Diverse teams experience increased employee engagement and productivity as well as offer perspectives that approach challenges in new ways. But to truly understand DEI, you need to break it down into its three distinct parts.
Momentive, the maker of SurveyMonkey, offers purpose-built solutions for measuring and improving initiatives from DEI to customer experience.
Diversity, equity and inclusion are terms that refer to how organisations should view their programmes, policies, values, strategies and practices as they relate to employees and customers experiences.
Each term is connected but has its own unique meaning on the experiences of any company’s key stakeholder group. The data has shown that companies who prioritise diversity, equity and inclusion are more profitable and have healthier company cultures.
Each component has something important to add to the entire picture:
Workforce diversity is about understanding, accepting and valuing the differences between people. Perceptions of diversity are different depending on age, background and other factors.
A brief list of common types of diversity includes:
This is just a sampling of the common types of diversity. As you can see, some diversity traits are visible and some are not. Diversity goes beyond mere demographics. Everyone has their own unique identity that influences their best work practices.
In workplace equity, each individual is offered opportunities regardless of circumstance. This means that it’s important to understand the historical impact your policies and practices are having on your employees in key systems (i.e. performance management, promotions, attrition, etc.). This should be built into your organisational framework and be a part of your company’s DNA with a plan for creating, maintaining and protecting equity.
A company that consistently shows up on lists of brands with workplace equity is Accenture. Their board of directors has individuals from six countries and 42% are women, including the Chair and CEO. They promote equality with multiple programmes for groups and allies.
Inclusion is the creation of an environment where every employee is welcomed, respected, valued, supported and can do their best work. Workplace inclusion generates a feeling of belonging for every employee. What is the most important factor in creating an inclusive workplace? If you asked your employees, a majority of them would say “respect”.
One major factor that undermines inclusion is the use of microaggressions. These subtle (and often unintentional) acts of prejudice are widespread. A SurveyMonkey study found that more than 26% of Americans have definitely experienced a microaggression at work and 22% are unsure.
Common microaggressions include unprofessional behaviour, making demeaning comments about peers and having someone’s idea taken by someone else. Encourage employees to report these issues so that you can provide education and resources to curtail the behaviours.
Kaiser Permanente, a provider of healthcare solutions, is unique in that 60% of employees are people of colour. 75% of the staff, and half of the executive team, are female. Kaiser Permanente promotes a “speak up” culture and encourages employees to have a voice to enact change.
Encourage allyship to promote actively working for the inclusion of a marginalised group. An ally is a person who actively promotes and hopes to advance the cultural inclusion of a particular group through positive, conscious efforts. To be an ally, you need to act. Intention is not enough to help underrepresented groups.
Tip: To enact meaningful change for your employees, you must address their physical, mental, emotional and financial wellbeing, along with work-life balance and social equity.
Together, diversity, equity and inclusion not only create positive experiences for employees but also benefits your business. It’s important to note that all three must be addressed for your company to succeed.
A recent study by McKinsey & Company found that companies in the top quartile of gender diversity on executive teams were 25% more likely to experience above-average profitability than peer companies.
Increased profitability is just one advantage of DEI in the workplace. Here are a few more:
Rather than limit your recruitment efforts to a limited number of applicants, use principles of DEI to expand the talent pool of qualified candidates for your company. According to a 2021 SurveyMonkey study, a large portion of the workforce (78%) says it is important to them to work at an organisation that prioritises diversity and inclusion, and in fact more than half (53%) consider it to be “very important” to them.
Your commitment to DE&I should be evident to job seekers when they research your company before interviewing, when they interview, when they talk with HR staff, and when they meet potential colleagues. Every person a candidate interacts with should own the commitment the company has to DE&I.
Employee engagement is a critical component of a company’s success. Employees who are actively engaged have fewer absences, higher productivity and fewer on-the-job accidents. Companies with high employee engagement see higher retention rates, better customer service, higher sales and higher profitability.
Engaged employees are more dedicated to your company’s success. DE&I increases employee engagement when individuals see others like themselves in a variety of positions (at all management levels) in your company. They can see themselves as having opportunities and commit themselves to work to make it happen for them.
Employees with a diversity of backgrounds, perspectives, thinking styles and life experiences bring new and challenging ideas to the table, opening the door for innovation. Diverse perspectives can lead to a better product. With a DEI programme in place, these employees feel comfortable speaking up and sharing their ideas.
Imagine a company in which everyone just agrees to everything and nobody challenges the decisions of the leaders. Unfortunately, this is the case in some businesses, and it doesn’t yield great results. A diverse, inclusive workforce brings challenges and opinions to the discussion, pressing forward for better risk assessment and, ultimately, better decisions.
According to a recent study, employees who work in environments that foster a sense of belonging are more comfortable speaking up without repercussions.
Effective DEI programmes provide a feeling of belonging for all employees. By generating feelings of belonging and respect, employees feel comfortable showing their authentic selves. This gives managers information about what motivates their employees and what they can do to keep them on board.
This study by Momentive, maker of SurveyMonkey, shows how important DE&I efforts are to employees and how demonstrating your DE&I efforts could increase employee satisfaction and retention.
Diversity, equity and inclusion are key concepts that equal improved employee experience and increased business success. To make the biggest impact, you need to have measures that address all three components of DE&I throughout the lifecycle of the employee: from recruitment to the end of their time with your company.
HR leaders can use this toolkit to help drive exceptional employee experiences.
Understand how job candidates experience the recruiting process with SurveyMonkey.
Use this Employee Pulse Survey template to gauge employee satisfaction, engagement, and more.
Measure and improve diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) with SurveyMonkey.