Driving innovation through DEI environment

Driving innovation through DEI environment
True workplace flexibility should provide every employee with the opportunity to work fairly and equitably, whether they are on-site, in the office or working at home. This enables employees to integrate into the team and organisational ethos.

As businesses strive to ensure they serve their communities, ensuring that their work environments are welcoming for all employees has gotten greater focus. While businesses can no longer expect to have homogenous workforces, there is also a strong case for the rising prominence of inclusion and diversity in business strategies. In recent years, organisations have increasingly begun to draw the competitive edge from diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). However, despite the growing interest of Indian businesse to ramp up DEI, many are still uncertain about how they can most effectively harness these values to support their growth and value-creation goals.

Owing to India’s 1.4 billion-strong population and more than 450 languages, diversity is vital to ensuring businesses attract, recruit, develop and retain their talent. This goes beyond just checking a box from a hiring perspective. It requires businesses to ensure that gender, sexual orientation, differing abilities as well as cultural, linguistic and socio economic backgrounds are part of the decision-making processes and not inadvertently excluded.

Laying the foundations for a workplace that has DEI at its core sets a culture characterised by innovation, collaboration and empathy. It helps businesses stay on top of the kinds of challenges employees across the organisation face.

Also read: CoinSwitch announces 8-month maternity leave for employees

Diversity across the board

Appointing a full-time professional to drive these responsibilities forward across departments will be crucial in the strategic and implementation aspect of these initiatives, as it will enable DEI policies and practices to be consistent across the board.

Having other departments involved in co-creating these initiatives will ensure that employees will have the opportunity to be part of the discussion and initiatives that will impact their world, thereby, increasing cohesion among team members and enabling talents from all backgrounds to contribute at their full potential.

Improving employee access to vital business resources also plays a critical role in creating community. This can range from speaker series, events and seminars that are open to all across the business, regardless of identity, department or location.

Laying the foundations for a workplace that has DEI at its core sets a culture characterised by innovation, collaboration and empathy. It helps businesses stay on top of the kinds of challenges employees across the organisation face.

There is also a need to ensure employees can speak about the challenges they face while trying to be productive. Simply put, exhausted and overworked staff will not be able to work at their full potential and drive business innovation. Policies governing paid time off, parental leave and so on must be in line with company needs as well as those of employees.

Every employee as a potential leader

Businesses should also see every employee as a leader building a career. It is crucial to engender environments where every employee is not discouraged from independent thought and creativity, especially when it comes to solving mission-critical challenges.

Further to this point, while having more executives from under-represented groups is beneficial, initiatives that invite talent from different generations should also be a key component of organisations’ DEI initiatives. These can include paid internships that enable those from under-represented backgrounds to eventually join the company.

As any successful business leader knows, a short-term focus is incompatible with innovation, besides being not viable amid rising geopolitical tensions and the ongoing fallout from COVID-19. Therefore, it is crucial to invite employees, regardless of background, to be involved in decision-making. This, crucially, gives employees a voice and encourages them to contribute to problem-solving.

Creating practical DEI values

Simply drawing up a list of values and parading them across the company is not the same as living those values. To ensure that businesses are able to drive innovation through DEI, building a company culture around core values that are actionable is essential. This fosters unity while enabling healthy competition that is crucial to innovation.

To harness the full potential of a diverse workforce to deliver impact, more than ever team leaders must distinguish themselves by designing and executing strategies that foster diversity, equity and inclusivity.

It is fundamental that DEI strategies are designed and communicated in ways that ensure it is accessible and actionable for all employees. This requires thorough evaluation of efforts and initiatives so that DEI behaviours are reinforced and embedded within existing talent and business processes.

It requires businesses to ensure that gender, sexual orientation, differing abilities as well as cultural, linguistic and socio economic backgrounds are part of the decision-making processes and not inadvertently excluded.

DEI strategies that deliver long-term results

In societies like India’s, marked by such rich diversity, building a company that reflects this reality is not only the right thing to do, it is also the smart way to drive growth, especially in the long-term.

Setting clear goals for diversity initiatives ensure that they are measurable and can be reviewed at each quarter. Simply put, what gets measured, gets done. Setting key performance indicators (KPIs) that hold people accountable for achieving them will ensure businesses in India can drive growth through innovation. These DEI KPIs could measure talent retention and acquisition as well as promotions by demographics.

True workplace flexibility should provide every employee with the opportunity to work fairly and equitably, whether they are on-site, in the office or working at home. This enables employees to integrate into the team and organisational ethos.

As a result of everyone’s skill sets being highlighted and recognised, businesses can drive employees to be more productive and grow, inevitably leading to innovation and benefiting the business.

Stay connected with us on social media platform for instant update click here to join our LinkedInTwitter & Facebook

Monalisa Nayak

currently is HR Leader and Business Partner, Fivetran India

View all posts

Add comment

Your email address will not be published.

Author

Monalisa Nayak

currently is HR Leader and Business Partner, Fivetran India

Oct. 2022 Issue

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
error: Content is protected !!