The work that goes into building a diverse and inclusive workplace does not end when the offer letter is sent.
You already knew that.
So what does it take to build a workplace culture that truly reflects your commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion?
It takes active participation from the bottom up. It takes a deeper understanding of what equity looks like. And it takes implementing processes that enhance your team’s talents and foster an environment in which they thrive.
Let’s dive deeper.
Stop focusing only on race
When trying to diversify their workforce, I see many leaders who are unsure where to begin. Both organizational leaders and employees often find themselves confused as to what diversity truly entails. There may be a desire to increase BIPOC representation, while failing to acknowledge a low representation of women.
Leaders need to look deeper. How many women are on your team, and how many of them occupy leadership positions? How many people with disabilities are present in both your workforce and the boardroom? How diverse is your company when it comes to gender identity, religion, age, and class?
Hiring a diverse workforce is an important step, but it doesn’t solve anything on its own. Creating a space for diverse talent to thrive requires both hiring diverse talent AND creating a culture of equity.
Ask your workforce what they need—and believe them
Too often I find that leaders determine which “work perks” would benefit their team based on their own experiences. If you are to create a diverse workforce in which different groups of people are represented, you should assume that the needs of those people will vary.
As leaders, it is up to you to have conversations with every worker from the bottom up to ensure that they have what they need to thrive. It may be impressive to see companies offer employees opportunities for self-care, but what does that look like? Chances are it will differ for everyone.
A free morning yoga session may be attractive to some, while inconvenient for others. A training opportunity provided at a specific time orlocation could help some move ahead, while those who cannot attend are left further behind. These are the conversations that need to happen when the goal is retaining diverse talent. Otherwise, that talent will either move on or fail to flourish.
Move beyond accountability and start implementing
You can spend a significant amount of time gathering the data you need to find the gaps of diversity that exist within your organization. It’s what you do with the data that matters.
I have worked with many leaders who were simply unaware of their own gaps when it came to equity and inclusion. By collecting data and gaining a better understanding of how their workplace functioned, they created a culture in which talent not only stayed, but thrived.
Ultimately, workplace culture which exists in every company dictates how successful change will be. When you transform your culture around DEI, you provide all employees with the opportunity to grow.
The work may begin at the onset of hiring—but it should never end there.
How are you working to retain your talent?
Learn how my team can help you expose the gaps in your own organization, and implement real and effective solutions for a thriving workplace built around equity.