It’s a no-brainer that for a positive employee experience, companies need to build a culture that incorporates DEI tips—diversity, equity, and inclusion.
DEI aims to give everyone a sense of belonging, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, or anything else. It’s about fostering an environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and supported.
To illustrate what was said, the new DEI report found that millennials and Gen Z prefer to work with diverse and inclusive companies. Indeed, it has never been more important in a multicultural and globally connected world today.
In light of this, we have compiled 14 DEI tips to help you foster an inclusive workplace where all employees can thrive, no matter their background or identity.
What is DEI in the Workplace?
We can all agree that workplaces that value diversity and inclusion are better for everyone. A strong company culture, increased employee performance, more creativity, and other benefits can be yours when your workplace is welcoming to people of all backgrounds. Yet, what does DEI mean in practice?
In a nutshell, DEI at the workplace stands for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Businesses can adopt these concepts to create more equitable and inclusive work environments. I’ve listed each component in brief below:
As we know already, the D letter here stands for diversity. The term refers to the variety of differences among people in the workplace. A diverse organization welcomes and respects individual differences in all its forms, including race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, and disability. As a result of a diverse talent pool, the company benefits through unique ideas, experiences, and skills.
Creating a fair playing field for equity means making sure that all employees have the same chances, resources, and chances to progress in their careers. Thus, it seeks to heal past wrongs and remove structural obstacles that may prevent some communities from reaching their full potential.
The definition of an inclusive workplace is one in which employees feel valued, respected, and empowered to perform their best. A sense of community, trust, and open communication are also hallmarks of an inclusive work environment.
Why Diverse and Inclusive Workplace Is Important?
To put it simply, this is the right thing to do. Furthermore, businesses that actively promote diversity and inclusion are better able to attract and retain top talent. This boosts employee engagement and, ultimately, revenue.
For example, a McKinsey & Co. study revealed that companies that are culturally and ethically diverse outperform others by 36% in terms of profits. To show why DEI is important, here are some bullet points:
- Attracts and retains top talent. Inclusion is a crucial factor in attracting and keeping top talent, according to the latest Deloitte report. When applying for jobs in today’s competitive market, candidates often want more than simply a paycheck. They want to work for a company that values diversity and creates an inclusive environment where they can thrive as unique individuals.
- Increase employee satisfaction. A diverse and inclusive workplace also leads to higher employee satisfaction. When employees feel included and valued, they are more likely to stay with the company long-term.
- Encourages innovation and creativity. People from different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives can find common ground through inclusion. Thus, this diversity of thought and ideas contributes to more innovative and creative solutions. As a rule, the best ideas for the company’s future come from employees who are not afraid to speak their minds.
- Improves company culture. Integrated workplaces have a positive company culture where employees feel supported and valued. In the long run, this can boost morale, productivity, and employee satisfaction. As mentioned earlier, a thriving and healthy company culture makes it easier to retain and recruit new talent.
- Enhance a sense of belonging. One of the main reasons people leave their jobs is a lack of feeling of belonging. When employees feel their unique qualities will make them unwelcome at work, it can lead to a decrease in employee engagement and even leave the company altogether.
- Improved employee well-being. Putting DEI first at work makes a big difference in the overall psychological well-being of employees. Many people feel better about their mental and emotional health when they know others accept and support them for who they are.
14 Good DEI Tips for Creating a Sense of Belonging in the Workplace
Here are 14 DEI tips for encouraging a diverse and inclusive work culture, from inclusivity-focused events to personal pronounce in business communications. Now, let’s dig deeper into the DEI tips for managers, meetings, and all workplaces.
#1. Get support from the company’s leaders
Leadership teams are your biggest allies in promoting an inclusive workplace. If the C-suite doesn’t prioritize inclusivity, it will be difficult for your business to achieve it.
If leaders want to make the workplace more inclusive for everyone, they should also be open to feedback and ready to make changes. These actions can demonstrate their commitment to providing each worker with a sense of belonging.
Make sure your company’s leaders understand the importance of inclusivity. Training on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) should be for C-suite executives, too. In addition, your leaders need a space where they can ask awkward or embarrassing questions before leading company-wide inclusivity initiatives on DEI.
💡DEI tip for managers: “When leaders are comfortable and on board, they’ll be an excellent resource for creating an authentic, inclusive culture” – Beams.ai editorial team.
#2. Develop inclusivity-focused events and initiatives
Promoting inclusivity in the workplace often involves organizing offline events or virtual initiatives that engage employees and foster a sense of belonging. Here are several DEI tips for meetings and initiatives focused on inclusivity and diversity:
- Diversity Celebration Day. Host an annual event celebrating your employees’ diverse backgrounds, cultures, and identities. Include activities like food tastings, cultural performances, and informational booths.
