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Interested in implementing DEI into your workplace but need more information first? No problem! Creating and managing a successful diversity, equity and inclusion process in the office requires a strategic and multi-pronged approach. Below are some frequently asked questions that address DEI so you have a better understanding of what it is and how it can benefit your work environment.

Q: What is DEI?

A: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) is a term used to describe programs and policies that encourage representation and participation of diverse groups of people. This includes not only people of different genders, races and ethnicities, abilities and disabilities, religions, cultures, ages, and sexual orientations, but also those with diverse backgrounds, experiences, skills and expertise. A recent study showed that organizations with inclusive cultures are 6x more likely to be innovative and agile than those with non-inclusive cultures.

Q: What are the benefits of DEI?

A: Studies show that DEI drives employee productivity and performance, fosters creativity and innovation, grows a company’s talent pool, reduces employee turnover, and increases profits and grows a company’s market. In fact, companies with above-average diversity scores see 19% more “innovation revenue” (revenue generated from improved or entirely new products) than those with below-average diversity scores. Additionally, 67% of job seekers say a diverse workforce is a crucial factor when evaluating job offers and ultimately choosing employment.

Q: How do I implement DEI in my office?

A: Hiring employees with diverse backgrounds and promoting diversity initiatives is a great first step. Not only can you begin to grow your team by encouraging talent from people with different races, ages and sexual orientations, you can also strengthen your current team by encouraging team members to work on a project with someone from a different department or someone with a different skill set. A recent study showed that companies with more diverse and inclusive teams have 22% lower turnover rates than those without.

Q: What does DEI address in the workplace?

A: Through a DEI perspective, organizational leaders can address issues in their workplace networks and how these might negatively affect current and future team members. Such issues can include unconscious bias (learned attitudes or stereotypes that exist in our subconscious and can involuntarily affect the way we think and act), racism, bullying, civility, respect, and more. In the professional world, this could affect the way someone might hire, interact with, and make business decisions. If not addressed, these biases can negatively impact the company’s work culture and dynamics within team members.

Q: What are Structural Initiatives a company can put in place?

A: Structural Initiatives are ways to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. These can include the creation of a diversity task force, creating employee resource groups, and providing training to combat at-work biases. A 2019 study showed that inclusive companies are 3.8x more likely to be able to coach people for improved performance, 3.6x better able to deal with personnel performance problems, and 2.9x more likely to identify and build leaders.

Q: How can DEI be measured?

A: DEI can be monitored by tracking retention, turnover and employee satisfaction rates. Companies can also include DEI initiatives in the overall company strategic plan and as part of performance reviews. It’s also important to note that DEI is an ongoing process that requires constant management and dedication.

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