A workplace that values diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) improves productivity and attracts and retains talent. As organizations look for effective ways to achieve their DEI goals, DEI councils are emerging as a multifaceted tool to support success and to help keep organizations accountable on their DEI journey and ensure that information is communicated broadly to employees and customers.
Starting a DEI council requires a thoughtful approach that considers the needs and goals of the organization, as well as the employees and resources available to make it successful. Seramount’s latest insight paper uncovered key best practices that make a DEI council successful.
Download the insight paper: Elements of Success: Understanding and Creating Effective DEI Councils.
What is a DEI Council?
DEI councils have been getting increased attention recently, but the reality is that this type of DEI strategy has been around for years and has proven to be beneficial for organizations that use them. DEI councils consider the needs and goals of organizations and help to build trust between senior leaders and employees. They aim to make organizations a more inclusive space and help keep DEI initiatives a top priority. DEI councils are typically made up of team members from across an organization, including stakeholders, that have a mix of experiences, roles within the organization, and other values.
When used effectively, DEI councils lead to impressive results by encouraging improvement and achievement. These councils keep senior leaders and stakeholders accountable to DEI, while being transparent by communicating progress with employees. They allow for an organization to perfect their DEI efforts and make sure these efforts align with the needs of the employees.
Six key ways that DEI councils serve organizations:
- Earn customer and employee trust and loyalty: DEI councils emphasize the importance of trust and support in an organization for employees, which is reflected in consumers as well.
- Attract and retain talent, while positioning your company of inclusive excellence: Having employees that feel valued by their workplace is the best way to retain talent, and DEI councils make sure that employees’ needs and wants are heard so that they feel valued.
- Support and develop an inclusive, culturally competent workplace: These types of councils serve to make workplaces a safer place for all employees and are structured to do so.
- Eliminate blind spots related to discrimination, bias, and harassment: These councils also serve as a safe way to hear concerns from employees about what they might see as issues concerning DEI in the everyday workplace.
Organizations that use DEI councils have proven that they can be successful tools in aligning the business strategy, DEI initiatives, and strengthening the organization from within. The councils are specific to each organization and can be an essential tool to enact change when created and used properly. When companies devote time and resources to DEI councils, they see impactful outcomes such as retaining top talent, improving employee performance, and enhancing innovation. By being intentional around supporting DEI measures, organizations will see changes take place that will lead to business success.
If you would like to learn more about Seramount’s research around DEI councils, check out our insight paper Elements of Success: Understanding and Creating Effective DEI Councils.
If you would like to learn more about implementing DEI best practices into the workplace, contact us.