Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) isn’t just about doing the right thing, it’s also good for business. Unfortunately, we’re still seeing plenty of HR professionals met with challenges from senior leadership around investing in DEI strategy.
If that’s you, here’s a solid basis for your business case, that will do a great job in selling DEI strategy to the top.
- Think about how you can demonstrate how investing in DEI can lead to improved business performance. Give some examples of how it will achieve increased innovation, higher employee engagement, candidate attraction and better customer service.Try using some research too. Did you know that there is a growing body of research that supports the business case for DEI? A McKinsey study found that companies in the top quartile for ethnic and cultural diversity on executive teams were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians. A study by Glassdoor recently found that 76% of job seekers say that a diverse workforce is important to them when considering job.
- Clarify your organisation’s current status by collecting and using data to tell your story. By data we mean things like your current workforce demographics, employee engagement levels and perceptions of inclusion and belonging. This data can help you to identify areas where improvement is needed and to make a case for investing in DEI.
- Develop a DEI strategy with goals and objectives for your organisation which align with the overall business goals. Once you know what you want to achieve, you can start to develop specific initiatives and programs to support those goals.
- Identify the costs of your proposals, factoring in the time and resources required to implement and be realistic about how much money you need to achieve your goals. It’s important to get buy-in from senior leadership on the budget, so be clear about how the money will be spent and what the expected outcomes are.
- Be prepared for the ‘what ifs’ when presenting your ideas to senior leadership. Think about their current priorities and the questions they will want to ask and consider involving other stakeholders, such as employee resource groups.
- Measure and track your progress. It is important to track your progress towards your DEI goals so that you can demonstrate the value of your investment. This will help you to secure future funding for D&I initiatives.
- Be patient and persistent. It may take some time to gain support for all your ideas but don’t give up! Continue to educate stakeholders about the benefits of DEI and to advocate for a DEI budget.
- Think about doing a DEI Gap Analysis. This can be light touch, but is a great way to highlight to your leadership team why what your currently doing isn’t quite enough. After all, your end goal is to improve your diversity and inclusion practices, and a gap analysis can provide a brilliant framework to kick start that goal into action. We can support you with this if it’s something you’d like to explore (here’s how we did it for an international law firm). Drop our team a line for an informal chat to see how it could look for your organisation.
And good luck with the business case sell!