Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) are more than just buzzwords. These four ideas work symbiotically to improve workplace dynamics, workflow, productivity and the community of any organization. When a company decides to incorporate these as core values they see a genuine shift in culture and the success of the business.
Success is more than an increase in quarterly profits. Success is also defined by employee retention and how productive those employees are on the job. With a vast job market out there, employees have plenty of employment options. Keeping this in mind, a company needs to express their appreciation for each team member. The best ways to do this include:
- Make efforts to see each individual employee for the unique qualities they contribute to the team.
- Make sure each employee has what they need to thrive in their role.
- When celebrating differences, make sure that everyone is working together to make the environment truly welcoming for all.
- Enrich the workplace community with authentic gatherings, employee highlights, and opportunities for the whole staff to express their opinions and/or needs.
Small businesses don’t always have large HR teams to tackle big-ticket topics like DEIB, it takes everyone on staff to pull a community together. Just like the “all hands on deck” moments to pull a big project together, everyone plays their part in building an inclusive space. It is the responsibility of each person to be accountable for growth, but it’s the company’s responsibility to set the precedent. Creating a dynamic workplace allows each individual to have the courage to participate in defining the environment.
When there is equal participation you are naturally creating an equitable space. Ownership in this community will inspire each employee to show up fully, especially if they are recognized for that work.
- Collecting Data: Identifying where change is needed will help to take steps in the right direction. Because many small businesses are often strapped for time and budget, using your resources in the right ways will be beneficial. Utilize anonymous employee engagement surveys to determine the need for change.
- Educating: One of the biggest steps a small business can take toward developing an inclusive workplace is education on the subject. Make a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and make sure that everyone in your organization understands what that means and how it’s beneficial. Once you get buy-in on the investment needed, further education will be welcomed rather than resisted.
- Pacing: It’s possible to overwhelm your team with too much too fast. Execute one initiative at a time and ensure that it’s done well rather than trying to do everything at once and risk doing it poorly.
- Showing Appreciation: If it’s not feasible to show appreciation monetarily find other authentic ways to build morale and show appreciation. If the business is thriving, remember a little goes a long way.
- Evaluation: Throughout the process check-in with those involved to ensure that progress is being made. Consider conducting annual surveys and take time to listen to your staff.
It’s not just what your business is doing in the office but what customers are witness to as well. It’s important that the gesture of building a diverse and inclusive business stretch beyond Human Resources and reaches marketing. People want to feel seen in those they work with. A customer’s identity influences where they invest, it’s important they feel they belong as well. Your DEI efforts should also translate into your recruiting strategy and employer branding.
This is a big step for a small business, so we did some of the work for you! Check out our ebook that helps define some terms, concepts and offers some tried techniques to diversity, equity, inclusivity, and belonging. Whether it’s a team of two or a team of 200 building workplace community is about intention. Every little action goes a long way. Start now!