Five Ways to Jumpstart Your DEI Workplace Goals

Working toward a more equitable workplace where your employees feel safe, heard, and represented positively impacts your people and community. Let’s take a look at some steps you can take to help build a more equitable workplace. 

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Recruiting

A recent study found that a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is essential for applicants when choosing an employer. Modifying your hiring practices is a great place to start on your journey to improving your diversity and inclusion mission. 

Having a diverse workforce starts with diversifying your candidate pool. Review the career fairs, colleges, networking groups, and job boards you’re connected with and ensure they’re not all serving the same audience. Additionally, take time to examine places or interview questions where there are opportunities for biases to creep in — removing headshots and graduation dates from applicant resumes can help. Some PEOs may offer recruiting services and additional help on promoting diversity and inclusion!  

Compliance

Employers can empower their people to facilitate inclusion and create a respectful workplace. That kind of environment is supported by keeping formal policies that reflect your company’s beliefs and the legislation that protects employees from discrimination. When you actively follow anti-discrimination laws, you have the opportunity to educate employees and refresh your handbook. 

If your handbook hasn’t been updated in more than a year, it’s time to review and potentially revise. You may need to include language prohibiting gender or sex discrimination based on a recent ruling or the new guidance for ADA laws during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Pay Equity

Another essential step in creating an equitable workplace is evaluating your company’s compensation practices and making corrections where needed. Even in 2020, studies show there is still a shocking pay and opportunity gap between non-minority and minority employees. 

Review the pay of employees with similar experience or responsibilities, like in a single department to start. Drill into demographic data (by factors like age, gender, or race), review compensation, and determine if a pay gap exists. Additionally, consider opportunities or situations impacting compensation or promotions. For example, is there a difference, by race or gender, when it comes to which employees are offered training that leads to promotions and pay opportunities? Companies that partner with a PEO like Nextep have access to analytics that break down payroll spending by roles, departments, or locations. 

Benefits

Much like your workplace policies, your employee benefits should align with your equity and inclusion goals. Look at your benefits annually to make sure you’re offering quality benefits that meet your employees’ diverse needs. While it may be easier to choose more general benefits, you’ll want to keep your employees’ disabilities, gender, sex, age, and family dynamics in mind. When selecting benefits, ask yourself if they meet the needs of the minority, not just the majority. 

Read more about “Showing Diversity & Inclusion Through Your Benefits.”

Company Culture 

Fostering an inclusive workplace starts with your company’s leaders. Your goal should be to build a diverse culture where people from all different nationalities, genders, sexual orientations, and skin colors feel comfortable in a workplace that embraces and celebrates diversity. 

It’s important that your employees have a way to share their feedback, stories, and connect with other peers. Whether it’s surveys, all-hands meetings, a leader in the company, or a trusted advisor, create an outlet for your employees to share their perspectives and concerns without fear of retribution. 

Your employees need to hear company leaders discuss diversity, equity, and inclusion, making it clear that it’s a priority to everyone. You should also encourage your employees to have free-flowing conversations with managers and may need to offer regular anti-discrimination and harassment training for all. 

A partnership with a PEO can give you access to affordable large-group employee benefits, pros to strategize short and long-term solutions, and ensure you’re aware of the latest laws to keep you compliant. It can also help build your company policies, implement best practices, and provide you with technology to make running your business easier. For more info about how Nextep could help you recruit and retain a more diverse, inclusive, and happy workforce, schedule a meeting today!

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