Top 8 Best Practices to Build a Better DEI Strategy

Best Practices to Build a Better DEI Strategy

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion or DEI is no more just a trending topic but rather a mandatory training that companies from every industry take up seriously when building their teams. It is a societal spotlight on racial justice and equality that aims to eliminate biases toward people who are familiar, who look alike, or who share similar backgrounds. Company leaders are now prioritizing a better DEI strategy and putting in the effort to build inclusive teams in every facet of their organization.

There are various stats that prove diversity within an organization correlates with innovative and creative employees who work towards achieving better results. It only makes sense that when you bring people from diverse cultures, races, and backgrounds of vast differences with unique strengths and weaknesses together as one, it'll contribute to better performance. People will collaborate and contribute unique and diverse views to help solve problems and push innovation.

Needless to say, organizations across the globe are building the DEI strategy that is perfect for them to make their teams more diverse. However, it is more than just business results and benefits. It is a humanitarian and noble cause, and business leaders should ensure that they are hiring professionals without any biases in gender, background, race, religion, or sexual orientation.

That being said, it takes calculated and deliberate work to build such teams. That's the reason organizations need to build and keep an effective DEI strategy in place. These DEI strategies in the workplace assist you in launching a DEI action plan at your own organization or can improve your existing strategies for better outcomes.

Before we dive deep into building DEI best practices, let’s first talk about what DEI is and what values it brings to an organization.

What is DEI?

Diversity - A diverse work environment is one that follows a variety of social and cultural characteristics. Diversity in teams brings the employees together as one and ensures a thriving workplace which in turn correlates with great work culture.

Equity - Equity means all the employees in the organization are given the same opportunities and treatment. It is basically leveling the field for every employee where they feel empowered regardless of their background, culture, gender, physical ability, or sexual orientation.

Inclusion - Inclusion means when a mix of people can come to work and feel comfortable as part of the larger group. It ultimately makes each employee feel valued, brings engagement and a sense of belonging.

The importance of DEI hiring

If you’re an organization without a DEI strategy in place, then you’re missing out on opportunities to tap into various skilled potentials. Take a look at the benefits of DEI strategy, which make it crucial for businesses -

Improved revenue

Inclusive and diverse companies with already implemented DEI strategies and reached their DEI objectives are more likely to achieve their financial goals. After all, innovation and productivity can bring in more sales revenue, more customers, and higher profits. When you have diverse teams, it’s far easier to be more reflective of the people you’re trying to sell to.

If you have a diverse customer base or if you cater to clients globally, employing such professionals will help you service existing clients better and will be helpful in reaching newer markets effectively.

Amplified innovation

Having DEI recruiting strategies not only boosts financial results but also boosts innovation. Companies with DEI strategies have a competitive edge over their peers and these companies serve as DEI strategy examples on how they amplified their innovation with their DEI best practices. It is also a key component in driving a successful business on a global scale. Various research and stats have already proven that companies with diversity and inclusivity out-innovate and out-perform others. Hence, organizations with a better DEI strategic planning are more likely to have better opportunities to grow their market share and capture new markets as compared to organizations that lack diversity in their teams from top to bottom. This establishes the fact that diversity unlocks innovation and drives market growth.

Strong company culture and higher employee satisfaction

Culture has many dimensions that include various aspects of an organization and is one of the major factors that contribute to business success. If your employees don’t feel included and engaged, it can cost you heavily. When you publicly celebrate differences through DEI strategies, it helps you make the workforce feel empowered and respected. Diversity and inclusion bring a strong culture that ensures employee satisfaction and helps retain top talents, ultimately driving innovation, productivity, and growth.

Better brand reputation

Today, it is absolutely necessary for companies to highlight and acknowledge DEI on their platforms, be it online or offline. When you have good publicity due to your DEI strategies, it always results in more clients or customers and easier employee recruitment and retention.

Do you already have DEI recruiting strategies set up?

