Organizations had a wide variety of reactions to the pandemic in terms of pursuing their DE&I strategy. Some found they were able to use the lower demands of a slower economy to focus their efforts. Others found it hard to follow through on their intentions because they were scrambling to keep their doors open. After all, you can’t hire a more diverse workforce when you’re not hiring at all. But now that business is beginning to pick back up in many sectors, DE&I as a priority is bubbling back up to the surface.
4 Factors That Can Impact Longevity of a Company’s DE&I Efforts
Factor #1: DE&I Took A Hit With Downsizing
Companies whose business did not return to pre-pandemic levels may find they need to downsize rather than hire, making it even more difficult to keep up with their commitments. The problem lies with companies who consider DE&I a nice-to-have, not a must-have. They will focus on core activities that will drive revenue and reduce costs. They may not consider the positive impact diversity plays on the bottom line. Companies cannot afford to take this approach because not only will they miss out on the advantages of diversity to the organization, their brand, and their standing in the community can be damaged.
Factor #2: Making Wise Reorganization Decisions
If layoffs are necessary to keep the business running, it’s important to take a measured approach. Decisions should be made by a diverse leadership that will take care that no one group is disproportionately impacted For example, if you take a last-in, first-out approach to downsizing, and your DE&I efforts are recent, you may end up laying off the very people you hoped would bring more diversity into the organization. It can be tempting to let go of tenured employees since they are often the most expensive to keep, but in many cases, older people are part of a protected class which can create a whole new set of problems.
Factor #3: Shuffling Diversity To The Bottom Of The Priority List
Make sure your company follows through on its DE&I strategy by integrating it into other core initiatives. Diversity should be a must-have rather than an add-on after other priorities are taken care of. Whether your company is ramping up or downsizing, diversity should be as important as cost-cutting and profitability because it will make your business more competitive in the long run. It will improve your brand and ensure you have access to the diverse talents and viewpoints that will keep you competitive.
Factor #4: Including DE&I At Every Level
Reinforce with leadership and other stakeholders the importance of DE&I to how your company is moving forward. Check that diversity hiring and development is a priority at every level. When you assess your organization’s diversity, it shouldn’t be concentrated at entry-level new hires. It should be distributed throughout the company from the c-suite on down.
The Panther Group Diversity Commitment
Panther understands the importance of an inclusive workplace and is committed to helping our employer partners prepare for the diverse future of business.
Create an effective DE&I strategy with The Panther Group. Contact us today.
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