Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) in the Workplace

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) in the Workplace

By Jacob Laylon

“The world needs different kinds of minds to work together.” – Dr. Temple Grandin

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) has become an integral part of almost every workplace. As companies and organizations continue to discover the benefits of diversity, DEI continues to be a leading focus for researchers.  Now, you might think, my Acumatica Consultants, Sage Intacct Accountants, NetSuite Developers or Odoo Sales People all work remotely.  Why would DEI be beneficial to me?  In this blog, you will learn the importance of DEI in the workplace. You will also see how a diverse workforce can benefit both a company and its employees, whether you work remotely or in person. 

Importance of DEI

Strong DEI in the workplace creates a welcoming environment where diverse employees can rally their strengths, directly impacting the growth of an organization. Multiple studies have shown that DEI in the workplace has a correlating effect on an organization’s growth. Have a look at InsightGlobal’s Blog “Why DEI is important: Nine Benefits of Strong DEI in the Workplace.” The nine benefits of DEI in the workplace can “improve employee productivity and creativity to reducing turnover rates and creating a more positive company culture, strong DEI can also be good for business.”

In Catalyst’s research blog: Why Diversity and Inclusion Matter, they found that organizations who exhibit gender and ethnic diversity are, respectively, 15% and 35% more likely to outperform less diverse peers. They also found that organizations with more racial and gender diversity bring in more sales revenue, more customers and higher profits. In the ERP and Tech industry, this has become ever more prominent, as software continues to become cloud-based and accessible anywhere in the world.

DEI Among Employees

As companies continue to enhance DEI in the workplace, how does it affect you as an employee? Diversity, Equity & Inclusion within an organization refers to its ability to fairly and justly treat a diverse group of individuals working amongst each other. 

When companies choose to make DEI a company priority, it benefits the employees as a whole, by creating a fun, challenging work environment where diverse minds can work together to solve challenging business problems. According to Antrim Consulting, companies will see a 56% increase in job performance among its employees when they feel a sense of ‘belonging’; which is “an employee’s sense of value and safety when expressing their thoughts and offering solutions, without receiving judgment or negativity.” No matter the ERP Technology, DEI applies to all employees in every industry. 

An all inclusive work environment is one that allows employees like you to express your feelings and thoughts without fear of judgment. In this type of environment, you actually flourish through diverse thoughts and ideas. Commitment to DEI fosters a work culture where creativity can be at an all time high, and companies will consequently experience natural growth. 

Cultural Intelligence

It is hard to not cover cultural intelligence when discussing diversity, equity and inclusion. Wikipedia defines cultural intelligence as, “a person’s capability to adapt as [they] interact with others from different cultural regions.” An individual who has cultural awareness is able to effectively interact with diverse groups of people. Stringent social “norms” become more relaxed yet inclusive as individuals become more understanding and accepting of cultural differences. In the tech industry, it has become common for employees to work with different cultures as they interact with professionals around the world. Understanding and applying cultural intelligence to your everyday life will allow you to grow as an ERP professional. 

As an employee of a company with a strong commitment to DEI, you must have cultural intelligence and acceptance to have a healthy growing work atmosphere. Being open to changes and ideas you are not familiar with helps you and your company grow. Furthermore, as the workforce continues to move more remote, the availability of diverse talent becomes much more accessible. Naturally, you are going to experience a much more diverse work environment as a result. The ability to apply and understand cultural intelligence will go a long way in developing your skills as a coworker, team leader, or even business owner. 

Adapting to a Diverse Workplace

Now that we understand the benefits of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in the workplace, how can you adapt as an employee? It may seem challenging to work with minds that think differently because of people’s various backgrounds and experiences.  It is important to understand those differences and how they can create positive change through coordination and collaboration. If you are able to understand your coworkers and the different ideas and habits they bring and why, you will be able to connect on a more personal level allowing for new and unique ideas to develop.  

What are ways you can adapt to a diverse workplace? Try to utilize some of the strategies that PeopleScout lists in their Managing Diversity in the Workplace blog

  • Be Open-Minded: Recognize and accept the cultural differences among your co-workers. 
  • Encourage Diverse Collaboration: Working collaboratively with your diverse co-workers will prevent preconceived notions and cultural misunderstandings. 
  • Treat each Employee as an Individual: Judge employees and co-workers based on merit rather than attributing actions to their background. 

Harnessing Diversity to Power your Organization

As we have seen throughout this blog, strong DEI in the workplace has a direct correlation with a company’s growth and stability. As the world continues to become more remote yet united, it is important to understand cultural differences in the workplace. By accepting these differences, organizations and their employees are able to positively impact the growth and development of a company. 

As someone who has traveled to nearly every continent and almost a dozen countries, I have become more culturally aware of my surroundings. This has helped in my work with various organizations all over the world, including internal studies in three different countries. By embracing and understanding cultural differences, I was able to work collaboratively with different individuals. This ultimately led to increased growth, productivity, and collaboration among team members, managers, and owners in every environment. 

So, how will you adapt to a diverse workplace? Will you allow yourself to accept and understand the cultural differences you will face?  If you ignore ideas and actions different from your own, productivity, collaboration, growth, innovation, efficiency are all at risk.   Your company’s growth and stability will be directly impacted (positively or negatively) by Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) in the workplace.

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