Implementing an Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (EDIB) program is a crucial step toward building a mature ESG organization and giving employees the support they need to succeed. A mature EDIB program goes beyond checking off diversity quotas and involves actively creating a culture of belonging where all employees feel valued and supported.
In this guide, we will discuss the steps needed to assess and develop a successful EDIB program in the workplace.
Why is EDIB important in the workplace?
An EDIB program is committed to creating a fair and equitable workplace for all employees, regardless of their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, or any other trait.
A strong plan to grow EDIB in the workplace is now expected in companies with mature CSR and ESG strategies
Increased psychological safety increases work performance and leadership opportunities for all employees, but has been shown to have an even greater benefit for employees who are underrepresented in the workforce.
Assessing the current state of EDIB at your company
Before creating an EDIB program, it's important to assess the current state of DEI at your company. This starts with gathering data on the demographics of your workforce as well as information about pay equity, hiring and promotion patterns, and other statistics. However, qualitative data can be even more important. A solid assessment should also include surveys, focus groups or other opportunities to solicit feedback about the employee experience more broadly. soliciting employee feedback through surveys or focus groups.
What to include when assessing EDIB in the workplace:
- Psychological Safety
Psychological safety is the shared belief that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking.
Are there any underrepresented groups within the company? If so, in what departments and at what levels? Depending upon your HR company’s regulations this may be readily available.
Do employees feel like they belong and are able to bring their authentic selves to work? This can be assessed in the same way psychological safety is assessed through surveys.
- Policies and practices
Are there any policies or practices in place that may be discriminatory or exclusionary? Take the time to understand your company’s policies and allow employees to provide anonymous feedback at any time.
Is leadership diverse and inclusive? Do they model behaviors that support EDIB? This can be assessed using some of the data from your HR team as well as looking at ERG participation.
Key components of EDIB in the workplace:
Voluntary Diversity Training Programs
People often respond to compulsory courses with resistance, in fact, HBR reports that mandatory diversity training results in lower representation in management roles.
Trainees should walk away with the ability to identify both harmful behaviors and beneficial actions that contribute to diversity in the workplace. They should also have the opportunity to engage in ongoing activities that promote behavioral change like workshops and ERGs.
It is important that each employee understands how to contribute to the company’s efforts and if they want to get more involved, how to join ERGs and be a diversity leader.
Nurturing Employee Resource Groups
ERGs are a powerful tool to build inclusion, belonging, and psychological safety.
However, to deliver tangible business value with your ERG program and gain support from key stakeholders, you need to have an in-depth strategy that connects to the business’s overall strategic outlook. Take a look at our ERG Toolkit for tips and guidance on building a strong ERG program.
Diversity in hiring and promotion
Ensuring diversity in hiring and promotion is crucial to creating a more inclusive workplace. This can involve setting diversity targets, implementing structured interview processes to reduce bias, and actively seeking out and recruiting diverse candidates. It's also important to ensure that there are clear pathways for career advancement for underrepresented groups within the company.
High-performing organizations are 5x more likely to source ERG members for leadership potential, so consider that 2 boxes checked if you develop a strong ERG program.
Align company policies with the EDIB strategy
It is no longer enough to talk a good game, organizations need to align their operations with their EDIB initiatives.
This can involve updating things like parental leave policies, dress code policies, and accessibility accommodations to ensure they are fair and equitable for all employees. As we shift to a more WFH-friendly culture be sure these policies do not inhibit workers from being effective while working in casual settings around family and children.
Measurement and accountability
It's important to have systems in place to track progress and hold the company accountable for its EDIB goals. This can involve setting specific diversity and inclusion targets, as well as regularly gathering feedback from employees to assess the effectiveness of the EDIB program.
How are you developing EDIB in the workplace?
Are you using these tactics? Are we missing any? Let us know here on LinkedIn!