May 16, 2023
If you are an HR leader, you are likely finding yourself in the position of defending all of your hard work. With the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, widespread layoffs and the rising scrutiny of DEI initiatives, it may be time to start collecting some proof for your initiatives. In this new blog series, we will be presenting a major argument in favor of DEI initiatives. Everything from increased bottom line to better employee engagement, we will spend the next few blogs arming you with knowledge for when it comes time to defend your work.
Let’s start with an overview of what is happening socially right now. The layoffs are widespread. It’s no secret. Every news source, article and tweet these days seems to be talking about the thousands of people who are losing their jobs. While much of the focus has been on tech, they are not the only companies participating in large-scale layoffs. So far in 2023, it is estimated that there have already been north of 123,000 layoffs in the tech industry, in addition to the nearly 100,000 laid off last year. (Source)
These large scale tech layoffs have had a negative impact on DEI efforts, namely in the form of laying off the employees who champion the efforts (source). Whether you are concerned that your company is considering slashing the DEI budget or, at worst, laying off employees who own your DEI efforts, this blog is here to help.
Today, we will focus on how DEI efforts benefit the business itself - whether that be an increased bottom line or higher productivity. In the next installment of this blog, we will discuss how DEI efforts positively impact employees. And finally, our third installment of this blog will discuss the most cost effective DEI initiatives your company can take during this economic downturn.
Alright, time to get into the research. Here are our top 5 pieces of proof showing that DEI initiatives are absolutely beneficial to businesses as a whole.
One of the most significant benefits of DEI initiatives is that they can have a positive impact on a company's bottom line. According to this study by McKinsey & Company, companies in the top quartile for gender and ethnic diversity are more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians. The study found that companies with more diverse workforces were more innovative, leading to higher revenue and increased profits. Furthermore, companies with a more diverse workforce are better positioned to attract top talent from different backgrounds, which can lead to greater innovation and improved financial performance.
Your argument: the research is clear on this one: a more diverse workforce can lead to a stronger bottom line.
DEI initiatives can also increase employee productivity by creating a more inclusive and welcoming workplace. When employees feel valued and included, they are more likely to be engaged in their work and have a greater sense of loyalty to their employer. According to this study by Deloitte, inclusive teams outperform their peers by 80% in team-based assessments. Inclusive teams also experience a 50% increase in team collaboration and are more likely to stay with their current employer.
Your argument: DEI initiatives can lead to more engaged and productive employees, which can improve the overall performance of a business.
DEI initiatives can also improve innovation by fostering a more diverse and inclusive workplace. When companies have a more diverse workforce, they are more likely to have a variety of perspectives and experiences, which can lead to more creative and innovative ideas. According to this study from the Harvard Business Review, companies with diverse management teams are more likely to develop new products and services than those with less diversity.
Your argument: companies with more diverse workforces are more likely to be innovative, leading to a competitive advantage in the market.
DEI initiatives can also improve a company's reputation by demonstrating a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Consumers are increasingly interested in doing business with companies that share their values, and a commitment to DEI can help a company build a positive brand image. According to this study by Edelman, 64% of consumers make purchase decisions based on a company's social or political values. A strong commitment to DEI can also attract top talent, as employees are increasingly interested in working for companies that share their values.
Your argument: whether you want to attract good employees or strengthen your connection with consumers, a focus on DEI will improve the company’s reputation in the public eye, again improving the bottom line.
DEI initiatives can also increase creativity and problem-solving skills in the workplace. When employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas and perspectives, they are more likely to come up with innovative solutions to problems. According to this article from Forbes, diverse teams are better at problem-solving and decision-making than homogeneous teams. This is because diverse teams bring a variety of perspectives and experiences to the table, leading to more creative and effective solutions.
Your argument: our company is always facing new challenges, but an increased focus on DEI initiatives may attract a more diverse workforce who can think outside the box to solve those problems!
In conclusion, DEI initiatives are critical for businesses in the modern world. They can have a positive impact on the bottom line by increasing financial returns and attracting top talent. DEI initiatives can also increase employee productivity, foster innovation, improve a company's reputation, and increase creativity and problem-solving skills in the workplace. If you are needing to defend your efforts, your best bet is to reference the above research to prove that your efforts can help to improve profits! Who doesn’t want that?!
Stay tuned for our next blog where we focus on the positive benefits of DEI initiatives for employees! In the meantime, if you are ready to get started on improving your DEI efforts today, we’ve got just the right thing for you.
Here at Give and Take Inc. we believe that creating a more generous workplace culture can play a big role in improving equity and inclusion in your organization. How? By simply teaching and encouraging your employees to ask for and give help more frequently! We have two solutions that can help your workforce to become more inclusive.
If you are looking for an employee bonding exercise, The Reciprocity Ring would be right for you. This solution is an exercise (done either virtually or in-person) that teaches people why and how to ask for help, and helps them overcome the fear of asking. Alternatively, if you are looking to implement a daily tool, our purpose-built application Givitas creates a safe place for employees to ask for help, allows the knowledge collaboration to scale across the organization, and makes it easy and efficient for people to provide the help.
Whether your employees are looking for help doing their job, developing their career, or need help with something outside of work, Givitas creates a safe space where all employees have an equal playing field and can feel psychologically safe to submit their requests for help. And being an inclusive and equitable community, everyone has the opportunity to benefit from the sharing of knowledge by others in the community.
Givitas gives employees access to the entire workforce and removes silos and power struggles. Just as an example, we have seen entry level employees engaging with c-suite members which leads to more openness, more generosity, and an overall sense of belonging. The Reciprocity Ring and Givitas are the next steps in any DEI initiative to ensure that you harness the power of diversity by creating an inclusive and equitable environment. Without inclusion and equity, DEI efforts will not provide the opportunities to a diverse workforce that they deserve and will not provide the value to the organization that a diverse workforce brings.