Faced with uncertainty, many companies were forced to put diversity initiatives on hold in order to focus on other critical areas of their business. According to a recent Indeed study, 57% of respondents said their company had invested in initiatives to move their diversity program forward. As the pandemic took hold, that focus shifted. More than 43% believe their company could now do more. Do you need to improve your diversity program? Here are a few simple ways.
Evaluate Your Current D&I Program
The initiatives you had in place before the pandemic may no longer be effective. Take a fresh look at your program and identify the areas where you may have gaps. Are there particular groups that are under-represented? Are hiring and promotion rates lower for certain groups? Understanding where you are starting from can help you identify where resources and changes need to be made.
Leverage Technology to Create Safe Spaces for Engagement
During the pandemic, technology became a valuable tool for connection and engagement. Take advantage of available tools, such as video conferencing and webinars for inclusivity training, to obtain feedback
Review Feedback Channels
Take another look at how you are currently collecting feedback. Are you fostering a culture where employees feel comfortable to share through open dialog and engagement? During the pandemic, how has the process changed? Are certain groups now quiet or more vocal? Discover where you are doing well and where you need to improve by using engagement surveys and focus groups.
Watch for Unconscious Bias in Decision-making
Uncertainty and increased stress can lead to an increase in unconscious bias in decision-making. Determine how to recognize different biases and be proactive in addressing them. Be open-minded and don’t assume that an individual’s behavior is based on personality when it could be about other influencing factors.
Be Mindful of the Pandemic’s Impact
While everyone is facing the same pandemic, not everyone is having the same experience. Be mindful of how employees with different backgrounds may respond differently to the same situation. Also, consider that some employees may have added stress due to helping children learn remotely at home, caring for a sick family member, or the job loss of a family member.
Maintain Diversity Leadership Training
Your workplace culture and the values of leaders are an important aspect in determining the behavior within an organization. A diversity leadership training program can shape leaders to become role models and are an effective way to cultivate a shared sense of community.
Stay on Course
Will your diversity and inclusion initiatives survive the pandemic?
When diversity and inclusion are reflected in your company’s culture, your employees feel appreciated, and in turn, experience increased engagement and improved morale. In addition, studies have shown that companies that value diversity and inclusion outperform those that do not make the investment. While employee health and safety must be at the forefront, these are good reasons you don’t want to let down your guard when it comes to diversity leadership.
About Propel HR
Propel HR is an IRS-certified PEO that has been a leading provider of human resources and payroll solutions for 25 years. Propel partners with small to midsized businesses to manage payroll, employee benefits, compliance and risks, and other HR functions in a way that maximizes efficiency and reduces costs. Visit www.propelhr.com.
Propel HR President Lee Yarborough was recently elected Chair of the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) Board of Directors.
She spoke with PEO Insider magazine to share where she thinks the industry is headed and how NAPEO can continue to grow.
Download a pdf version of the full interview: A Passion To Serve