Managing Diversity in the Workplace: Are You Building a Place of Belonging for Your Employees?

Managing Diversity in the Workplace: Are You Building a Place of Belonging for Your Employees?

With Employee Appreciation Day around the corner on March 1, it’s the perfect time to reflect on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEI or DEIB) in your organization. More and more, employees are looking for workplaces where their work, thoughts, and opinions are valued and they (and others) are respected as an integral part of the team.

A recent survey by Harvard Business Review stated that “97% of HR leaders say their organization has made changes that improved DEI but only 37% of employees strongly agree that their workplace has made these changes.” 

What can your organization do about this disconnect? In today’s rapidly changing workplace, the importance of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) cannot be overstated. It’s a strategic advantage that organizations can embrace to attract, develop and retain their best teams. In this article, we’ll explore how fostering a culture of belonging through DEI practices can unlock the full potential of your workforce by implementing practical strategies.

Discover how creating a culture of belonging leads to increased job satisfaction and engagement for employees, benefiting organizations with increased creativity, innovation, and problem-solving abilities, ultimately driving stronger business outcomes globally. 

1. Diversity

Diversity is the practice or quality of including people from a range of different social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds and of different genders, sexual orientations, etc. Workplace Diversity can be considered a trait of organizational culture and the composition of the workforce.


Managing Diversity in the Workplace

Diversity management in the workplace is the proactive effort taken by organizations to create a fair, inclusive and supportive environment that values the unique differences among its employees and helps them feel as though they belong. Positive and productive diversity management has been shown to build a culture of belonging which has many benefits to both the organization and its employees. 


How To Manage Diversity in the Workplace

A diverse workforce fosters a sense of belonging by promoting representation, inclusivity, understanding, innovation, and alignment with organizational values. Here are three tips that can guide you toward building and managing diversity within your organization.

1. Build Leadership Commitment and Diversity Among Leadership

To manage diversity in your organization, leaders must recognize and value the diverse skills, perspectives, and experiences that employees and leaders bring to the workplace. It is up to leaders to communicate the importance of diversity, set the tone for inclusion, and build and participate in the organization’s diversity initiatives. 

By prioritizing diverse leadership teams an organization can truly embrace and model an inclusive organizational culture.

2. Ensure Inclusive Recruitment Practices

Implement inclusive recruitment strategies to attract a diverse pool of candidates by creating an environment where every employee feels valued, respected, and included. This includes using objective behavioral assessments, removing biased language from job descriptions, building objective criteria for interviews and hiring decisions, and utilizing fair and diverse recruitment processes. 

3. Diversity Training

Provide diversity training for employees at all levels to raise awareness about biases, promote cultural competence, and emphasize the value of diversity in the workplace. Diverse representation acknowledges that different perspectives contribute to more well-rounded decision-making and organizational success.


2. Equity

Equity in the workplace is about ensuring all employees access the same opportunities, resources, and treatment. Equity means employees are valued based on their skills, knowledge, and abilities that they contribute, rather than their background or education.


How To Promote Equity in an Organization

Equity in an organization reinforces a sense of belonging by promoting fair treatment, inclusive policies, equal access to opportunities, recognition of diverse contributions, and trust in leadership from all employees. Here are key ways to build an equitable organization.

1. Equitable Access to Opportunities

Provide all employees with the same access to opportunities through fair hiring practices, promotions, and access to training and development programs. Ensure that employees receive fair and equitable compensation for their work, regardless of factors such as gender, race, or other protected groups. 

2. Inclusive Leadership Development 

Prioritize the development of inclusive leadership skills by providing resources and training specifically tailored for those in management positions. Encourage leaders to mentor team members and to recognize and challenge their own biases. This sets the tone for an inclusive culture and ensures that decision-making reflects a wide array of perspectives.

