Updated: Jun 21
Over the years, the conversations on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have received increasing attention. Recently, many organizations have started to factor DEI into organizational culture policies, aiming to create a more inclusive work environment for historically excluded and underrepresented groups.
At FIC Human Resource Partners, we believe that when organizations can create a healthy inclusive culture of belonging in the workplace, it benefits both the company and its employees. In fact, labor experts think that championing a solid DEI policy is an effective way to attract top talent. But this requires committed efforts toward promoting diversity and inclusion in your organization, even as the idea of diversity and inclusion in the workplace continues to evolve.
In this post, we’ll walk through some important diversity and inclusion trends to of 2023.
Increased Adoption of Hybrid/Remote Work Model
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has shifted on its axis. The corporate workplace is one of the places heavily impacted by the pandemic, which has accelerated the trend of people prioritizing a better work-life balance. These days, top talents vet potential employers on their ability to provide a hybrid/remote work model.
In fact, one of the factors singled out for playing a significant role in the Great Resignation of 2021 was workers not having enough flexibility to choose when to put in hours. Therefore, employers looking to attract top talents in 2023 need to consider a flexible work structure for employees.
Supporting Diverse Gender Identities and Expression
With the increasing conversations around non-binary and transgender folks, many organizations have been struggling to create an inclusive environment for employees who are genderqueer. To foster a healthy inclusive culture of belonging, organizations need to embrace inclusive workplace practices, such as using inclusive language for gender non-binary and transgender employees, and ensuring that correct pronouns and chosen names are used in all interactions and communication channels. Another effective strategy to support nonbinary, agender, gender fluid, and other gender nonconforming people in the workplace is to provide gender-neutral restrooms.
These actions are effective because employees who feel unwelcomed, not listened to, or disconnected from the organization are likely closer to the exit than they are to other team members.
Addressing Unconscious Bias and Microaggressions in the Workplace
Microaggressions are verbal, behavioral, environmental actions, insensitive statements, questions, or assumptions that communicate an indirect, subtle, or unintentional bias, hostility, or discrimination against a historically excluded and underrepresented groups, such as people of color, religious, racial, and ethnic minorities, women, LGBTQ persons, persons with disabilities, and religious minorities. Microaggressions are often the result of unconscious biases.
People in many organizations often come from diverse backgrounds, and it is not unusual for colleagues to have some bias against others. But sometimes, they are unaware of these biases and unintentionally commit microaggressions. To build a truly inclusive culture of belonging workplace with people from different backgrounds and experiences, organizations must carefully address these biases by developing and implementing the right policies and ensuring that the intended culture and permitted culture remain aligned.
Using DEI Data to Make Important Decisions
From hiring employees to providing quality health and employee benefits, business leaders can leverage data to understand employee diversity and identify possible misrepresentations of specific groups. Sometimes, it takes digging deeper to uncover existing cultural discrepancies that have gone unnoticed within the firm for a long time. The data obtained from this research can be used to make better hiring decisions and to develop better policies to ensure all groups in the company are adequately represented.
For example, Bea Bourne, DM, a faculty evaluator for the Portfolio Development program and a member of the DEI Committee at Purdue University Global, suggests that “an organization’s goals, practices, processes, and leadership need to reflect the market, the communities, the organizations, and the audience that they serve”.
Supporting a Multigenerational Workforce
Today, there are 4 active generations in the workforce, with an increasing percentage being members of generation Z. Understanding the differences between the generational values, needs, and attitudes can help employers develop and implement policies that will engender effective collaboration and communication among workers. Keeping tabs on these generational differences can help managers and leaders develop dynamic or inclusive recruitment strategies to avoid discriminating against any group.
Having Diverse Leadership
One indication of whether an organization is superficially or structurally committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion is the makeup of its top executives. Lower-level workers may be wary of pursuing a career in an organization if they perceive that people from a particular background or experience can only get to a certain level. To address this, managers and business leaders may need to create a system that assimilates and supports every new hire's ability to access opportunities for increased responsibility, authority, and promotion, regardless of their background, color, race, sexual orientation, or gender.
Robust Mental Health Support Program
There’s been an increasing impact of work, mainly due to stressful work environments, on the mental health of employees and professionals across the globe. Needless to say, well-meaning organizations and leaders ought to have a solid mental health support program for all employees.
Acknowledging that workplace stress and mental health are contributing factors impacting performance and productivity and offering programs to help employees navigate those challenges is one way to deal with the unprecedented surge in mental health issues in the workplace. In addition to that, your organization must be willing to provide competitive health benefits to employees. Ideally, you want to tailor health benefits to the unique needs of each employee.
Offering a personalized benefits package with a range of options for your employees is an effective way to improve diversity and inclusivity in your company. You can also ask that employees suggest their preferences for the health benefits package they receive.
Hiring an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Professional to Help Shape Your Organizational Culture
As diversity, equity, and inclusion continue to evolve, HR teams may need guidance on what is no longer sustainable and DEI best practices. You may need a DEI expert to help your organization make the necessary systematic change so the company can continue to attract top talents and drive increased productivity.
But do not assume that hiring a DEI professional is enough to establish the organizational culture change you want. You must get leadership on board. Having one or more DEI professionals as members of the company’s top executives is also essential.
This is where we come in with our NUANCE approach, designed to help your organization foster an inclusive culture of belonging that aligns with your larger organizational culture values. We have designed this program in such a way that it can be tailored to address the individual needs of your organization and help you develop a safer, healthier, and more equitable workplace for every employee.
Want to learn more? Feel free to reach out, and we’ll happily walk you through how your organization can leverage our Nuance Culture Consulting™ service to build a successful culture of belonging that allows your employees to succeed and your company to thrive.