Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in HR: What Matters Most
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) has really evolved and become a top priority and discipline of Human Resources. We have seen a new wave of preventing acts of discrimination and harassment within organizations as well as cultivating inclusion and belonging. Employers across the nation are encouraging training programs for employees and management in order to grow diversity, eliminate bias and focus on the quality, knowledge, experience, work style and individual characteristics of employees.
Almost 95% of organizations took up DEI initiatives in 2021, according to the McLean & Company’s 2021 HR Trends Report. DEI within a business fosters more employee engagement, productivity and innovation that contributes to increased revenue. Our HR specialists at Flex HR suggest implementing policies and practices to warrant inclusive recruitment, hiring, development, and compensation to safeguard against such DEI and bias and thus, create a comprehensive workplace.
Flex HR’s very own DEI Expert and HR Consultant, Zarena Marcus shares her thoughts on what matters most in DEI:
Time for change is here and organizations around the world are shifting gears to take a deeper look into the way they have been operating their businesses. Professional titles removed, we are all just human beings at our core, constantly reinventing ourselves, re-checking moral compasses and always, always redefining the best representation and best versions of ourselves. Why do we do this? Because it’s what matters most. It’s what many of us feel is the first step in making a difference in who we are, what we do to effect change in ourselves, in others and ultimately, the world. It is the desire to want to make a difference that will help pave the journey to begin advocating for others and learn to celebrate all of our differences. The road hasn’t always been easy, and we all have much to learn from each other as humans, individually and collectively, as a group or corporation, but we have begun the process and that is WHAT MATTERS MOST.
In my own humble and professional opinion, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is an invitation to do what matters most. An invitation to participate on a larger scale, because honestly, sometimes it’s more impactful to “Do good in a big way.” But to do it right, I believe it takes more than celebrating diversity, treating everyone equally, maintaining equality and being inclusive in the process. We must invite others to join us in learning about what makes us diverse. We must educate each other about all levels and aspects of our differences regardless of protected classifications by law and how those differences affect how we think, process and even unintentionally react to how things are done to us, for us, while with or without us. We are humans first and should never forget the term Humankind. For this reason, I strongly believe organizations should always include sensitivity training with DEI. It’s not enough to communicate or put into action DEI initiatives and commitments. From an employee standpoint, understanding, embracing and being part of a corporate culture is an important part of “fitting in.” But the key to building an inclusive culture and executing a DEI program that truly works lies in an organization’s ability and desire to get to know and celebrate all the individuals who are working contributors to the success of their business. Yes, it’s challenging enough to have to work through different personalities, work ethics, communication styles that affect the dynamics of work environments, but playing well with others involves getting to know your players – and that is truly the basis of many things.
I view the world as a giant playground – at work and in my personal life. And often times, play and work are synonymous. We often choose work we love; Play is defined as “engaging in activity for enjoyment.” We arrive on the playground with our diverse views of how to play, shaped by our ethnic backgrounds, cultural up-bringing, birth order, etc. and not to mention, our strong, individual personalities. There are spoken and unspoken rules that apply on the playground, but not everyone follows them. We get upset when that happens, we make up, we play again. There are bullies, guardians, loners, and gatherers. No matter what, we come to play – whether we’re forced or arrive willingly. We decide at some point that we might as well have fun and in doing so, we often come to the conclusion that it’s more fun to play with others. Even if it’s hard for some to admit, there’s truth to the saying “The more the merrier.”
So why not take initiative, beyond what is outlined as your playground rules? Return to your human core. And whether you invite yourself or are invited to take part in DEI initiatives that exist or don’t exist within your organization, do good in a big way: Do what matters most. Create a playground if one doesn’t exist. Get to know the players. Play well with others and be the kid that asks, “Hey wanna join us?” ~ Zarena C. Marcus, Team Player
Did you know Flex HR can do a DEI bootcamp or webinar training for your organization? Contact Us Now to hear more details about these programs.