When we define a high-quality job, we typically think about things like lucrative pay, predictable schedules, physical safety, health benefits, paid leave, and professional development. All of these are important, but an essential and often-misunderstood factor in defining good qualities for a job is the concept of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) in the workplace.
Among other benefits, sound policies around DEIB offer psychological safety. The safer and freer employees feel to be themselves without fear of retribution, the more they can excel. This not only improves the quality of their day-to-day work experiences, but makes companies more productive, more profitable, and more reputable: happy employees are loyal employees. Here’s how you can improve DEIB policies and practices in your company and ensure that each role can be defined as a high-quality job.
Why It’s Important for Employers to Spearhead DEIB Efforts
Employers and business owners hold enormous gatekeeping power over workforce demographics as well as standard company policies and processes. The extent to which each employer values and strives for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging changes not just the fates of individual employees, but the landscape of business, the economy, and society as we know it. Workplace systems are created, upheld, and normalized by individual leaders. Each employer and entrepreneur can lead by creating or revising equitable policies and systems.
Strategies Employers Can Use to Make Real Progress in DEIB Efforts
Employers can advance DEIB in the workplace by closely examining forms of inequity in their communities as well as their own community role as a company. Here are some steps business owners can take to accomplish real results in their DEIB efforts:
- Understand that diversity ≠ equity or belonging. Realize that diversity in itself does not guarantee equity or belonging. For example, merely employing women and people of color doesn’t guarantee that they will enjoy a high-quality work experience or feel integral to a company’s culture or success. In fact, these groups consistently report having worse daily experiences and more exclusion at work than their White male counterparts.
- Educate yourself and train employees in policy history. Learn about your community’s policy history, including local laws as well as your industry and company policies. Examine practices and systems that may be yielding inequitable outcomes and contributing to low-quality jobs. Use this understanding as a concrete basis for forming DEIB plans rather than doing so in a vacuum. Ask about and uncover specific ways in which your company achieves or fails to achieve an equitable and inclusive workplace.
- Make conscious DEIB goals. Make a plan for ensuring diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging at each level of company policy and operation. First, evaluate the knowledge, skills, and abilities you’ll need to accomplish this. Make DEIB concerns integral to every aspect of the company planning, decision-making, and culture-shaping process. Remember: your company culture is part of its brand and reputation. Set and prioritize clear goals to build the cultural reputation you want to have in your community.
- Track and measure progress. Improving DEIB requires daily conscious effort. Merely stating that DEIB is important in HR paperwork doesn’t make it so at the water cooler. Hold company leaders at all levels accountable for qualifiable and quantifiable outcomes. Use tools like anonymous surveys and exit interviews to gauge how employees are feeling about work culture and their jobs. Check in with your workers regularly to see how they are doing.
Recruit High-Performing Employees with High-Quality Jobs that Champion DEIB
Ready to crack the tight labor market? Partner with JobTrain to create and fill high-quality jobs. If you live near Silicon Valley in northern California, you can visit one of JobTrain’s four affiliated career centers.
On March 2, JobTrain held its BRIDGE 2022 Forum & Awards, a virtual event that encourages employers to create programs that improve hiring practices around diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in the workplace. This year’s theme is “Quality Jobs: Defining a Quality Job and Paving the Way to Get There.” This event included an expert panel, employer-led breakout session, and awards ceremony recognizing employers who are doing right by their employees. The award winners for this year are:
Work/Life Balance Award: Celigo
Home Grown Award: Stanford Health Care
Small Business Award: TARLA Mediterranean Grill
Silicon Valley Award: Meta
JobTrain is an accredited educational and training institution that transforms lives and communities in Silicon Valley. We help the Valley’s most in need reclaim their lives from poverty and unemployment by preparing them for successful, sustainable careers in high-demand and emerging fields.
Each of JobTrain’s programs combines vocational training, academics, and essential skills development, preparing students to turn their lives around—from unemployment and poverty to success and self-sufficiency. Contact us today to learn more!