▪ DEI is shorthand for: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Left fermenting or ignored, racial and other biases, such as gender, ethnicity, culture in short, biases against classes of people can stymie: organizational diversity, talent acquisition, retaining top performers, and strategies to increase innovation productivity. Hence biases are a destructive force within the workplace. Equally detrimental to workplace productivity and team performance is banishing or minimizing the value of DEI programs. These programs enhance the quality of employee relationships, foster teamwork, and are components of the engine that ignite prolific potential within the workplace.
To help employees value diversity and anti-bias programs, managers must aspire to be anti bias and DEI practitioners. They must also inspire workers by setting the organization’s policy tone. Managers have to be intolerant of racial, gender and other cultural biases in ways that inspire compliance. Biases are not going to go away on their own – in fact they probably never will. So, the question managers face is, what is their tolerance level? To this end, what managers should seek to recognize and put in check is their own biases – furthermore, they should make a conscious effort to be sensitive to the biases their employees face on a daily basis.
Secondly, managers must be fact-based-cognizant when assessing to what degree their organization lacks: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: they have to assess, reassess, and manage progress towards established quantifiable objectives rather than unsubstantiated general qualitative assertions about their organization’s DEI climate.
Thirdly, C-Suite Executives, Top Managers and Key Leaders at every level must assess the climate, must not be oversensitive, defensive, or worse yet incompetent, when examining their own biases and that of their organizations’. Their actions in this regard should include: investments in DEI education, developing mentorship programs, talent acquisition strategies and taking other steps that demonstrate the importance of DEI from the highest to the lowest levels of an organization.
The concept of DEI and workplace equity is constantly evolving, and managers have to stay current with Industry best practices. Armed with this knowledge, executives must educate their employees and demonstrate how DEI programs can positively impact their domestic and international operations? Their organizations have to conclude that they are all in…and their DEI policies and personal actions have to model this call to action.