- Inclusive Leadership Workshops. Conduct workshops for leaders and managers focused on inclusive leadership. Provide tools and strategies to create an inclusive team culture, manage diverse teams effectively, and address unconscious biases.
- Inclusive Language Training. Offer training sessions on using inclusive language in the workplace. This activity helps create an environment where everyone feels respected and valued, regardless of their background.
- Accessibility Awareness Week. Dedicate a week to raising awareness about accessibility. Plan events, workshops, and training sessions on creating an inclusive environment for employees with disabilities.
- Bias-Busting Challenge. Launch a company-wide challenge to identify and address prejudice and stereotypes. Share resources, quizzes, and activities to help employees get some insights about others.
#3. Make DEI training & activities a focal point
Companies have found that interactive team activities that focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training work better at changing employees’ views and reducing bias. Working together to reach a common goal and trying to see things from each other’s points of view during training helps employees learn more.
Participants in these events should be encouraged to put aside their differences in race, gender, sexual orientation, and religion to understand and connect with one another.
#4. Make equitable hiring decisions
Invest in equity-based hiring to boost the effectiveness of your DEI program and increase equity in your company at all levels. You can take concrete steps to promote fair hiring practices by taking the following steps:
- Get rid of bias in job postings and content about careers.
- Find job applicants from a lot of different job boards, universities, and employee networks rather than through nepotism.
- Assess your success in recruiting and hiring diverse candidates through data analytics.
#5. Encourage Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
Forming on an as-needed basis, employee resource groups (ERGs) unite workers who share common interests or experiences at no cost to the company. For workers who face discrimination or underrepresentation at work, these groups can help them feel like they belong and support them. Also, ERGs can help teach and make people more aware of other cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.
#6. Create inclusive workplaces
Employers who design their workplaces to be accessible to all types of employees, regardless of their special needs, can be described as having inclusively designed work environments. So, when planning the layout of your workplace, keep in mind the importance of fostering an inclusive environment that doesn’t exclude anyone. Workplaces that prioritize inclusivity in their design typically include:
- A comprehensive evaluation of desks and chairs for their accessibility
- Easily accessible ramps and stairs in the building
- Accessible doorways and handles for employees who may have difficulty using their hands
- Various sense-warning systems
#7. Communicate more gender-neutrally
If your company wants to have a truly inclusive culture, it should set rules on the best ways to do things. This could be done through vocabulary guides or tools that suggest neutral words that can be used instead of biased ones in business communications. People who do not want to feel left out can find these resources helpful. They can make the mental and emotional work of fighting exclusion easier.
#9. Integrate peer support
Setting up a buddy system is an integral part of DEI’s process for onboarding new hires. The buddy system assigns a senior colleague to each new hire as part of the employee orientation. The success or failure of a new employee in their first 90 days on the job heavily depends on the quality of the work environment.
#9. Allow native names and pronouns to be used freely
One of the pillars of an inclusive culture is allowing employees to use their preferred names and pronouns. Doing so creates a community where people don’t incorrectly assume someone’s gender or pronouns.
One such example is Google’s voluntary self-identification survey, which asked employees to reveal details about their own identities. Through this campaign, they were able to set company-wide objectives regarding disability inclusion and product accessibility.
💡DEI tip of the day: Create a safe and ally-oriented workplace by using pronouns in official communications & email signatures.
#10. Establish a culture of frequent “one-on-one”
Providing positive feedback isn’t the only aspect of one-on-ones; encouraging everyone to talk is another pillar of DEI tips. In a trust-based workplace, employees are free to express their needs and challenges, especially in sensitive communities.
#11. Provide parents with more time off
Enhancing parental leave for employees is the DEI tip that company diversity committees most frequently support. It shows that the company cares about its employees during all stages of their lives by implementing a policy that applies to all locations and includes both maternity and non-maternity parents. As a result of this program, employees are more likely to stay with a company that cares about their well-being.
#12. Enhance equity in pay and inclusive bonuses
Use your company’s analytics department (if one exists) to learn about salary and promotion trends. Meanwhile, ask yourself the following questions:
- “Is everyone compensated equally, regardless of ethnicity or gender?”
- “Does the trend favor underrepresented groups less than others?”
- “Do we have equity performance bonuses, rewards, and benefits at work?”
If the answer is “no,” try to make the payment system more fair and make sure that everyone has the same chance to get bonuses, benefits, and rewards.
#13. Celebrate Diversity
Honoring diversity is one method of fostering a sense of inclusion and belonging. Celebrate different holidays and traditions through cultural events, diversity days, or simply by recognizing them. By doing this, the company demonstrates that it values and respects its employees’ ethnicity and religious diversity.