Do you already have DEI recruitment strategies in place? What about your candidate pool? Is it diverse enough? Do you have an inclusive environment and an inclusive culture? If not, it is high time that you start working on building DEI hiring best practices that can effectively help you build teams that are diverse and helps in building an inclusive workplace. Understand that it serves an extremely critical function and should be prioritized by every organization. Until and unless you have enough commitment toward fully integrating diversity equity and inclusion or better known as DEI, into your strategy, your recruitment is not moving in the right direction.

But where do you start?

In order to build your inclusive workplace, you start from the beginning, that is, with how you recruit.

That's why we have curated a comprehensive list of DEI hiring strategy tips just for you.

Top 8 DEI tips to build a better DEI strategy

Here are the 8 DEI strategies that can work as the foundation for hiring diverse new talents and assembling a diverse team with diverse people -

Step 1: Assess where you are

This is the very first step toward building an effective DEI strategy. A lack of inclusive environments in your organization can lead to employee turnover. You can also lose the ability to compete in the marketplace due to a lack of diverse perspectives. You should first get an understanding of where your organization stands in terms of the DEI journey. The best way to do so is to take a survey of your current workforce and get a sense of your employee's sentiments towards inclusion, equity, and diversity in the workplace. This report can help you understand how the culture is and where the gaps are so that you can start to build DEI strategies.

Step 2: Exercise practices that attract diverse talent to your organization

When you’re building your DEI strategies, you should assess everything ranging from your web presence and image to job descriptions that you're listing on various platforms. When you have analyzed all the gaps, you should make enhancements and adjustments to make them more inclusive and diverse. You can consider taking advantage of a microsite on your main career page. You can also highlight equity statements and various affinity groups within your company on your web pages, specifically the career page.

Furthermore, you can add gender pronoun options to your application process. When you showcase your commitment to building and nurturing a diverse workforce through relevant content, it compels talents to apply to your job postings. You can also consider including DEI-based interview questions. These can give an idea about what compelled the applicant to consider an opportunity with your company. After all, you don’t want to bring in talent who doesn’t align with your workplace culture and values.

Step 3: Ensure your DEI strategies lines up with your organizational goals

This step is basically the DEI tip of the day. Metrics, benchmarks, KPIs, and milestones are extremely crucial to accurately and seamlessly understand and track any organizational goals. Any action taken without setting any standards and practices can only lead to failure. That's why when you start building your DEI strategies, you should make sure that your DEI initiatives are seamlessly aligning with your organizational goal and not blocking it. You can do so by ensuring that the implementation and success are monitored and tracked by a senior executive regularly to report signs of progress.

Step 4: Facilitate inclusive onboarding and employee engagement

When you hire and onboard a new candidate, it is important to explain your DEI strategies and efforts already in place. You can consider including and implementing training sessions in your onboarding process that introduces the value and impact of diversity in an organization and lists the various DEI strategies and practices that the company follows to build and maintain workplace diversity. You should ensure that each hire has been communicated about this by one of the team members. You can also implement this a little early in the hiring stages. For instance, your prospective candidates must be apprised of the organization's DEI efforts.

Step 5: Educate upper-level management regarding DEI benefits

Workplace inclusiveness starts with the behavior of senior executives and business leaders. If the higher management doesn’t take action towards setting standards and guidelines to ensure company-wide diverse staffing, pay equality, and promotion, then it is likely they're not serious about DEI and are not putting any DEI efforts. It is extremely important to ensure the leadership and high-level executives are aware of the importance of diversity and inclusivity. There should be a set communication channel between the DEI manager and leaders to continuously communicate DEI strategies and expectations while ensuring that the set expectations are circulated with the rest of the organization.

Step 6: Inform employees on diversity and inclusion

It is not enough to educate the higher management; it is equally important to educate the employees on diversity, equality, and inclusion. After all, it will be the employees who would leverage the benefits and support the initiative for its success. That's why you should consider implementing timely sessions to keep your employees aware of what diversity and inclusion mean for business success and the organization's reputation. In addition, it can be a way to listen to your workforce, ask them questions, and find gaps in your DEI efforts. This two-way communication can help you fill in the gaps and build agile and robust DEI strategies.

