You found our list of important DEI tips.
DEI tips are ideas that will foster equality in an organization. Examples include eradicating bias, getting leadership buy-in, and addressing pay inequalities. These initiatives aim to ensure that organizations benefit from a diverse workforce. As a result, companies focusing on DEI strategies benefit from better decision-making, higher job acceptance rates, and better overall performance.
These examples are similar to HR tips, diversity and inclusion activities and ideas for the office, and diversity program ideas for work. Such ideas create a positive work environment and offer key benefits of diversity in the workplace.
This list includes:
- DEI tips of the day
- DEI tips for meetings
- DEI tips for managers
- DEI tips for employees
- inclusion and diversity tips
- diversity recruiting tips
- diversity training tips
- inclusion tips for leaders
Let’s get to it!
List of DEI tips
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are key ways to improve workers’ morale and boost the performance of a business. However, it takes deliberate and calculated work to build a DEI workplace culture. From analyzing talent practices to holding regular surveys and strengthening company policies, here is a list of the best tips that companies can use to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace culture.
1. Have an Inclusive Employee Onboarding Process
One of the most important steps for companies that want to maintain DEI in the workplace is ensuring that new hires are on board with the company policy and values. We encourage companies to start with employee training sessions that will introduce the impact of diversity in the organization. Be sure to highlight all the DEI practices and strategies that your company upholds. During these sessions, your new hires can ask questions and even give suggestions on possible DEI gaps in your organization. The new hires can then access more DEI company resources from focus groups, other team members, or through follow-up training sessions.
Here is a guide on new employee onboarding process.
2. Eradicate Bias
One of the key ways for companies to foster DEI is by eradicating bias. If left unchecked, biases such as ageism, racism, and sexism can harm the company’s image and cause employee disengagement. Therefore, one of the major tips for organizations is to eradicate bias in the hiring process. It is best to have a standardized interview process that allows potential employees to focus on factors that will affect their performance. For instance, recruiters can offer sample tests to candidates to help critique their work skills. Sample tests will also prevent bias against gender, race, disability, or even age. Another great choice of DEI tips of the day includes regular work training on unconscious bias and ways to avoid stereotypes.
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3. Provide a Work Environment Where Multilingual Teams can Thrive
Multilingual teams are employees with different language backgrounds. With the increasing trend in remote work, more companies are now open to hiring workers from across the globe, increasing the chances of a multilingual workforce. An inclusive company culture does not shy away from multilingual teams. However, companies with multilingual teams should not ignore language barriers between workers.
Here are some DEI tips to successfully manage multilingual teams:
- Develop a robust open communication strategy
- Invest in language classes and focus on both the native and secondary languages
- Use a common language at work
- Hire other bilingual leaders or individuals who can work closely with other team members
While a multilingual workforce offers tons of benefits to an organization, we cannot ignore the challenges in such a setting. Language barriers can slow decision-making and even heighten workplace disputes. Offering a conducive environment and measures to support multilingual teams is key to ensuring workers feel comfortable and secure when communicating.
4. Take Advantage of Focus Groups
Focus Groups are effective diversity training tips that can help gather valuable information on the challenges facing a diverse workforce. This DEI tip involves getting insights from a representative group of workers across an organization. Companies could use focus groups to complement other workforce analytics, such as surveys. However, to run an effective focus group, organizations must provide a safe space that encourages respect for each other’s experiences and viewpoints. When running focus groups, be sure to encourage the participation of all employees and ensure that the facilitator is neutral.
5. Analyze Talent Practices
You can use talent processes to evaluate the success of DEI strategies in your organization. Be sure to review which workers have access to key assignments, leadership experiences, or on-the-job learning opportunities. Also, be mindful of the assumptions made about a group of workers regarding their future potential or current capability. Be sure to look for unconscious bias in networking opportunities, unspoken norms, and work arrangements.
6. Get Leadership Buy-In
Companies should focus on leadership buy-in for a DEI initiative to be effective. This goal means that the senior company leadership understands and supports DEI initiatives. For instance, you can request senior leaders to take on DEI roles such as training their teams, dialogues with workers, and reporting. However, leadership buy-ins should be authentic and must portray the company’s core values.
