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  • DEI Equals Employee Engagement

Employee engagement has emerged as a critical factor in organizational success, and its connection to diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces is becoming increasingly evident. I believe that to truly cultivate an engaged workforce, organizations must ensure that their employees from ethnically diverse groups feel a sense of belonging and that they are valued for their unique perspectives and contributions. 

I want to explore three things related to DEI and show their connection to employee engagement. One is the importance of having standards and global best practices for DEI in place. The second is the role of leaders in demonstrating an authentic commitment to DEI practices, and the third is why employee engagement is the responsibility of every departmental leader.

Creating a Sense of Belonging for Ethnically Diverse Employees: 

It’s a no-brainer; employee engagement is closely tied to a sense of belonging in workplaces. Organizations need to establish standards and best practices that ensure individuals from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds feel included and valued. This includes doing three things consistently. First, fostering an inclusive culture, second, providing equal opportunities for growth and development; and third, actively seeking diverse perspectives in decision-making processes. The recent ISO 30415:2021 Standards for Human Resource Management and DEI allow leaders to achieve these three things consistently. 

Leaders, Mean What You Say, and Do What You Mean: 

If you are a leader, there is no doubt that you play a crucial role in fostering employee engagement. You are also critical in driving diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) initiatives. Authentic commitment to DEI practices demonstrates that it is not just a box-ticking exercise but an integral part of your organization's values and strategy. Employees feel supported and empowered when you champion diversity, model inclusive behaviours, and actively advocate for equity. This commitment sets the tone for the entire organization and reinforces the importance of DEI for every individual within the company.

Employee Engagement: Beyond HR's Role: 

While HR departments traditionally oversee employee engagement initiatives, it is crucial to recognize that employee engagement is a collective responsibility that extends beyond HR. Every departmental leader should prioritize and actively contribute to fostering engagement within their teams. When leaders understand the impact of engagement on productivity, innovation, and retention, they become instrumental in creating a culture that values employee well-being and satisfaction. The recent ISO 30415:2021 Standards for Human Resource Management and DEI allow leaders to achieve this expansion of employee engagement consistently.

Best Practices for Organizations:

  1. Establish DEIB standards and best practices: Engage a certified ISO 30415:2021 consultant to help develop and communicate clear guidelines and expectations that promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging at all levels of the organization. This includes addressing unconscious biases, implementing fair hiring practices, and providing cultural competency training.
  2. Foster an inclusive culture: Create an environment where all employees feel safe, respected, and heard. Encourage open dialogue, diverse perspectives, and collaboration. Embrace employee resource groups, mentoring programs, and initiatives that celebrate cultural diversity.
  3. Provide leadership development: Invest in programs that equip managers and supervisors with the skills and knowledge to effectively lead diverse teams. Focus on building inclusive leadership competencies, such as active listening, empathy, and cultural intelligence.

Now What?

Employee engagement in diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces is an organization’s strategic imperative. Your organization can cultivate engaged and empowered employees by fostering a sense of belonging, demonstrating an authentic commitment to DEIB, and involving leaders from every department. Implementing best practices that address diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging will deliver benefits to individual employees and lead to enhanced productivity, innovation, and organizational success.


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