We live in politically charged times, with a misperception emerging that diversity, equity and inclusion efforts are part of a political agenda. But DEI is politically agnostic. Why? Because the focus is on basic life principles, like how we understand and treat people who may be different from ourselves. DEI also helps shape a healthier culture, with enhanced collaboration, productivity, innovation and greater opportunities for all. It’s about respect, fairness and basic morality. These are human values, not political ones.
How can HR professionals help employees see the value and clear benefits of DEI? How can we launch DEI training and other programming in a way that will be accepted by everyone? With this in mind, let’s look at strategies for addressing employee resistance to diversity, equity and inclusion.
Make the business and culture case
Start with making the case that DEI offers better outcomes for organizations and employees. A report from McKinsey provides “ample evidence that diverse and inclusive companies are likely to make better, bolder decisions— a critical capability in the [pandemic] crisis,” with such companies outperforming others by 36%. More prosperous organizations can offer employees better job security, higher wages and increased likelihood of advancement.
Pre-plan, listen and engage
There’s a key to making this process work from beginning to end: listening, engaging and addressing resistance. You’ll want to carefully set your groundwork, thinking through all of the potential issues and barriers.
This article was co-authored with Natasha Nicholson, Senior Content Manager at Kantola.