Inclusion tips for leaders:
- Educate senior leaders on the importance of DEI
- Identify a senior-level leader who will champion the company’s DEI initiatives
- Encourage senior leaders to participate in diversity programs
Leadership buy-ins will encourage employees to consciously maintain a DEI workplace culture.
7. Honor Workers’ Cultural and Religious Practices
Encouraging your workforce to acknowledge and honor other workers’ cultural and religious practices tops the list of DEI tips for employees. You could start by researching each employee’s practices through surveys. Then, focus on honoring the cultural and religious practices. While it would be difficult to have company-wide celebrations for each employee, a simple activity such as sending an email or paid time off may be adequate.
Ways that companies can show respect for workers’ cultural and religious practices:
- Letting workers take a day off to observe religious or cultural practices
- Setting up separate office spaces or equipment, such as prayer rooms or a separate kosher fridge
- Educating other employees on the significance of different practices
- Adopt a no-tolerance policy for specific workplace religious and cultural issues
- Make exceptions for grooming standards and dress codes
- Honor workers’ dietary requirements
While these ideas may seem like small gestures, they will go a long way in showcasing respect for individual cultural or religious practices. In return, companies will benefit from higher employee engagement and productivity.
Here is a collection of cultural holidays to celebrate at work.
8. Address Pay Inequality
While many factors affect employee compensation, you cannot have a diverse workplace culture without addressing pay inequality. Workers’ compensation drives employees’ efforts, performance, and productivity. A competitive and fair pay structure also helps companies to attract and retain top talent. However, having a discriminatory pay structure based on gender, race, or non-performance-based metrics is the fastest way to promote disengagement. Examples of inclusion tips for leaders addressing pay inequality include having a pay equity audit. The audit can help identify operational gaps that could lead to compensation discrepancies. Companies could also promote fair pay by monitoring the compensation, hiring, and promotion processes on an ongoing basis.
9. Conduct Regular Employee Surveys
To maintain a diverse and inclusive workforce, holding regular surveys is a great idea. These surveys, questionnaires, or polls can help your organization benchmark the current DEI policies and identify gaps.
Tips for DEI surveys:
- Ask the right questions
- Opt for anonymous surveys
- Encourage employee participation by reminding your workforce of the importance of the activity
- Share the results with employees
- Use the data to drive a company-wide change
Regular DEI surveys will help organizations point out and address issues that they do not know exist. Surveys will also relieve employees of the burden of self-reporting and voicing concerns safely. Human resources will also make informed decisions through the guidance of data-driven insights.
10. Strengthen Company Policies
One of the most effective DEI tips for managers is strengthening DEI-related company policy. For instance, it would be pointless to have a non-discriminatory workplace policy and not enforce the rules. A relaxed non-discriminatory policy could result in a toxic work environment. You could start by developing a written policy with clearly-defined procedures and rules. Then, have regular and robust training for all workers, including the senior leaders. You could make a real change by ensuring that workers who fail to observe the policies face disciplinary actions. Also, be sure to establish a clear process for resolving workplace discrimination issues.
11. Start a Diversity and Inclusion Committee
Implementing DEI efforts can be an uphill task, especially for organizations with a large workforce. A diversity and inclusion committee is a great choice of DEI tips to bring ethical and cultural changes to a company. You can also ask the committee to support all workers and create a safe workspace. One approach that you can take is having a strategy-focused committee that provides guidance and direction around DEI initiatives, programs, or systems. Another great approach is an implementation-focused committee focusing on DEI events, programs, and workshops. Be sure to set realistic goals for each DEI committee and provide vital support to run all initiatives.
12. Use Employee Resource Groups
Employee resource groups are voluntary, employee-led teams aiming to foster a diverse and inclusive work environment that aligns with the organization’s goals. These groups focus on employees with similar characteristics such as ethnicity, gender, shared interests, or religious affiliation.
- Neurodiverse employees
- Women-focused groups
- LGBTQ+ employees
- Workers with disability
The purpose of employee resource groups is to provide personal and professional support to other workers. These groups are also a safe and open space for employees and also tackle company-wide DEI challenges. The success of employee resource groups highly depends on support from the company.
Check out this list of employee resource groups best practices.
