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While a successful diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) program can boost competitiveness and profitability, many organizations still grapple with getting it right.
Enter employee engagement software—the secret weapon to champion and bolster DE&I initiatives from hiring to daily operations.
Whether it’s recruiting, onboarding or keeping the team engaged, an employee engagement software brings crucial insights and support to create a workplace that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. Armed with data and analytics, HR teams can spot opportunities, track progress, and make smart, data-driven calls to back up DE&I goals.
In this blog, we dive deep into how HR teams can develop DE&I initiatives in the workplace and how an employee engagement software can be the driving force behind achieving them.
But before that, let’s start with the basics.
Why Organizations Need DE&I Initiatives
DE&I initiatives aren’t just about ethics, they are imperative for the success of any business. While many companies approach DE&I from a compliance and reputation standpoint, the benefits extend well beyond that for overall employee performance.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, numerous studies highlight that employee diversity correlates with higher innovation, growth, engagement, and customer service. A McKinsey research emphasizes the significance of these differences, especially at the executive level. Companies in the top quartile for executive gender equality are 25% more likely to outperform their counterparts, and those in the top quartile for executive ethnic diversity are 36% more likely to achieve above-average performance.
Despite the growing importance of workplace diversity, there has been slow progress in increasing diversity in executive teams.
Given these insights, organizations across industries are now seeing the value in prioritizing DE&I initiatives. Integrating these efforts into broader organizational leadership and workforce development programs proves particularly effective. An employee engagement software can be your best bet to incorporate DE&I initiatives across the employee lifecycle.
Below are key steps on how to develop solid DE&I initiatives
Step 1: Gather Data
The first step is to ensure you have enough data by measuring and benchmarking the diversity of your current workforce to pinpoint areas of concern and monitor trends. In addition to basic data, consider factors such as learning style, personality type and life experience.
While certain data may be available easily, others may require voluntary self-identification that can pose challenges. This is because some employees may be hesitant to share private information, particularly if employers lack transparency about data collection and usage. In such cases, it helps to employ technologies like employee engagement software that are designed for handling anonymous employee feedback.
Step 2: Identify Concerns and Set Goals
Equipped with data on your workforce and company culture, you can now pinpoint areas for enhancement and craft a purposeful D&I initiative. Examine demographics to spot concerns like gender equality or underrepresented areas paying close attention to specific locations, departments, and positions. These gaps provide valuable insights into your company’s distinct DE&I initiatives challenges.
If employee perceptions align with the outcomes of your review, it indicates you are heading in the right direction. However, if there is a lack of resonance, further research may be required to understand the discrepancy—and potentially, explore alternative research methods.
Step 3: Focus on Solid Recruitment Strategies
An important step towards fostering DE&I initiatives is by recruiting from a broad candidate pool. An employee engagement software plays a key role here in expanding the outreach of your recruitment through job board integrations, social media recruiting, and optimizing career sites.
Additionally, employee engagement software contributes to equitable hiring by enabling blind practices, removing identifiable details from resumes to minimize unconscious bias. These tools support an inclusive hiring journey. They also standardize the interview process, mitigating the influence of subjective criteria and ensuring a fair evaluation for all candidates.
Step 4: Create Robust Performance Management Strategies
Tools like employee engagement software play a vital role in advancing DE&I initiatives, particularly in employee performance management. Through consistent feedback, transparent goal-setting and pinpointing areas for improvement, HR tools make employees feel valued and supported. Additionally, the software offers valuable data and insights on employee performance metrics, allowing organizations to recognize patterns and trends. This empowers them to take proactive measures to address any biases or disparities that may arise.
HR tools also play a pivotal role in building ongoing conversations between managers and employees, championing equity and inclusivity. Beyond traditional annual performance reviews, these tools offer features for continuous feedback, coaching, and development. Additionally, HR systems standardize the performance evaluation process, diminishing the influence of subjective criteria and championing fairness and objectivity.
Step 5: Encourage Employee Engagement
Employee engagement is an important step in DE&I initiatives. An employee engagement software motivates employees through features for recognition, rewards, and development. Furthermore, the tools enable regular check-ins and an open dialogue to enhance overall workplace satisfaction.
It facilitates 1:1 meetings and conversations between employees and managers, helping build a people-first culture. It also calculates department-specific metrics, including engagement scores and attrition rates to determine employee satisfaction.
Tips to Pick Right Employee Engagement Software for DE&I
When choosing an employee engagement software for DE&I initiatives, several factors need to be considered. Here are some practical guidelines to bear in mind:
- Get Key Stakeholder Buy-in: Ensure success of your DE&I initiatives by involving key stakeholders such as senior management, HR leaders, IT staff, and representatives from employee groups in the selection and implementation process.
- Assess Vendor DE&I Practices: Evaluate employee engagement software vendors by scrutinizing their diversity, equity, and inclusion practices. Check whether they are covering areas like hiring, recruitment and community engagement.
- Check Software Accessibility: The software must be accessible to all employees. This means testing if it is accessible to those with disabilities. You can check by testing features like screen readers, alternative text, and keyboard navigation.
- Train Users: Promote effective use of the employee engagement software for DE&I initiatives by providing training on unconscious bias, inclusive language, and cultural awareness.
In addition to these tips, consider the scalability and flexibility of the chosen employee engagement software. Ensure that it can adapt to the evolving needs of your organization and accommodate future growth. Customization options should be explored to align the software with your unique employee performance goals and strategies.
Moreover, look for software solutions that foster inclusivity in their user interface and design. An intuitive interface that considers diverse user needs enhances accessibility and usability across the organization. Prioritize software vendors that demonstrate a commitment to ongoing support, updates and responsiveness to user feedback.
To further enhance employee engagement, explore features that facilitate communication and collaboration. Go for tools that support transparent communication, real-time feedback, and virtual collaboration spaces. These elements contribute to an inclusive work environment, fostering engagement among employees with varying backgrounds and preferences.
A key step in developing Diversity Equity and Inclusion initiatives is acquiring the right employee engagement software that can offer the right support. While picking the software, consider not only the immediate needs but also the long-term objectives of your organization.
Tools like Akrivia HCM with in-built employee engagement software boost DE&I initiatives like never before. It enables you to measure, engage and drive employee experience. You can conduct anonymous conversations with your employees, identify areas of improvement, and create an action plan to build robust DE&I initiatives.