Diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace

The British Standards Institute (BSI) published a new code of practice for employers giving practical guidance on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in the workplace.

The purpose – to promote good practice by valuing employees in all positions through diversity & inclusion by employers (regardless of size).

The BSI highlights at the outset that DEI are complex concepts and notes the link that has been established between DEI employee performance. Which is why there is benefit to employers in developing an effective framework to support DEI.

The BSI recommends the following practical steps which employers can take to help them develop and implement an effective framework to support DEI:

  • demonstrating leadership and commitment to DEI at all levels of the organisation;
  • incorporating DEI principles and objectives into policies, practices, processes and procedures;
  • establishing the organisational and business benefits of creating and maintaining an effective culture of DEI;
  • recruitment and retention strategies that enhance DEI;
  • addressing behaviour which is inconsistent with DEI principles through education, understanding and awareness, and supporting people who challenge such behaviour;
  • identifying appropriate DEI learning and development needs at all levels within an organisation;
  • enabling peer networks to support underrepresented social and cultural groups;
  • recognising, engaging and supporting underrepresented social and cultural groups;
  • creating inclusive brands, customer engagement and workplace culture, through adapting change management strategies for diversity, equity and inclusion;
  • understanding and implementing concepts such as “diversity of thought”, “dimensions of diversity”, “intercultural competence” and “cognitive diversity”;
  • incorporating the principles of “inclusive innovation” and “inclusive by design” into services, business models, business processes, technology and product development cycle;

Comment

Various research conducted demonstrates that employers who prioritise DEI stand to benefit from improved profitability as a result of more diverse teams. It is thought that employers who prioritise people in this way will be transformative not only in the context of the employment relationship but for society as a whole. Our advice is that employers should aim to use the above guidance alongside existing HR practices to help direct the future success of your organisation.

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