13. Focus on Practices that Attract a Diverse Workforce
If you are looking for diversity recruiting tips, then you should start by focusing on practices that will attract different groups of candidates. In addition, these practices will show your commitment to nurturing and building a diverse workforce that other talents want to join.
- Assess your web pages and other social platforms and revive how your company portrays itself
- Highlight positive equality statements within your company on your socials
- Include gender-neutral pronouns in the application process
- Be inclusive in the job descriptions. For instance, using gender-specific images could discourage some applicants.
Including these exercises will also ensure that you attract workers who align with the company culture and values.
14. Take an Individualized Approach
With the varying needs among workers, companies need to take an individualized approach instead of a broad perspective on DEI. An individualized approach will leave room for the company to focus on the needs of each employee. This approach will also help organizations to determine the DEI costs on an individual basis. However, we recognize that an individualized approach can be difficult to implement, especially for a large workforce. In this case, companies can have various focus groups or employee resource groups to ease access to each employee’s needs.
15. Offer Inclusive Benefits
One of the best strategies that will enable your organization to attract and retain talent is by offering inclusive benefits. These perks will make your workforce feel valued and reduce work and life stressors.
Ideas of inclusive benefits:
- Fertility perks for same-gender couples
- Parental leave for all parents
- Caregiving benefits
- Tuition assistance
- Daycare services
- Access to diverse healthcare providers
- Wellness benefits
With the many perks that companies can offer their employees, we encourage organizations to start by determining each worker’s preferences. A comprehensive employee benefits package will also improve your company culture and boost workers’ morale.
Here are more ideas for employee benefits packages and perks.
16. Embrace Diversity Discussions as Part of Doing Business
Embracing diverse business-related discussions is one of the best DEI tips for meetings for companies that want to capitalize on their workforce. You can encourage employees to share their perspectives while also being respectful to other diverse groups. For example, a single woman who is a caregiver might view a product differently than an employee from a specific religious affiliation. Such open discussions will enhance team bonding and also foster innovation in your workforce.
17. Design Inclusive Workplaces
An inclusively designed workplace is a space with usability and accessibility by all employees without needing workers to adapt to the environment. An inclusive design will provide an appropriate response to address diversities in your workforce. Be sure to design the workplace in a way that does not segregate any employee and is effective in creating an inclusive work environment.
Examples of inclusively-designed workplaces:
- Include ramps and stairs
- Provide suitable openings and door handles for workers with limited manual dexterity
- Have a thorough assessment of seating and workstations
- Have multi-sensory safety alarms
Other than designing a workplace to accommodate workers with disabilities, consider other factors such as sensitivity to light, noise, and air pollutants. For instance, you could design an open-plan office to enhance collaboration and creativity. However, some workers may find it difficult to be efficient given the constant noise and distractions. In this instance, you can provide a mix of open offices and smaller private spaces. Creating workplaces that accommodate all employees is a great example of an inclusive organization. An inclusive workplace will create a sense of belonging and reduce everyday frustrations.
18. Leverage DEI Professionals
One of the best inclusion and diversity tips for organizations that are introducing DEI strategies is leveraging professionals. While this idea can be costly, using DEI professionals can be a time-saving and effective strategy for DEI introduction. You could task these professionals with activities such as repairing or improving the DEI culture. If you do not have the funds to hire a professional occasionally, then you could start a DEI department and hire a qualified leader. Be sure to customize DEI-led training to your organization’s needs.
19. Be transparent about progress
Being transparent about the progress of your DEI strategies is a great way to foster inclusion in your organization. All stakeholders should not guess about DEI strategies or the progress of any efforts. Hence, be sure to communicate well-defined goals and progress. For instance, if your organization has a gap in designing inclusive spaces, you should communicate the progress as you seek to improve the environment. Regular celebrations are also a great way to encourage your workforce to support your DEI initiatives.
Without workplace diversity, equality, and inclusion, it would be difficult for organizations to benefit from a wider talent pool. In addition, organizations can serve their customers’ needs more effectively with a diverse workforce. However, companies often fail to align their workplace culture with DEI practices. Our list of DEI tips will help implement DEI ideas that will benefit all organizational stakeholders.
Next, check out our list of virtual diversity and inclusion activities for work, trust building activities and exercises for work teams, and books about diversity and equity at work.