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Resource Center / Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Why DEI Matters in the Workplace

Focusing on DEI is not only the right and socially responsible thing for an organization to do, it’s also what is best for the business and its people.

The letter "J" for Justworks.
Nov 10, 20203 minutes

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are critical components of workplace culture. Not only should your organization’s workforce represent the full scope of diversity that exists in the larger population, but the culture should also be one in which all team members are truly welcome and have equitable opportunities to belong and to succeed.

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Workplace Insights: The Impact of DEI

DEI in the workplace matters, for individual employees and teams as well as the larger organization. Focusing on DEI is not only the right and socially responsible thing for an organization to do, it’s also what is best for the business and its people.

Turnover and Retention

Emphasizing DEI can help a company build a positive employer brand, becoming recognized as a place where top talent wants to go to work — and stay. According to a LinkedIn study, employers with a strong brand attract 50% more qualified applicants than other employers and are able to fill open positions up to two times faster. They also tend to experience significantly lower turnover and a greatly reduced cost-per-hire. Find out how to rethink your recruitment processes with DEI in mind.

Talent Management/Employer Brand

Not only can DEI help your organization attract and retain top talent, it can also play a role in overall talent management and employer branding. In an organization that emphasizes DEI, team members typically encounter far fewer barriers to success based on bias. As a result, team members can all have an equitable opportunity to grow, develop, and advance. According to The Conference Board Council on Workforce Diversity, this can boost important key performance indicators (KPIs) like employee engagement, motivation, and innovation. In other words, DEI can help your company build, develop, inspire, and retain teams that, together, provide your organization with a unique competitive advantage.

Work Environment

Organizations that emphasize DEI are uniquely positioned to create a work environment that is safe, flexible, fair, and inclusive. Of course, this requires a true commitment to DEI throughout every level of the organization, from the highest levels of leadership to individual contributors. Having a culture defined by DEI can create a workplace where employees are encouraged to collaborate across differences and build strong bonds, laying the groundwork for the competitive advantage that comes from team cohesiveness and organizational agility alike.

Consumer Brand and Image

In addition to impacting how employees feel about the organization and their role in it, DEI also impacts how external stakeholders, throughout the marketplace and overall community, view the company. Ultimately, people tend to want to do business with socially responsible organizations that understand their needs and treat employees well. When an organization emphasizes DEI internally, this can lead to positive impacts in terms of external image and consumer brand. DEI can play a role in building stronger relationships with diverse communities outside of the organization, including customers, potential customers, and all other stakeholder groups.

Policies & Practices

Of course, for your organization to benefit from DEI, there has to be a real, substantive commitment, starting at the very top. This involves identifying and breaking down systemic barriers to full inclusion by embedding diversity, equity, and inclusion in policies, practices, and everyday decision-making. Discover best practices for designing a DEI program that works.

Top and Bottom Line Benefits

When commitment to DEI starts from the top and leadership accountability exists at every level, culture change is sure to follow. When a workplace is diverse, equitable, and inclusive, both the employees and the organization will benefit. Building a strong employer brand with regards to DEI can help your organization attract and retain top talent as well as build a cohesive and productive team. In turn, the team will drive innovation, competitive advantage, and — ultimately — bottom-line results. Remember: Doing what’s best for people, ultimately, is what’s best for business.

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.