DEI Tools used by DEI Team members
Imagine a typical workday for an employee who volunteers for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives such as managing an Employee Resource Group (ERG). Apart from the day-to-day applications such as email, chat, drives and trackers, they also use spreadsheets for ERG work and manually send out communication and newsletters to ERG members. Sending out invites for ERG events and tracking the RSVPs is another challenge altogether. The woes don’t end here. Any type of training or mentoring programs within the scope of DEI requires a different application.
As roles and responsibilities evolved in the DEI space, so did the technological requirements. Unfortunately, organizations went on a tool-buying spree over the past few years in an attempt to solve every new problem that arose in managing DEI initiatives. This has led to an array of alarmingly common challenges.
Too many tools and applications to perform tasks can lead to tool fatigue among employees. Learning how to use the different tools is time consuming. Accessing different information from different tools and combining that information to form meaningful insights is not an easy task. Switching between different applications can be exhausting and cause the productivity of employees to plummet.
As a result of using different tools, information is often siloed. When DEI data, specifically ERG data, is spread out among different applications, it is difficult to get a consolidated view of the impact of DEI initiatives on the workplace. ERG administrators and leads struggle to track data metrics and publish comprehensive reports. ERG members or end users do not have a single source of truth. New joiners also suffer from information overload when introduced to different tools and struggle to find data and resources when they need them.
As the number of applications and tools increase, so does the rigidity of an invisible yet complex structure. Tools become associated with one or two features they offer in solving DEI problems. However, these tools do not offer any agility in performing other tasks which would lessen the burden of introducing more applications. This also leads to inflexibility among administrators, leads and users as they become accustomed to this set-up and become averse to change.
Cost and ROI
When tools and applications are purchased to solve specific problems, they do not cost much individually. However, year on year renewals of multiple applications adds up to a significant amount. Organizations fail to conduct audits on the usage of these applications and the return on investment (ROI) they offer and end up spending excessively instead of investing in a consolidated agile platform.
Organizations do not realize that they are potentially compromising on their data security by engaging in multiple standalone tools. Each tool poses a data security risk and is another entry point for external attacks. As the number of applications increases so does the vulnerability of company data.
The changing nature of the workplace
Workplaces are transforming. With new generations entering the workforce, the expectations from what a workplace and an employer is changing. Employees are looking for more than a paycheck. They want to be associated with organizations that align with their values. They are looking for a sense of belonging and community. Diversity, equality and inclusion play an important role in choosing their employer. When the technology solutions for DEI initiatives are not integrated or visible to employees, it alienates top talent and adversely affects employee engagement and retention.
It is time for organizations to take a step back and evaluate the tools they are currently using and accept if a change is needed. Tools need to empower DEI managers, not overwhelm them.
Many Fortune 500 companies have switched to agile unified platforms like Teleskope and have embraced the future of workplaces - employee communities. Teleskope’s all-in-one platform can been customized to support many use cases and industry-specific requirements in Employee Resource Group Management, Mentoring, Learning & Development, Office Communication, Frontline Employee Engagement and much more.