The diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) space at workplaces is always evolving. As organizations focus on creating a diverse and inclusive workplace, they need to keep up with the trends to be an employer of choice while achieving business goals.
Here are four DEI trends organizations should try and incorporate in 2023.
Business impact of ERGs
In the past, DEI initiatives such as Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) analyzed metrics, such as employee engagement and employee retention, to gauge the ERG’s effectiveness. In 2023, given the climate, DEI initiatives are expected to deliver results that directly impact company revenue and culture. Dedicated Business Resource Groups (BRGs) that work closely with other departments such as product development, marketing and sales provide valuable insights which help improve overall strategy. They are assigned business goals just like any other company vertical and can be tracked through ERG management software. BRGs also help rework policies to be more inclusive and open a window into the lesser known challenges of underrepresented or marginalized groups. Such policies can attract and retain top talent and save company funds in employee turnover costs.
Adapting inclusive language implies being mindful about the words used at the workplace in relation to gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, neurodiversity, and genesis, while proactively altering presumptuous language. Employers that promote inclusive language create a safe environment for a diverse workforce. Instances of inclusive language include adopting pronouns that affirm employee identity, by allowing employees to choose pronouns; avoiding words that stereotype gender and ethnicity (for example “maternity leave” and not “family leave”); and ensuring company policies and process documentation have gender-neutral language. Organizations should also focus on guiding employees on the do’s and don’ts to bring about a cultural shift. Company leaders should pave the way by leading by example. Employees should also be sensitized that there is a learning curve involved in this shift, and that feedback must be gentle and informative.
Recognizing generational diversity
In the year 2023, the active workforce consists of multiple generations - Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z. Recognizing this diversity and harnessing its potential will make organizations stand out from the rest. Every generation has its unique characteristics as well as shortfalls. Setting up multi-generational teams for projects will provide a 360 degree perspective on problem-solving utilizing the strengths of each generation, while also allowing generations to learn from each other. The experience of Baby Boomers and Gen X when juxtaposed with the technology-oriented innovative ideas of Millennials and Gen Z can lead to solutions with a competitive edge. For generational diversity to flourish in an organization, an understanding of each generation, and their style of work, is essential. Mentoring and reverse mentoring programs benefit multigenerational teams to learn from one another’s strengths. The recruitment process should also be void of ageism to allow a mix of generations to organically enter the workforce.
Giving a voice to intersectionality
Employees can belong to two or more underrepresented groups; this crossover of being a member of two marginalized communities is called intersectionality. The employees that belong to intersectionality in diversity face different challenges than those in their parent groups. Examples of intersectionality are women who belong to the LGBTQ+ community, Black veterans, Black women, BIPOC with disabilities, and many more. According to the World Economic Forum, these employees face greater pay inequality, receive fewer mentorship opportunities, and are more likely to be experience sexual harassment at the workplace. Companies need to highlight the challenges faced by these employees, and empower a change to support these additional obstacles. Advanced ERG management tools like Teleskope Affinities have the functionality to help empower intersectionality through features such as group hierarchies or sub-groups within ERGs.
These trends can be easily integrated into existing DEI programs by using software solutions such as Teleskope’s suite of products which allow for a high level of customization.