When it comes to hot topics in the HR sphere, DEI is no stranger to that category. But why does it remain top of mind, year after year in companies worldwide? Well, it all comes down to employees feeling like they belong, allowing for engagement and retention in the long run.
If we were paying attention, this is a lesson that Disney taught us back in the day! Hercules himself (the cartoon version) sang: “I would go most anywhere to feel like I belong”. And so would company employees. If they feel like they don’t belong, they’ll find another organization where they fit right in.
To avoid further turnover and create a culture of inclusion and belonging in the workforce, it’s important to establish that DEI initiatives don’t just start and end when recruiting and hiring candidates: they need to be a company-wide objective in order to achieve equal opportunities and an inclusive workforce. After all, it’s not just us saying it. Seventy-five percent of employees think more diversity is needed, so evidently, there’s room for improvement.
Technology can be your greatest ally when it comes to implementing DEI strategies at a company-wide level, that allow each and every employee to feel they’re not just a cog in a machine but an essential and valued member of their team and the entire organization.
Driving DEI through Avature
Inclusive hiring is just the beginning. In order to apply a cohesive DEI plan that runs throughout the entire process from hiring to retiring, you need a platform that can help carry the weight. That’s where we come in. Here are a few of the ways in which our extensive platform, through its comprehensive solutions, can help turn DEI into an integrated part of your company culture.
Foster a Diverse Community
In order to enrich your diversity and inclusion efforts and build a sense of belonging, you need to lay a foundation in which to foster an ever-growing diverse community where every individual has the chance to have a say in a safe space.
Where better to start building this strong foundation than before a future employee even starts working for you! An onboarding solution enables your company to welcome them through a tailored onboarding portal, where they’ll be able to find information on their team, company values and their onboarding buddies.
They can also find videos from company employees that give them an inside look and make them feel less adrift in such a tumultuous time and, when coupled with a social employee engagement solution, such as Avature DNA, an array of options is made available, where they can explore content and diversity stories.
This way of showcasing content through storytelling can be a powerful tool to connect people and generate awareness and empathy. With Avature DNA, you can spotlight specific DEI stories from employees, making an impact on the workforce and allowing representation and belonging to be front and center.
Through an employee engagement hub, your workforce can also create groups related to specific interests and allow employees to find where they most feel welcomed, sharing everything from memes to hot topic debates. One example could be a group for women in the company, where they can share tips and find mentors. This has been a great success for us here at Avature!
“During women’s month we got together with the excuse of a social media initiative. The exchange was amazing and in the end, it seemed like we were very grateful to have had the opportunity to talk. We realized then that it was important for us to enable a more permanent dialogue, and that we wanted to spread the word because probably there are more Avaturian-women interested in this type of initiative. That’s when we decided to create what we like to call “a conversatory of women for women” (we use an inclusive definition of women). One space for us to encounter and connect, sharing experiences, ideas and reflections with gender perspective.”
– Barbara Engelen, Internal Training Manager at Avature.
Building a workforce that also feels like a community can be achieved by reaching out to employees and letting them engage in a space where they don’t feel judged or overlooked.
“It’s important to enable these spaces for recognition. A place where we can meet with others who have similar experiences or tastes. To be able to talk about what happens to us and read about others who have gone or are going through the same thing, without feeling that there is a possibility of being judged. Speak freely, build community and belonging.”
– Gabriela Fourcade, Marketing Team Lead, Sponsored Events at Avature.
Communicate Your DEI Initiatives
What’s the point of implementing DEI initiatives if your workforce isn’t aware of them? There are many different ways you can reach your employees to showcase your diversity and inclusion programs, opportunities and much more.
Celebrate your workforce through an employee engagement solution, where you can communicate with the company and highlight the efforts and achievements of fellow colleagues through praises and comments that can be shared publicly, creating and inspiring an inclusive work culture.
Use this platform to promote events and gatherings too, building relationships between employees that may not necessarily interact on a daily basis and therefore drive a more inclusive company culture. You can invite employees to a lunch series where they have a chance to meet people in diverse teams, promote an internal sporting event where everyone can get involved and even let people know about DEI-related events they may find interesting, like webinars.
With a comprehensive platform that allows for the collection of employee information and data, you’ll be able to understand who they are and where they want to go. Pair this with powerful segmentation capabilities and you can tailor the content presented to them to keep the experience constantly relevant to them.
Through branded email campaigns, you’ll enable a communication channel in which your workforce can learn all about specific DEI initiatives you’re putting in place. You can also send surveys or forms in which they can provide feedback about these efforts.
Underrepresented minorities can sometimes feel that internal opportunities are not an option for them and sometimes access to equal opportunities isn’t always made available. When it comes to letting URMs know about career opportunities and advancements inside the company, you’ll be able to promote open positions and recommendations through your internal marketplace and internal mobility solution.
Using targeted adverts that showcase interesting internal opportunities can specifically encourage groups of URMs to apply to them, enabling the benefit of a more diverse workforce and leveling the playing field, opening doors for everyone.
Measure Your Diversity and Inclusion Efforts and Track Results
Diversity can mean different things to different companies and it’s important to have configurable technology in place that you can adapt to your specific strategies. Once you’ve defined what DEI success means to you and what your company goals are regarding diversity, it’s essential that all your efforts are being measured with a tool that will allow for results to be tracked and data to be analyzed.
A diversity dashboard can serve as a visual aid for HR teams, managers and executive leadership to evaluate all diversity and inclusion efforts in place. And in Avature, you can create dashboards for each stakeholder group, showing only the KPIs relevant to them, personalizing the goals measured and setting filters according to what they need to view. This enables a deeper understanding of where to tweak or improve what is already in place as well as evaluating what is lacking.
You’ll be able to hold leadership accountable and make them aware of the company’s DEI situation by scheduling reports and sending them on a regular basis so these diversity and inclusion KPIs remain a focus.
There is no one-size-fits-all way of implementing DEI initiatives. But there is one platform that can open up an endless amount of possibilities for your diversity and inclusion efforts, with solutions working together to create a comprehensive DEI ecosystem. Once goals are set, the only limit is the amount of creativity and thoughtfulness that goes into it.
It’s time to embrace the help that technology brings by implementing a one-platform approach to grow as an inclusive workforce and as a diverse community, celebrating differences and empowering everyone by letting them know they belong. And don’t forget: once the papers are signed and offers are accepted, the DEI journey is just beginning.