3. Accountability and Transparency 

Establish transparent systems for accountability to ensure equity goals are met. This can include regular reporting on diversity metrics, creating feedback loops between employees and leadership, and holding managers accountable for the progress in their respective departments. Transparency not only facilitates trust but also empowers employees to be part of the solution.


3. Inclusion

Inclusion is the intentional and active effort to create a supportive and welcoming environment that values and respects the diversity of all employees. It goes beyond just tolerance and aims to embrace the unique backgrounds, perspectives, and contributions of every individual. 


How to Build an Inclusive Organization:

An inclusive organization encourages a sense of belonging by valuing diverse perspectives, ensuring equal access to opportunities, and fostering open communication. 

The significance of diversity and inclusion is highlighted by the 42% of U.S. employees who prioritize these values when considering new employment opportunities (source). 

To build an organization that values inclusion, adopt the following 3 key strategies:

1. Cultivate Openness and Collaboration

An inclusive culture thrives on open and collaborative communication, allowing employees to share ideas and concerns freely. Facilitate this by maintaining transparent communication channels, including employees in decision-making processes, and providing opportunities for team building and knowledge sharing.

2. Select and Develop Leaders Using Behavioral Assessments

Behavioral assessments can identify individuals with leadership potential, and screen in candidates who may have been overlooked due to previous opportunities (or lack thereof), age, ethnicity, gender or more. By using non-biased tools like TalentClick’s assessments, employers can evaluate candidates’ likelihood of fostering an inclusive environment.

TalentClick’s Co-founder and Chief Product Officer, Stephen Race, has been working with a leading Medical Institution. In a round of hiring new surgical residents, the institution used TalentClick behavioral assessments in their hiring process and highlighted that this year’s new residents were the most diverse group they’ve hired. The finalists in the selection process included more females and racial/ethnic minorities than in any previous year.

“We measure traits common across populations, not based on experience, race, or gender.”
Stephen Race, TalentClick Co-Founder


3. Value and Recognize Individual Contributions

Employees are significantly more engaged when they feel recognized—a staggering 20-fold increase according to Gallup research. Personalized and public recognition reinforces employees’ worth and reinforces their role in the organization’s success.


Belonging & Employee Engagement: The Outcome of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Managing DEIB within your organization enables the creation of a workplace that thrives on diversity, fairness, inclusivity, and a culture of belonging. Organizations that take an active role in engaging in DEIB reap the benefits of innovation and creativity, enhanced engagement and retention, improved ability to attract and retain top talent, and strengthened decision-making and problem-solving by creating a resilient organizational culture (source).

And, when employees feel as though they belong and that their voices matter, they:

  • Are more likely to be engaged in their work (source)
  • Are often more motivated and productive (source)
  • Feel confident giving their perspectives, which stimulates creativity and innovation (source)
  • Are more likely to stay in an environment where they feel valued, resulting in less turnover (source)
  • Are more likely to be emotionally invested in their work and workplace, leading to less absenteeism (source)
  • Lower risk of safety incidents by 40% and a boost in productivity by 12% (source)

How can you help your organization actively engage in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB), given its numerous advantages?

Change and growth take time. To ensure your efforts are effective and that employees feel a sense of belonging in your organization, check in with them using proven metrics such as TalentClick’s Employee Engagement Survey which includes a measure of how employees see DEI initiatives at their workplace, specifically how they view senior management’s efforts to foster a diverse and inclusive environment.


DEIB in Talent Acquisition and Management

To build an inclusive culture, and a place of belonging among employees, it is important for organizations to truly understand the value of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) in the workplace. To maintain a productive, engaged, and innovative workforce, DEIB initiatives are essential in talent acquisition and management.

It is important for organizations to not only adopt DEIB strategies but also consistently gauge their effectiveness among employees. Employee assessments serve as an excellent foundation, not only for building a workforce aligned with the right values but also to check in and see if employees genuinely perceive and experience a sense of belonging in a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace.

Get started today! Book a demo of TalentClick’s Employee Engagement Survey.