- D, E, I, and Why They Matter?
- What To Consider When Creating A Diverse and Inclusive Workplace?
- How To Cultivate Inclusive Workplace Practices In The Organization?
The world around us is growing more diverse by the day, and so is your workforce. You may employ people who emigrated from another country, practice various religions, enjoy different lifestyles, and more.
The key to getting the most out of all your diverse workforce has to offer is to create a space where people feel welcome and safe. But if your office is a melting pot of diversity, as a result of your effective employee outreach efforts. Now, how can you ensure everyone feels respected and protected in your organization?
You can celebrate and support the employees that keep your organization going and growing by working to promote diversity and inclusive workplace practices in your organization by using DEI principles.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss
D, E & I workplaces and their importance
What to consider when planning to cultivate inclusive workplace practices?
How to create an inclusive workplace?
Let’s Get Started
D, E, I, and Why They Matter?
An HR Pro like you is probably familiar with DEI already. But a quick refresher never hurts.
DEI stands for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Many people think of DEI only when thumbing through resumes. But DEI isn’t just looking outward by hiring applicants, it is also looking at your organization and judging if your workplace is inclusive enough.
An inclusive workplace is an office that is both physically and mentally safe for people of all backgrounds, cultures, and lifestyles. This can look different for each organization, depending on the various needs of their employees, but there are some basic legal principles everyone must follow to cultivate inclusive workplace practices in the organization.
Organizations that don’t monitor DEI compliance can expect steep consequences. For example, take the case of Google when it had to pay a 118 million dollar settlement for gender-based pay discrimination when some of their female employees filed a class action lawsuit for being paid less than their male counterparts. Unless you work for Google, you have very different problems.
If your organization gains a reputation for not striving to cultivate inclusive workplace practices, you may experience trouble recruiting and retaining talent. This means you’re missing out on the diverse and valuable perspectives of potential employees.
You could also attract the wrong attention from government agencies and get fined for non-compliance with DEI legislation. The consequences of failing to promote diversity and inclusive workplace practices can destroy the reputation and productivity of a small to mid-size organization.
For something so important, making sure you’re informed is key to your continued success. So what do you need to know?
What To Consider When Creating A Diverse and Inclusive Workplace?
An organization that strives constantly to cultivate inclusive workplace practices within it isn’t just good for keeping your employees happy, it’s also a compliance necessity. Over recent decades the government has passed legislation to protect people from discrimination in the workplace.
These acts carry heavy consequences if you don’t comply. So it is vital that you recognize them and understand their purpose.
The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 introduced a minimum wage and overtime requirements and prohibited child labor.
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 amended the fair labor standards act to protect against wage discrimination based on gender. This prohibits employers from discriminating against men and women through wages.
The Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, gender, religion, and national origin.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act(ADEA) of 1967 prohibits employers from refusing employment to those aged 40 and older due to their age.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit employers from discriminating on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions.
The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits employers from discriminating against disabled persons.
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) prohibits discrimination against certain genetic information for employment and health coverage reasons. An insurance company cannot refuse an employee coverage on their health plan if their DNA contains a marker that indicates they may eventually develop Alzheimer’s disease.
Alongside these acts, consider the needs of your employees specifically as an effort to cultivate inclusive workplace practices in the organization.
Not every class is protected by law, so it’s up to you to watch out for the employees in your care. You can’t exactly ask personal questions to the employees about their medical issues, religious observances, etc.
What you can do is prepare yourself for the most common needs and pay close attention if an employee speaks up.
Dietary restrictions are common and can be easy to spot. If you notice an employee struggling to place their lunch in the fridge, ask yourself why. Is it a simple issue of space, or something requiring accommodation?
Some people who practice Islam can’t put their food near that is not halal, which means “permissible” in Arabic. That employee may feel severely limited by a fridge used by people who don’t eat only halal foods.
If your employee can’t use the fridge, they may grow frustrated that they lack access to a basic commodity everyone else uses freely. You can’t tell everyone to eat only halal foods so one person can use the fridge.
