexible schedules and the like. As a result, businesses must ensure that diversity and inclusion are prioritized in all facets of their operations to maximize ROI by having engaged employees.

Workplaces where all employees feel appreciated and included have higher levels of commitment and drive, which means fewer resources are spent on grievances, complaints and employee turnover.

Suggestions on drafting a DE&I policy for your company

A DE&I policy can foster different viewpoints, boost morale and productivity, ensure all employees feel included and increase your ability to recruit the best candidates.

If you're creating a DE&I policy, here are some pointers for what should be addressed:

• A dedication to creating and sustaining a diverse and inclusive workplace.

• A section stating that the policy applies to all aspects of work, including customer service.

• A consultation process with staff to obtain their input on DE&I initiatives.

• A declaration that all leaders will be trained to understand the individual needs of workers.

• A declaration that all applicable human rights, equity and privacy laws will be followed.

• A procedure for handling complaints.

• A declaration that all personal data will remain confidential unless required to be disclosed by law.

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