While it’s impossible to have a successful workplace without diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), many companies’ efforts are still on the slow side. In fact, a number of them are returning to the drawing board and starting from scratch so that they can better understand how to create a safe and inclusive work environment for everyone. This Pacific Prime CXA takes a closer look at diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace.
What does DEI in the workplace mean?
DEI is an umbrella term that describes any efforts an organisation makes to create and nurture a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment for all. Through DEI policies, practices, programmes and strategies, all ages, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual identities, religions, etc., feel safe and accepted. To put it simply, companies with a DEI culture form a positive environment for the whole workforce.
It’s helpful to look at each part of the DEI equation to truly grasp their individual purposes and why each is important.
There’s a common assumption that hiring different races, ethnicities, genders, ages and so on speaks to equity issues within a company. However, that’s only one piece of the puzzle as it’s just as important to hire individuals with diverse experiences, skills, education, beliefs and personalities (to name a few).
While these are just some of many categories in terms of diversity, they allow companies to evaluate any gaps within their own workforce. They can also be used to come up with metrics and set goals to improve workplace diversity.
When everyone has the same opportunities, you have equality. When the playing field for those opportunities is even, you have equity. Equity gives everyone an equal chance and allows them to begin at the same level. What’s more, practices, processes and programmes are carefully considered to ensure they are unbiased and fair.
You can even tell if an employer understands equity through a job description, as one that does is more likely to identify essential skills that are required for the role rather than years of experience.
Employee participation and contribution are integral to an inclusive workplace. It’s also worth noting that a workplace cannot be truly inclusive if it isn’t diverse. It’s much easier to be inclusive when people share similar backgrounds and qualifications. The key is to ensure everyone feels like they belong when they have little in common.
What are the benefits of DEI at work?
Employees feel seen and heard when a company has the right DEI practices in place. While working in a company that is socially and morally responsible is notable in itself, there are many other benefits of DEI at work, including:
- Attraction and retention - DEI-focused workplaces stand out in the highly competitive job market, giving them the upper hand when it comes to attracting and retaining employees.
- Productivity and profitability - More diverse and inclusive organisations tend to have higher productivity levels and make more profit - not to mention quick decision-making and better cooperation amongst employees.
- Engagement and motivation - Employee engagement often goes up with a company’s DEI efforts, thereby reducing absenteeism and increasing motivation.
- Innovation - It’s only natural that a company with a diverse range of people spread throughout different roles and departments will benefit from more ideas and insights.
How do companies start practising DEI?
Employers and HR professionals alike can find it challenging to start practising DEI in the workplace. To make it more manageable, many make the mistake of focusing on a single component (e.g. diversity). But each element is crucial to success, which is why understanding how they work both individually and together is key to creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace.
Reach out to Pacific Prime CXA
Whether your company has been on a DEI journey for years or you’re just starting out, it’s important to accept that DEI efforts are ongoing and never finish. The continuous cycle of learning and adjusting is key to success for companies.
Any employer who wishes to embrace DEI must offer employee benefits that meet the needs of their diverse workforce. From DEI training and employee wellness programs to flexible benefits and more, Pacific Prime CXA can help you design, implement, administer and optimise your employee benefits in Singapore using innovative technology. Contact our team of experts to get started!