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Why having a DE&I policy can be the key to organizational success

Posted by Neha De

February 10, 2022    |     4-minute read (634 words)

“The business case for diversity, equity and inclusion is stronger than ever before,” according to McKinsey’s Diversity wins: How inclusion matters report. The analysis shows that “the most diverse companies are now more likely than ever to outperform less diverse peers on profitability.”  

In light of this, an increasing number of businesses are developing a diversity, equity and inclusion policy. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management offers these three tangible benefits of having a DE&I policy: 

1. Serves all communities better by being socially responsible – As per data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the workforce and the public that businesses serve are growing in terms of the number of women, people with disabilities, people of color and immigrants every year. Diversity and inclusion multiply a company’s capacity to serve and protect people who have different experiences or backgrounds, as well as enhance its ability to be receptive to different traditions and ideas. 

2. Increases innovation – Another benefit of having a diverse workforce is increased creativity, as it capitalizes on the differences that different communities offer. Many of civilization's most creative periods have occurred when people of different backgrounds have come together and worked together. For instance, the Renaissance grew partly from the convergence of people from the East and the West.

Additionally, research has shown that effective diversity management combined with inclusive work environments improves organizational performance and innovation. Workers from different backgrounds bring different perspectives, ideas and solutions to the workplace. This results in new products and services, challenges the status quo and provides a platform for new collaboration.

3. Offers a better return on investment – Diversity and inclusion initiatives enhance the quality of an organization’s workforce and are the catalyst for a better ROI in human capital. One of the biggest items in any firm’s budget is the money it plans to spend on human resources in the form of recruitment, compensation, salaries, benefits, training and development and so on. Hence, to get a healthy ROI on human capital and maximize competitive advantage, a business should focus on acquiring the top talent. And this is not possible unless they reach out to all communities where such talent exists.

Also, employees of all groups expect a nondiscriminatory, harassment-free workplace coupled with work-life balance, flexible schedules and benefits, and child care and family-friendly policies. Therefore, businesses need to ensure that conditions facilitate diversity and inclusion in all aspects of their operations, and maximize their ROI by having engaged and productive employees.

This also facilitates faster resolution to conflicts, which avoids costly litigation and settlements. Workplaces where all workers feel included and valued yield greater commitment and motivation, which translates into fewer resources spent on grievances, complaints and employee turnover.

Tips for developing a DE&I policy for your organization

A DE&I policy can facilitate diverse perspectives, improve employee morale and productivity, ensure that all staff members feel welcomed and included, boost business reputations and enhance the potential to recruit the best candidates. 

If you are thinking about developing a DE&I policy for your business, here are a few things that should be included:

• A commitment to establishing and maintaining an inclusive and diverse work environment.
• A segment that states that the policy applies to all aspects of employment as well as dealing with customers.
• A consultation process with staff to collect feedback on DE&I initiatives.
• A statement that says all leadership will be trained so that they are equipped at understanding the individual needs of workers.
• A statement that says all applicable human rights, equity and privacy laws will be respected and adhered to.
• A process for complaint management.
• A statement that says any collection of personal data will be kept confidential unless required to be disclosed by law.

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