Session Preview: Workplace Culture Strategies for Authentic DEI
Session Preview: Workplace Culture Strategies for Authentic DEI
Authors: Elizabeth Bille, EVERFI from Blackbaud and Ariana Moon, Greenhouse Software
A plethora of research has shown that companies with a more diverse, inclusive, and engaged workforce perform better. More recently, a survey of HR professionals commissioned by social impact education innovator EVERFI from Blackbaud and hiring software company Greenhouse highlighted clear opportunity areas that companies can address to make lasting progress in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
While many organizations focus on DEI in their recruiting processes, survey data revealed that many neglect to prioritize DEI across the entire employee experience – most of which takes place after a job offer has been accepted. If unaddressed, these gaps may jeopardize the success of a company’s DEI strategy through unhealthy employee turnover, disengagement, and more. Therefore, developing a holistic DEI strategy that spans the employee lifecycle can increase an organization’s ability to attract, engage, retain, and develop a thriving workforce.
While specific DEI practices vary based on factors such as a company’s size, industry, and the maturity of its DEI journey, companies looking to implement a long-term DEI strategy should strive to include initiatives across each of the following areas: 1) hiring, 2) onboarding, 3) engaging, and 4) developing.
Attracting a diverse talent pool through a broad array of sourcing channels is a common DEI practice. However, there are other ways to enhance the inclusivity of how companies hire. For example, our survey results showed that only 46% of companies eliminate biased language in job postings, 38% display inclusive content on hiring sites, and 36% analyze hiring data related to DEI.
Onboarding is a critical inclusion-driving mechanism, and when done thoughtfully, can help employees feel welcomed and valued from day one–not to mention serve as a springboard for future success. However, our survey found that only about 50% of respondents have a consistent and inclusive onboarding experience, and far fewer onboarding programs encourage new employees to join employee resource groups (ERGs) or offer DEI training to empower employees to take positive actions in everyday moments.
A key strategy to provide ongoing support to employees is to establish Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), or communities created and organized around shared characteristics or life experiences. ERGs can provide a space for employees to experience deepened connectivity and psychological safety, as well as promote dialogue around career development challenges and opportunities. Especially when well-funded by the business, ERGs can have a flywheel effect in creating a healthy culture.
In addition, corporate social responsibility programs, such as company-sponsored volunteering or fundraising efforts for communities in need, are also effective ways to support DEI at work. Bringing different colleagues together, working toward a common purpose, and learning about the experiences of people from a variety of backgrounds can drive employee connections, empathy, and allyship that are essential for inclusion and belonging.
Last but certainly not least, organizations committed to advancing DEI should examine their processes for developing and advancing employees to ensure they don’t inadvertently present barriers for certain groups in disproportionate or inequitable ways. In order to understand areas of opportunity, companies need to be equipped with data around employee development trends. A helpful starting point is looking at promotion data, although our survey showed that only 20% of companies analyze from a DEI lens.
Interested in learning more?
We’ll be diving into several tactics on how best to amplify your DEI efforts across all these buckets, from engaging employees through ERGs and CSR initiatives, best practices for DEI training, and more, at our bbcon 2023 session this October in Denver, Colorado! Bbcon is Blackbaud’s annual event that convenes thousands of change-makers for a technology conference designed to fuel your impact.
Our session will be part of this year’s Corporate Impact track, bringing together HR, employee engagement, diversity and inclusion, and social impact leaders to host amazing discussions around supporting DEI strategies, driving volunteerism, leveraging impact reporting, and building trust in your communities.
About the speakers:
Elizabeth Bille, JD, SHRM-SCP is the Senior Vice President of Workplace Culture for Blackbaud’s workplace culture and compliance education business. She is the lead subject matter expert for the business on preventing harassment and discrimination, fostering diversity, equity and inclusion, promoting ethical conduct, and creating positive workplace cultures. Before coming to Blackbaud, Elizabeth was the general counsel and chief ethics officer of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). She has also served as a legal advisor to the Vice Chair of the EEOC and counseled organizations of all sizes as a labor and employment attorney at the global law firm of Hogan Lovells. A national award-winning writer, she has trained HR professionals, employment law attorneys, and business leaders on complex workplace issues, and her work has been cited by several news outlets including National Public Radio, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and the New York Times.
Ariana is the Head of Talent Planning & Acquisition and a member of the Senior Leadership Team at Greenhouse Software. She began her career in the nonprofit world, where she first realized a passion for impacting the development of young professionals. Since then, Ariana has held talent-related responsibilities in multiple industries, and in her current role, has enabled Greenhouse to 10x in headcount over the years. She has authored numerous blog posts, eBooks, and thought leadership on inclusive hiring practices, and has served as a leader on Greenhouse’s inaugural DE&I Council, as Chair of Jadehouse (Greenhouse’s Employee Resource Group for the Asian-Pacific Islander community), and as a member of Greenhouse’s Customer Advisory Board. When not in front of a laptop, Ariana can be found practicing yoga, salsa dancing, or rock climbing, and sharing with anyone who will listen how much she enjoys living in Las Vegas as a former New Yorker.
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