So what is an equitable solution to promote diversity and inclusive workplace practices in the organization? One solution may be getting a mini fridge for halal food, or if your budget is tight, consider cleaning and dedicating a specific drawer or shelf in your fridge so your Muslim employees can bring their lunches without fear or frustration.
Keep in mind that religion is a protected class under Title VII of the civil rights Act of 1964. While you don’t have to provide accommodation for halal dietary restrictions, you can’t discriminate against those needs.
Be careful when making accommodations to keep everything above board, so you don’t run the risk of non-compliance. Making an effort to improve DEI in your office can show employees that their comfort truly matters.
Now that you know what a diverse and inclusive workplace looks like, let’s discuss how to create it.
How To Cultivate Inclusive Workplace Practices In The Organization?
Let’s start with making a checklist. An inclusivity checklist can create, ensure that everything gets done decrease room for air, create a positive experience for you and your employees, and can even add creativity and diversity to your ideas.
So what should your checklist include?
Any necessary government information. Think about compliance. Do you need certain workplace posters and visible places? Companies subject to the fair labor standards act must have posters about the federal minimum wage on display for their employees.
There are also several fundamental changes to employment law that may affect your organization in 2023.
In October 2022, the equal employment opportunity commission or EEOC published a revised mandatory workplace poster on workers’ rights. You should make sure this updated poster is prominently displayed at your organization and updated everywhere you link to it online.
The Speak Out Act will ban the enforcement of pre-employment non-disclosure agreements(NDA) for sexual misconduct in the workplace. If your culture guide or onboarding process includes this type of NDA, it’s best to remove it now.
These examples aren’t everything that you need to know. There are many different requirements for different industries, and some requirements even differ by state.
Keep up to date on compliance requirements so have the best foundation to cultivate inclusive workplace practices. If you’re worried about making sure your employees know this important information, don’t worry!
You can add some of this legal info to your culture guide so your employees know you’re on top of things and feel supported.
If they see your organization has to make an effort to inform everyone of their legal rights, they may feel your organization is more trustworthy.
Double Checking The Inclusivity Measures Already In Place
If you already have an elevator to aid disabled employees, give a quick check that it’s in good working order, or if you have an office supply order form, make sure employees know that they can add items to accommodate their needs like if they need a more ergonomic keyboard, mouse, office chair, etc.
If you have a workplace statement on culture and religion, brush it up to make sure it still captures your organization’s dedication to an inclusive environment. Sometimes, a statement that was perfect five years ago doesn’t hold up as well today, so it’s worth taking a look.
Research New Measures You May Want To Consider Adding
Many organizations are enhancing their competitive edge by introducing new and improved DEI efforts to promote diversity and inclusive workplace practices. For some organizations, this means providing feminine products in shared bathrooms.
Others may offer desks that can adjust a standing position so employees can choose whether to sit or stand at their desks for their own comfort.
There are many different ways to cultivate inclusive workplace practices and improve inclusivity. once your checklist is complete, evaluate what you have accomplished. You could send out a survey to see if everyone feels comfortable and looked after by your inclusivity policies.
What’s most important, is that your improvements are successful and you can only discover that by asking the employees themselves
Surveys are a great tool to gauge employee satisfaction. You can use a survey platform that allows you to send surveys and receive results to make better-informed decisions for your organization. You can use features like this to check that your employees are comfortable and safe in the workplace you have built.
Are you still concerned? That’s okay. Creating an inclusive workplace can be stressful and difficult. Try checking with an employment attorney about all measures you have and what they recommend you add. Bringing in outside ideas may be just what you need to make sure your organization is always improving
There are many benefits when you cultivate inclusive workplace practices in your organization. One of the biggest ones is how it can improve your office culture. A good company culture provides the right environment for your employees to be motivated and productive.
In this blog post, we’ve covered everything you need to know about methods to promote diverse and inclusive workplace practices from legal compliance to creative brainstorming for ideas in your own office.
We also refreshed your understanding of DEI principles and reminded you of key legislation that protects your employees and your organization.
When you work to cultivate inclusive workplace practices, it creates an environment where your diverse employees have the opportunity to work and the freedom to contribute their unique perspectives.