In an increasingly globalized world, managing diversity in the workplace has become a priority. Not only it’s part of a competitive strategy that adds value to our brand, but it has also become a necessity to respond to today’s reality.
There are many studies that state the benefits of diversity and inclusion: it favors creativity, boosts performance and productivity, attracts talent, increases engagement, and improves the reputation of the company.
Knowing all this, how is it that most companies fail to implement DEI strategies?
According to a recent survey by PwC, nowadays organizations invest more than ever in diversity and inclusion policies and yet none of these strategies achieve the desired success.
The results of PwC were collected in the Global Annual Review 2020, and it highlights the following insights:
- 76% of the participants consider diversity a priority factor in their organization.
- Most believe that promoting DEI in their companies would encourage the commitment of employees, customers, investors, suppliers, and shareholders. Also, it would improve the financial performance.
- 33% of the companies surveyed see diversity as a barrier to the progress of their organization.
- Only 5% of DEI programs are successful.
Why companies fail at Inclusion Strategies?
There are many reasons why organizations fail in their desire to properly manage a diverse team and perform a sociocultural transformation.
Diversity and Inclusion are not the same
One of the main reasons, according to the Fundación Adecco, is to merge diversity with inclusion. In this sense, organizations focus their efforts in “not discriminating” groups at risk of exclusion, but without see the real value offered by a diverse team. The intention to do things better is there, but they remain on the surface without digging into the significant aspects of an Inclusive organization.
Managing all employees equally it’s not enough, companies need to commit to the full development of all their employees. Quoting Luis Pardo: “ Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance”.
Messages that don’t arrive anywhere
Another problem is the lack of communication with the teams that are not part of the executive leadership. Companies do not share enough information with their employees on topics of interest to help them stay informed on diversity and inclusion issues.
Only 22% of workers are aware that their organizations collect and analyze data on compensation, hiring, performance, or motivation to assess company culture. So the message is lost and the efforts fall.
At Team Insights we value transparent and honest communication with all the members that perform the organization. Our pulse surveys about workplace climate and employee satisfaction, fully customizable to the identity of each company, arrive directly to the employees’ inbox on the date and time you previously indicated.
In this way, you make sure that the message always reaches and everyone in the company participate by providing valuable data that will help you improve your strategies and really serving and fulfilling their function.
We are not aware of our own biases
As much as we may not want to admit it, people often have hidden biases and cognitive biases that we are not aware of.
Many times, we blame the decisions we make based on whether they align or fit with the corporate culture, but is that really true?
The cultural affinity is a double - edged sword because while it is true that helps us find professionals who will identify with our values and make them more likely to develop a sense of corporate commitment, also can lead to errors and bring out factors that have little or nothing to do with an ethical and purely objective decision.
For example, a group of Asian-American students claims against Harvard University because it has systematically discriminated against them.
The famous university investigate the case and found that in more than 160,000 asian applications, their profiles were evaluated negatively with respect to those of other ethnic groups, concluding that there was indeed an unconscious bias.
Perhaps it would be useful to do a little self - criticism and evaluate our biases. It is important to feel fully identified with the values that represent diversity and inclusion within the organization, moving away from simple fashions.
How to manage and promote diversity and inclusion in the company?
Now that we have seen which are the main problems that jeopardize the effectiveness of inclusion programs, we are going to look at some aspects that will help us find a solution and carry out our strategies in this area successfully.
1.We must know the needs of our team
It is always important to know the status and needs of the members of our teams, but even more so in those where the stamp of diversity is more accentuated in case what we want to achieve a homogeneous and well-connected group despite all the differences.
In this sense, we must be able to effectively satisfy all interests regardless of culture, ethnicity, religion, age, sex or sexual orientation, ensuring in all cases a positive employee journey.
2. Promote groups of representation
An excellent way to know the opinion and experiences of our employees, make them visible and amplify their voice is by creating groups of representation.
Analyzing the data of all the employees together is fine, but the data can get “tainted” if what we want is to know if our inclusion policies are working in the target population.
In Team Insights you can choose to send surveys to groups, to which will only reach people who belong to those groups. With that, the insights you will receive will be more realistic and focused on your objectives.
3. Encourage your leaders
As we mentioned at the beginning, most employees do not know that their organization conducts studies on the status of the workforce, and that is one of the reasons why these initiatives fail.
Encourage your middle managers to get involved in the measures taken by the company to promote diversity and inclusion. According to a Gallup’ study, employees tend to trust their direct managers more than to the top executives.
Teach them in best practices and help them collect data that will be useful to know how to manage their team.
At Team Insights we believe that middle managers are a cornerstone of the organization, so providing them with all the necessary resources is the key to lead their teams in an optimal and effective way, without falling into prejudices, only with real data.
4. Everyone count
Shy people don’t usually give their opinion, especially in public. It also happens with those groups and collectives that are at risk of exclusion within the company: not giving their opinions can make them invisible without this being our true intention.
To avoid this problem, the organization should have a communication platform in which everyone can speak without fear of feeling insecure or judged, so anonymity is essential.
Team Insights has an open chat in which employees can start anonymous conversations with their managers to comment any aspect that is interesting to them, propose new initiatives, suggest areas for improvement or simply comment on what they think of the inclusion and equality programs applied by the company.
In conclusion, the objective of any corporate strategy in the field of diversity and inclusion should focus on:
- Eliminate cognitive biases and hire talent for its value, not for “non-discrimination”.
- Take an interest in the needs and expectations of all groups and stakeholders.
- Transparent communication with all members of the organization and not only with managers.
- Promote best practices.
- Empower people at risk of exclusion by giving them the opportunity to participate in the measures planned by the company.
If you want to create inclusive strategies and promote workplace diversity in your company effectively, you can try Team Insights. It‘S free!