Don’t Let Your Effort Be In Vain When Applying DEI
DEI will become a worthy strategic model for leaders and HR to invest in 2022. However, instead of blindly adopting this strategy and leaving practical results to chance, how can businesses utilize this model to the fullest?
Focused HR trends in 2022
DEI (Diversity, equity, and inclusion) is not new, but it has received more attention recently. This model is becoming increasingly popular on various HR forums, including the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) – the most influential HR management website in the world, which said that there will be an increased focus on DEI strategy in 2022. The global spending for Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) estimated at 9.3 billion USD in the year 2022, is projected to reach 15.4 billion USD by 2026.
Since DEI has become widely known in Vietnam, many multinational corporations such as Microsoft, Nestlé, or P&G soon applied this strategy to their workplace. On International Women's Day, an informal coalition of chambers dedicated to advancing DEI called “Champions of Diversity and Inclusion: Panel Pledge” marked a new focus of leaders on this new HR strategy.
Blindly adopting this strategy can lead to fatal consequences
A cohesive working environment with a high rate of talent attraction and retention is the reason why many businesses invest in DEI. But in fact, the budgets spent received unexpected "results".
According to Ms. Nguyễn Thị Quỳnh Phương, Talentnet's Human Capital Solutions Director: "If businesses only try to use DEI as a competitive advantage to attract employees, they may fall prey to fatal consequences. Instead, businesses should apply DEI with the desire to create connections and nurture an inclusive culture among employees.”
"Belonging" – a new term to unlock DEI
Many experiments were made to find out the most suitable “recipe” for this new model. Ms. Phương believes that creating an environment where employees feel safe and included to express themselves is the key initiative. According to ChartHop, a people data analytics company, “belonging” or a sense of acceptance, inclusion is both the result of a successful DEI application, and a requirement in a workplace that businesses need to fulfill. Businesses can claim the success in applying DEI given if employees feel the sense stated above.
Then what do businesses need to create a sense of belonging? Research by Coqual – a non-profit consulting organization explained that employees' sense of belonging is rooted in four elements: seen, connected, supported, and proud.
If the above four factors are satisfied, employees will feel safe to express themselves, which can improve work efficiency, employee devotion, and make them stay longer. "DEI offers businesses a diverse workforce. The differences in culture, personality, and lifestyle among members can at the same time be an opportunity for them to grow or a threat. "Belonging" becomes an ideal adjustment as it provides all employees with a sense of security to share and support within the workplace.” – Ms. Phương shared.
Step by step, businesses can build a DEI model by regularly observing and investing more to understand employee needs. However, for new businesses, there will be certain errors and problems while implementing this model. Leaders and HR can consider using HR consulting services to identify problems in their current strategy, as well as map out a long-term strategy while integrating the term "belonging" into their workplace.