4 DCI practices your business should adopt in 2022

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DCI) has become a top priority for leaders of organizations around the world. The murder of George Floyd sparked a racial revolution that brought social justice to the fore. Despite billions of dollars being spent on diversity education, many companies have failed to cultivate an environment that attracts and retains employees from under-represented backgrounds. The popular and hackneyed cliché says that the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. For workplaces around the world, we need to reinvent the way Actually create sustainable interventions, promote justice and equity, and retain diverse and under-represented staff. With the Great Resignation taking its toll, it is more crucial than ever to prioritize effective DCI interventions. Here are four best practices organizations should implement in 2022 and beyond.

1. Greater accessibility. The term to describe the domain or space that is “DEI” is constantly evolving. There have been calls to include in the acronym DEI a “B” for membership and an “A” for accessibility. An accessible workplace is a workplace that prioritizes the unique needs and support systems of employees who have different abilities. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, it is illegal to discriminate against any employee or candidate for office based on their disability status. There are similar disability protections for people who live in various countries around the world. Human resources professionals should be aware of the disability protections and laws of the country concerned. Organizations should also work closely with people knowledgeable about accessibility to better understand the policies and practices that need to be adopted or changed to better meet the needs of people with different abilities. How can organizational processes and employee experience be improved without employees having to ask? Here are some questions leaders should think about: Is our job interview and selection process accessible? Do we use closed captioning for our videoconferences and interviews? Are we actively posting open roles in places people with disabilities would see? Are we asking too much about employee leave requests? There are so many areas where ableism can impact decision making, so be sure to evaluate policies and practices and provide continuing education.

2. Greater accountability. In 2022 and beyond, companies need to recognize that no matter how many interventions you introduce in the workplace (mentoring programs, employee resource groups, DEI trainings, etc.) nothing will change if employees are not held responsible for the environment in which they are. cultivate. There are several accountability metrics companies could use, including allowing employees to assess leadership on a DEI scorecard, implementing anonymous reporting systems to expose bad behavior, and having a clear and objective system. on how exclusionary and problematic behaviors are treated. What are the implications for leaders whose behavior is reported but does not change? It is not enough to have a system in place to reprimand those who commit wrongdoing; is the system maintained or is it for the show? In 2022, employees are no longer ready to stand up for inequality, especially when it’s easier to find a company that cares more about employee well-being.

3. Rely on outside help. Most businesses, especially larger companies, have internal DEI professionals they rely on for advice and strategy. Despite this, the average seniority of an internal DCI manager is less than two years. Demand for diversity directors (CDOs) is high, as is turnover, according to a 2020 Wall Street Journal article. Much of the heavy lifting required for the job (educating white leaders, changing toxic work culture, changing policies) rests with one person. Many CDOs are designed to fail because they become the scapegoat for their business when DCI’s efforts and initiatives are ineffective. Creating an environment that is free from harm, inclusive, and based on justice and equity should be the responsibility of every employee. CDOs are supposed to work wonders without a team and with little to no financial support. A person cannot change a toxic work culture. For large companies that have global CDOs with DEI teams, there are always a struggle to maintain an environment based on equity. Internal DCI practitioners often face corporate red tape that prevents them from making real and lasting change in the long term. Rather than exhausting the available internal DEI support, companies should rely on the knowledge, skills and expertise of external consultants. Creating change from within an organization is a challenge; some might say impossible. Relying on the help of external DCI consultants, educators, facilitators and strategists can trigger the catalyst needed to change culture.

4. Racial equity at the forefront. Despite the fact that many corporate commitments to racial equity have not materialized, there is still a strong demand for more protections and support systems for racialized people. Working remotely for almost two years, many racialized employees were free from the micro-attacks commonly encountered in the office. A study found that only 3% of black employees wanted to return to the office full time after Covid. With the prospect of having to return to the office or having a version of a hybrid model imminent, many employees give up their jobs to pursue entrepreneurship or seek environments where racial equity is a priority. Organizations wishing to be committed to racial justice should ask themselves a series of questions, including “What tangible efforts have been made to support racialized employees?” Donations to social justice organizations are great (although there are questions about how these funds are allocated), but they don’t directly support racialized employees or correct systemic inequalities. What specific measures are taken to ensure that all are employees promoted at equal rates? Do you review the requirements of different positions to ensure that education and background is not unintentionally preventing certain populations from applying? Do you frequently solicit feedback from under-represented employees? Are you Actually taking these comments into account and using these comments to develop interventions? Create Goals and Key Results (OKRs) focused on your DCI and racial equity goals for 2022 and beyond. Develop specific, tangible programs that will benefit racialized employees. Finally, it is imperative to remember that all efforts to support the most affected and marginalized employees will ultimately benefit everyone in the organization.

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