Recommended actions: how employers can move the needle on DEI
DEI has varying impacts across the workforce: some employees appreciate their organization’s efforts, while others remain skeptical and may even feel threatened by large-scale change. Only by embedding DEI into the culture and employee experience can employers address these sensitivities and – most importantly – drive lasting change.
Because of the far-reaching impacts, DEI strategies should be planned and coordinated at the enterprise level. But they must also actively engage employees at every level of the organization. Thus, change efforts must be gauged to address both individual behaviors and organizational systems, particularly in five key areas:
High-profile, senior-level advocacy for a purpose-led DEI vision should be supported by metrics, incentives and reporting structures so leaders “live the values.” Equipping and empowering middle management (e.g., through inclusivity and conflict management training) reinforces the day-to-day relevance and importance of DEI. Similarly, leadership development and diverse sponsorship programs can promote diversity at the executive level.