#14. Encourage open communication
An inclusive workplace cannot be established without open communication. Make it a safe space for employees to voice their opinions and concerns without worrying about consequences. Having frequent team meetings, checking in on people, and conducting anonymous surveys are all great ways to accomplish this.
Further, make sure you hear out your employees and think about what they have to say. As a result, they will feel heard, and their ideas will be considered, which can foster a more welcoming and collaborative work environment.
💡Pro DEI tips: Get anonymous feedback, improve your management, and see your company thrive with the help of the Beams.ai 🔵 engagement platform and its innovative features.
4 Mistakes to Avoid with DEI Strategy
In the workplace, DEI tips are a journey requiring careful navigation. The key to developing a more inclusive culture is not making typical mistakes. These are some of the DEI pitfalls to avoid:
- Ignoring DEI’s importance: At first glance, it seems like an internal initiative focused on employees. It can, however, affect all your business stakeholders. The anticipated inclusion, diversity, and equity standards will inevitably have a negative impact on any company that fails to meet them. There are a lot of potential problems that could arise if you don’t follow DEI tips, such as suppliers cutting ties with you, customers turning their backs on your products, or a mass exodus of long-term employees.
- Treating DEI as a One-Time Initiative: If businesses see these activities as one-time things, they will never get the full benefits of DEI in the long run. DEI is not another task that you have to complete. This is something that your company should carry out on a daily basis. Adopting a thoughtful, dependable, and flexible approach to incorporating DEI into your company’s day-to-day operations is an essential part of this process.
- Making policies (but not putting them into action): Inaction can lead to employee dissatisfaction with policies that look great on paper but aren’t implemented in the workplace. Developing effective workplace programs requires constant dialogue between HR and company leadership about the key features of each program and how to implement them.
- Lack of leadership commitment. Unless leadership genuinely supports DEI efforts, the effort is doomed to failure. When top-level executives do not commit to DEI, it sends the message that the issue is unimportant to them. Therefore, others may not take it seriously as well.
5 Practical Examples of DEI Tips in Action
Here are some case studies of world-leading organizations that have put into practice inclusion initiatives:
Microsoft has a strong focus on diversity and inclusion, with a dedicated Chief Diversity Officer and a variety of programs and initiatives in place. They also have a Diversity and Inclusion Report showing their progress and goals in this field.
One of their initiatives is the “Diversity and Inclusion Champions” program, which recognizes employees who have made significant contributions to promoting diversity and inclusion within the company.
Lyft promotes a diverse and inclusive workplace. The company has a range of initiatives in place to ensure that all employees feel respected and included. These include unconscious bias training for all staff, a dedicated diversity and inclusion team, and a focus on creating a safe and welcoming work environment. Lyft also has a range of policies in place to support the recruitment, retention, and advancement of a diverse workforce.
The number of female executives at a well-known fast food franchise has risen, according to reports. “Women at senior director or above have increased from 37% to 41%,” Heidi Capozzi, Chief People Officer of McDonald’s, says. In addition, the corporation plans to reach gender parity by 2030 by having 45% of its senior directors be women.
Meanwhile, big tech companies like Apple likewise recognize the importance of fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace. A less banal example is Apple’s full coverage for egg freezing and adoption benefits, the first major U.S. corporation to do so.
Apart from that, Apple is home to a slew of ERGs, such as the Pride@Apple network, Black@Apple network, AsianPacific@Apple, Women@Apple, and many more. All of these employee resource groups aim to foster an inclusive and diverse work environment for Apple employees.
Diversity is an essential part of Meta’s culture. It has been a significant success that Meta has set ambitious diversity goals like 50-in-5 and 30-in-5. By 2024, the company plans to double the number of Asian, Black, and Hispanic employees in the United States and increase the number of women globally. Additionally, the company offers transgender employees gender-affirming healthcare coverage and gender-neutral restrooms.
Empower Your Workplace with DEI Tips and Beams.ai
Inclusion is a powerful tool for creating a sense of belonging in the workplace. Companies can create a more inclusive and diverse workplace that benefits everyone by fostering open communication, providing DEI training, and celebrating diversity.
As a reminder, creating an inclusive workplace is an ongoing process, and it’s important to regularly assess and advance your inclusion initiatives. Doing so can attract and retain top talent, improve your company culture, and encourage innovation and creativity. And it’s where you can rely on our help.
We are Beams.ai, an employee engagement platform designed for today’s workplaces that allows for genuine peer recognition. As well as pulse surveys for checking employees’ moods and valuable insights based on these survey results.
With us, you create the workplace everyone wants—a place where achievements are celebrated, and employees have a voice.
Book a free and quick demo to make the workplace better for everyone.