Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) are not just business buzzwords. They are essential aspects of a healthy workplace and for any organization that intends to survive and thrive in the 21st century. In these times of shifting work routines, whether remote or hybrid, motivating and retaining the workforce becomes more of a challenge. And DEIB plays an important role in engaging and motivating a productive, engaged workforce.
In a recent issue of the Harvard Business Review, James D. White, the former CEO of Jamba Juice, spells out a playbook for fostering DEIB in any business or organization. Critical to the process is actively listening and learning, engaging with your staff members “to learn what’s in their hearts and minds. Use the sessions to give voice to those who have been voiceless within your organization.”
To open those hearts and minds, though, you need to make the participants anonymous, so they will be free to express their criticisms and concerns without fear of retribution or shaming.
You also need to get the support and alignment of senior leaders. “Remind managers,” says White (who is Black), “that diversity helps a company solve problems and drives innovation.”
Another aspect of achieving DEIB is to find out how your company culture is perceived by its stakeholders. To do this, you can ask stakeholders – again anonymously – how they feel about belonging and whether they intend to remain. In this way, you can bring to light any perceptions of gender, racial, or other biases.
Asking questions and getting answers about DEIB issues isn’t enough. You still need a way to refine and align those responses to establish a baseline for evaluating your current DEIB programs and make improvements where needed. That’s where a good AI program – one that can scale and align responses quickly – comes into play. An AI program can also deliver results that provide business leaders and HR managers an actionable plan for setting up benchmarks for achieving DEIB goals.
One way to implement your organization’s goals, according to the former Jamba Juice CEO, is to put together learning teams composed of 15 to 20 people with diverse backgrounds and skills from different areas of your company. The team’s goal: transform the culture to fully embrace your DEIB goals.
The next step is to include your learning team as part of a larger, executive diversity council. That council, says White, should include you as the business or organization leader, as well as “the head of HR, the chief diversity officers, others on your diversity and inclusion teams, and leaders from key business units of divisions.”
Taking these steps – culling the opinions and insights regarding DEIB of your workforce, applying AI to refine and align their ideas, and setting up teams from diverse backgrounds and ranks to implement your goals – can benefit your company’s bottom line by actively engaging your workforce and reflecting the diversity of your customers’ needs as well.
That’s the idea behind CrowdSmart, a streaming service deploying AI and human intelligence that restores the ability of business leaders to discover insights and build alignment across a diversity of participants. By harvesting the collective intelligence from your employees anonymously, CrowdSmart not only eliminates bias but also makes employees and customers feel valued and learn from each other. As a result, your company or organization benefits from your employees’ knowledge with a refined clarity and understanding of their diverse perspectives.
Together with your employees, as a business leader you can co-create better approaches to challenges and build solutions that will work. This makes CrowdSmart an essential new technology in the future of work and a great place to make an investment in a turbulent market.