What is Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI), and what are best practices, tools and online templates for teams and organizations?
Definition of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I)
The term DE&I refers to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Diverse perspectives foster diverse thinking and help businesses address challenges in creative ways. Equitable treatment of others makes the entire workforce feel valued, while having inclusive policies in place ensures that resources are distributed to those that need them. Each element makes up a specific element of workplace culture and, brought together, they ensure a workplace is best suited to meet the challenges of a diverse and ever-changing business environment.
Description of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI)
A diverse and inclusive workplace culture can lead to increased innovation, higher revenues and greater profitability. The positive effects of building a diverse and inclusive workplace culture permeate every level of business. According to research from the Boston Consulting Group, businesses with above-average total diversity had 19% points higher innovation revenues and 9% points higher EBIT margins. There is also a large amount of research to suggest that companies with more women in the C-Suite are more profitable. Further research from McKinsey found that greater ethnic and cultural diversity correlated with higher performance and profitability, and companies with the most ethnically/ culturally diverse boards were 43% more likely to experience higher profits.
The key concepts of DEI can be defined as:
- Diversity refers to the real or perceived differences in attributes related to one’s identity that influence their behaviors and relationships.
- Equity is the extent to which individuals in an organization feel safe, valued, and able to express themselves authentically in the workplace.
- Inclusion refers to the implementation of fair policies, practices and procedures in a company such that resources are distributed based on individual’s contribution.
Although diversity, equity and inclusion may seem similar to each other, each element is unique and should be supported independently to make up a holistic DEI program. An organization with diversity but very little equity will suffer from higher turnover of staff and a lack of innovation. If a company scores high in terms of equity but lacks an inclusive culture, cliques may develop, reducing openness and collaboration. If an organization doesn’t address all three elements, it can struggle to benefit from the financial and functional benefits of a coherent DEI strategy.
The World Economic Forum outlines three areas to focus on in order to make the biggest difference when creating a DEI Strategy: Talent, Organization and Employee Experience.
- Talent involves assessing job descriptions, people and recruiting strategies, and how employers identify, interview and hire employees.
- Organization involves using benchmark best practices like goal setting and anonymous feedback, participating in internal and external events and sponsorships, and focusing on employee engagement goals and measures.
- Employee Experience focuses on the onboarding process, talent management, training and development.
As with most change management initiatives, what gets measured gets managed. The best way to move forward with any DEI strategy is to capture data and measure progress, assess the organization’s capabilities around Talent, Organization and Employee Experience, and create projects to address gaps and opportunities.
Tools & Templates
Various tools and templates can be used for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. Usually these tools are simple presentations and spreadsheets to track data. Some software programs exist focused on human resource management that track employee demographics and other data, which allows for the development of online dashboards. Whatever tools being used, it can be helpful to choose a model of organizational culture to guide research and summarize findings because DE&I programs often involve substantial organizational and culture change and transformation.
upBOARD’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Online Software App
Unlike most traditional Diversity, Equity & Inclusion processes, upBOARD’s online Diversity, Equity & Inclusion online software tools allow any team or organization to instantly begin working with our web templates and input forms. Our digital platform goes far beyond other software tools by including progress dashboards, data integration from existing documents or other SaaS software, elegant intuitive designs, and full access on any desktop or mobile device. View a more detailed white paper about our approach.
Hundreds of Business Process Apps, Tools & Templates
Learn more about upBOARD’s portfolio of other human resources best practice tools and templates, including:
Career Planning, Change Management, Communication Management, Competency-Based Interviewing, Critical Incidents, Culture Mapping, Delphi Method, Employee Engagement Surveys, Executive & Leadership Coaching, Growth Mindset, Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory, Job Analysis, Job Description, Learning and Growth Perspective, Mentoring, Performance Management, RACI, Resource Breakdown Structures (RBS), Retirement Index, Skills Requirement Checklist, Stakeholder Analysis, and Workday Task Analysis.