How Can You Evaluate Your Own DEI Status?
The first step to handling your own DEI status, is to evaluate your existing position – how many people of different ethnicities are working with you? What ratio of your employees are female? Do you have disabled workers? You need to ask yourself a lot of hard questions and answer them honestly – then you can proceed to improve.
For example, if you don’t have many disabled workers – why is this? Is the job not suited, or is it the access to the workplace? Does existing training allow for differently abled learners? It may be that you run an operation that isn’t suited to having less physically abled people on the production line, but what about other areas of the business?
It is important that once you’ve highlighted areas of employment imbalance that you don’t just rush out and hire people to check the boxes – if people are hired to make up the numbers, they aren’t going to feel valued, and it may cause tension with others.
Another step you can take to improve DEI is evaluation of coaching and development – are you doing enough to make senior roles open to all ages or genders? What limitations are there for minority groups that could be addressed with reframing or re-evaluation of resources?
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DEI strategies aren’t simple, and they have to be handled with care – if you push too fast and too directly, you may find yourself accused of discrimination rather than working to remove it.
Be open and honest with your staff about what you are looking at, and what you want to do – make them part of the conversation, and listen to their suggestions – these are the people who you are wanting to give an equitable workplace to, and they may know better than you how the daily functionality of the business can be improved.
Keeping your workplace equitable means that it’s a constant process, one that is going to change every time someone comes in or leaves – and it will continue to be a work in progress, but when you get it right, you can create a workplace that inspires, innovates, and engenders positive sentiment – which is fantastic for bringing in skilled workers, retaining existing employees, motivating positive brand sentiment, and ultimately connecting with customers and increasing the bottom line.