Step 7: Consider taking an individualized approach

Even though a broad approach is not inherently flawed, it doesn't leave much room when individual employees are concerned. Whereas an individualized approach focuses on the needs of each individual. You need to understand that there's no such one-size-fits-all strategy.

That's why when building DEI strategies, make sure it's not just in papers but rather it reaches the people it's created for. You should make sure to create awareness of the different types of diversity while making sure to consider every employee in the company. When you understand DEI benefits and costs on an individual basis, it automatically becomes much clearer to each team and, as such, to the entire organization.

Step 8: Make DEI a part of your organization’s DNA

It's quite clear now that DEI is an integral part of any of your workplaces. It should be a good enough reason to put dedicated efforts into ensuring that DEI is taken seriously and becomes a part of your organization's DNA. Always be clear on the outcomes you expect and establish a new and more inclusive way, or should we say DEI strategies of working together.

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To sum it up

Today, no professional wants to join a company that does not stand for diversity, equality, and inclusion. Companies that care about their employee's well-being have a higher chance of onboarding a competent talent. That's why it is absolutely critical for organizations across the globe to keep calculated DEI strategies in place.


  • Anupriya Singh

    Anupriya Singh

    Anupriya is a content writer well-versed in researching and writing on an array of topics. She works closely with businesses and helps them get rapid and organic growth through compelling digital marketing content. When not working, you can find her reading or sketching.

Frequently Asked Questions

Diversity, equity, and inclusion or better known as the DEI strategy, is a tool for challenging and changing systemic challenges and establishing organizational practices in order to create an inclusive and diverse workplace.

Companies today are increasingly opting for DEI strategies, as they help onboard higher quality talent, increase company innovation rate, and gain more success in the global marketplace. Here’s how you can do the same.

For starters, you can establish a mission statement, showcasing your company’s commitment towards its employees and expressing what your organization and you believe in. Plus, you can collect employee data to tailor plans accordingly and address problems timely. These could include data such as age, family status, gender, language, race, sexual orientation, etc. More importantly, you must transparent about how your company intends to use this data, which would foster belief amongst your employees about your commitment towards building diversity, inclusion, and equity initiatives in your organization.

Furthermore, you can also analyze collected data to identify concerns or needs to instill a sense of belonging amongst employees and develop an individualized and flexible plan that also includes community-related goals. Lastly, you must implement the plan to see and measure how your DEI strategy works, answer questions, and listen to employee perspectives to make it better.

The DEI strategist will be in charge of a wide variety of account strategic management and monitoring within the developing organization. They will also design and implement DEI initiatives across the company.

You can improve diversity, equality, and inclusion in your workplace by developing an inclusive company culture, establishing KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), and involving your entire team in key decisions to get them more involved in your DEI efforts.

What’s more, you can also create an equitable hiring procedure, revisit employee benefits, and focus on pay equity while making offers, during raise cycles, and during promotions, to foster equality in the workplace.

Lastly, you can enhance inclusion in your organization by acting on team member inputs and feedback, revisiting employee benefits to identify drawbacks and make them more inclusive, and providing DEI education to employees.

DEI metrics are a measure of your organization's diversity, equity, and inclusion (and belonging) activities. It assists your company in evaluating DEI outcomes and development. There are measures that can assist you in tracking this both directly and indirectly. They also enable you to set goals and build accountability.

One of the key ways one can positively impact inclusion and diversity is by becoming culturally competent. This means taking time to learn about various races, cultures, backgrounds, and religions of one’s colleagues, asking coworkers to explain the practices and customs of their culture, and familiarizing oneself with diversity-related terms. These are just some of the ways one can develop their understanding of various cultures to play a major role in embracing diversity and inclusion while creating DEI in the workplace.

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