Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace

Embracing diversity in the workplace strengthens creativity, productivity, retention, and engagement. A Gartner survey found that when companies support D&I initiatives, an overwhelming 83 percent of millennials are actively engaged in their work. Having a workforce comprised of people from different cultures and backgrounds is vital to creating a diverse workplace, but DEI efforts should not stop at recruitment. There are other ways organizations can build a diverse work environment, such as recognizing and celebrating differences, offering sensitivity training, and improving communication.

It’s also essential to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion into benefits programs. This can be done in three steps.

1. Take Stock of Your Benefits Program

The first step is auditing the current benefits program against the organization’s DEI initiatives. Consider populations that have diverse needs, like single or working parents, same-sex couples who are ready to start a family, or employees struggling with visible or invisible disabilities. During an assessment, HR and benefits managers should consider how their program offers value across any stage of life and various personal situations, whether it is growing a family, caring for loved ones, or handling a major life change.

2. Expand Your Current Offerings

In diversifying health, financial, and lifestyle benefits, sometimes it is not solely about adding, but deepening already existing benefits.

For example, consider family planning and coverage. Maternity leave is now accepted as a standard (and even expected) benefit. However, to enhance parental perks and ensure they support inclusivity, organizations should consider paid parental leave for fathers, domestic partners (including same-sex), and adoptive parents.

Other ways to integrate DEI into your benefits include reassessing PTO offerings. Some candidates from underrepresented groups may be specifically looking for unlimited paid time off programs or flex work arrangements for better work-life balance.

3. Communicate Your DEI Values

While establishing a benefits program that aligns to DEI initiatives is important, a communication strategy that engages the workforce and conveys these benefits appropriately is equally essential. To be most effective, communication shouldn’t be “one size fits all.” Organizations can tailor messages and resources for different population segments—such as leveraging demographics like generation and gender to address unique needs.

Want to dig deeper?

There are many other tactics for incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion into benefits packages. Check out our in-depth article on Marrying DEI And Benefits For Increased Engagement And Business Success.

Listen to Benefits Breakdown where we cover the topic of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

This document is provided for general information purposes only and should not be considered legal or tax advice or legal or tax opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. Readers are urged to consult their legal counsel and tax advisor concerning any legal or tax questions that may arise.

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