about 1 month ago -

​​A guide to diversity and inclusion at work for employers and employees

Blog Article Deib

Building a DEIB workplace is a continuous journey that requires employers and employees to work together. Here are some things to keep in mind when fostering an inclusive environment where everyone feels a sense of belonging at work.

Globalization has made having diverse teams at work a common sight. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) isn't just a social good, it's a smart business decision.

Diverse teams bring a wider range of perspectives, leading to better problem-solving and more successful outcomes. Equity and inclusion at work helps with improved decision making by giving everyone a voice. DEIB also helps increase productivity. People who have a sense of belonging at work are more likely to be happy, productive and stay with the company.

Furthermore, a focus on DEIB also helps companies build a positive brand image and attract top talent. In fact, a recent survey report by Jobs_that_makesense Asia and Manpower revealed 77% of Southeast Asians consider a company’s reputation for social responsibility, including DEIB, when deciding to pursue a career with them. 72% of them also advocate for companies to actively promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) to address social inequalities.

With June being Pride Month, a global celebration of LGBTQIA+ diversity and resilience, let’s have a look at how we can help everyone, including our LGBTQIA+ colleagues, feel more included at the workplace through fostering a DEIB work environment.

Here are some tips for both employers and employees on how to be inclusive at work and ensure a safe, welcoming, and successful work environment for everyone:

4 Actionable Steps Employers can take to foster DEIB

  • Develop and enforce non-discrimination policies: Ensure your policies explicitly prohibit discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age, or any other protected characteristic. This should extend to recruitment, promotion, and all aspects of employment. The implementation and enforcement of non-discrimination policies sends a strong message to employees that everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity.

  • Recruit and promote based on merit: Recruitment best practices employers can follow include reviewing job descriptions for hidden biases and ensure that they are inclusive, as well as implementing blind resume reviews to recruit solely based on merit. Similarly, promotions should be made using objective criteria based on skills, experience, and performance. Apart from recruiting or promoting the most suitable person, these can also help mitigate bias.

  • Provide DEIB training: Discrimination in the workplace can sometimes be because of unconscious bias and microaggressions. To combat this, consider educating employees on unconscious bias and how it can impact colleagues. Training should address topics such as identifying and mitigating unconscious bias, understanding the impact of microaggressions and how to respond constructively, effective cross-culture communication, bystander intervention techniques, and importance of using inclusive language.

  • Build and support Employee Resource Groups (ERGs): ERGs can help bring together individuals based on shared experiences or interests and play a vital role in fostering DEIB within a company. Employers can provide support by allocating a budget for activities and events and access to communication channels and meeting spaces. To take it further, companies can demonstrate commitment to DEIB by having senior leaders participate in ERG events and initiatives and amplify ERG achievements.

4 tips for employees on ensuring DEIB at work

  • Be an ally: If you witness discrimination or microaggressions in the workplace, speak up in a respectful way to challenge the behavior and highlight its impact. Being an ally goes beyond simply not discriminating, it’s also about actively promoting inclusion and supporting colleagues from different backgrounds. Some ways to show support during Pride Month and beyond include educating yourself on LGBTQIA+ issues and terminology as well as being an advocate for your colleagues from the community.

  • Communicate effectively: Effective communication is the cornerstone of a DEIB workplace. The key is to respect different identities and experiences, ask questions and be open to learning from others. Actively listen and approach conversations with a genuine desire to learn and understand their viewpoints before advocating for your own perspective. Remember to use inclusive language and pronouns in daily interactions and avoid jargon, stereotypes, and offensive terms.

  • Celebrate diversity: Celebrating and appreciating diverse cultures and backgrounds can help ensure everyone feels valued and respected at work. Some ways employees can contribute to this include organizing or participating in events that promote understanding and appreciation for colleagues.

  • Be visible and authentic: Creating a truly inclusive environment requires everyone to feel comfortable bringing their authentic selves to work. If you feel comfortable, share aspects of your background, heritage, experiences, sexual orientation or gender identity with colleagues. Showing up authentically helps create a more inclusive environment by normalizing diversity and fosters a sense of connection with colleagues from different backgrounds.

Building a DEIB workplace is a continuous journey that requires employers and employees to work together. It’s important to ensure that fostering a truly inclusive workplace for LGBTQIA+ employees goes beyond a single month, like Pride. Remember these tips to create a welcoming work environment where everyone feels like they belong and are included, year-round. Need more help with fostering DEIB at your organization? Speak to our consultants to find out more.

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