Diversity, equity, and inclusion programs offer benefits far beyond reducing the risk of lawsuits. The evidence is mounting that they are also a crucial tool for addressing other strategic risks, from employee turnover to customer attrition.
“As we learn more about the power of DEI programs, we are finding that they not only help prevent discrimination and harassment, but also help mitigate other strategic risks, while offering a number of long-term benefits,” write Kantola’s Alex Miller and Natasha Nicholson in a new article for HR.com. “Through the change they bring to an organization’s culture, DEI programs enhance collaboration and increase innovation, growth potential, and profitability.”
In their article, Alex and Natasha outline three concrete ways that DEI programs can help companies mitigate both legal and strategic risks:
- Reduce costly turnover. Effective DEI training educates employees about what inclusive cultures look like, and how to identify and address behaviors like microaggressions. That can lead to a culture where employees feel supported, valued, and engaged, making them more likely to stay.
- Avoid damaging interactions with customers. By focusing on building empathy and understanding, DEI programs can also teach employees to be more empathetic in their interactions with customers. According to Forrester research, “Empathy is critical yet elusive. Consumers are gravitating toward the brands that prioritize people over profits.”
- Broaden a dwindling talent pool. Not having the talent on board to achieve a company’s goals is a major business risk. DEI programs can help remove bias in hiring and recruitment processes, making sure you aren’t missing out on qualified candidates.