If you’re not thinking about or taking any action to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in your workplace, your business will eventually suffer. Why? According to Glassdoor, 76% of job seekers feel a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers, and 32% of workers wouldn’t apply for a job at a company with a lack of diversity.
Tips to Improve Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
As a small business, it can feel like the only way to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace is through your hiring. This means small businesses may not have as many chances to recognize DEI—but that’s not necessarily the case. Smaller companies can also promote DEI among their existing workforce.
However, improving diversity, equity, and inclusion is easier said than done. Ideally, companies should start with a DEI strategy and plan. But that requires a lot of time and effort. So to improve DEI right away, here are some tips to get started:
- Look beyond traditional markers of diversity—especially if you’re a small business, it can feel hard to include a lot of diversity if you only have ten employees. But you can focus on a variety of diverse factors outside race and gender, such as age, family status, and location.
- Start with leadership—DEI has to come from the top down, and this is usually the first indication to others looking into your company of the diversity that may be there. It also goes a long way in promoting inclusion and a sense of belonging when employees see someone of a diverse background—perhaps similar to their own—represented on the leadership team.
- Reduce bias and discrimination in the interview and promotion process. When writing job descriptions, think carefully about whether you’re excluding anyone based on unreasonable requirements for education, skills, or experience. From there, reevaluate your interview process. There are plenty of interview tactics that promote DEI—the most common is taking a structured interview approach. Structured interviews reduce bias by making the process the same for each candidate.
- Support more religious and cultural practices—offer more floating holidays for those who don’t celebrate events associated with Christian faiths.
- Host more employee resource groups (ERGs). ERGs provide a safe and inclusive environment for employees to voice their concerns and opinions about different DEI topics. ERGs can result in new ideas and perspectives on DEI.
- Make the workplace conducive for diverse workers. Make accommodations for employees with disabilities, that speak foreign languages, that have unique living circumstances, etc. In some cases, this is legally required, but when it’s not, going above and beyond to accommodate employees will make them feel recognized.
- Celebrate diversity! From Black History to Women History to Hispanic Heritage month to Juneteenth and other notable events, there is ample opportunity to observe diversity. Do a quick poll among your employees to see how they like to celebrate. It can be as simple as a company catered lunch or educational lunch and learn. But any celebration can bring positive attention and recognize diversity.
Other Ways to Improve Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
As mentioned, a DEI strategy and plan is the best way to focus efforts on improving diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Small businesses already have their hands full with plenty of other responsibilities. Finding the time to craft a diversity, equity, and inclusion plan may seem impossible. With an HR partner like Obsidian HR, you can find more time and the strategic support you need to focus on this important initiative.
When you work with Obsidian HR, you can find and onboard talent faster and easier. Our resume database, recruitment advertising, and applicant dashboard make it easy to log jobs, create job listings, post to hundreds of job boards, and track results.
On top of that, our full-service HR team will help you handle everything that comes after a new hire so that they feel welcome and supported.
- Onboarding & Growing Teams
- Motivating & Engaging Employees
- Training & Developing Employees
- Securing & Offering Employee Benefits
- Handling Payroll, Compliance, & Legalities
- Managing HR Operations
If you’re ready to learn more, reach out to us today! And to get started on crafting your DEI plan and strategy, download the guide below. You’ll learn what diversity, equity, and inclusion mean, the benefits of DEI, and four steps to develop a DEI plan and strategy for your business.