We’re living in one of the most volatile times. Amid the Great Resignation, there’s more movement between companies and industries than we’ve ever seen before. That’s especially true for people who identify across the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) spectrum, including Black, Indigenous, and people of color, people with disabilities, and those who identify as LGBTQIA+.
We are seeing this disproportionate impact on people of color and federally protected categories. This population has felt the brunt of our global dysfunction within companies and workplace culture for many years.
We continue to grapple with the reality of a global pandemic and the aftermath of racial uprisings in 2020. In the midst of it all, employees realize where their current companies are falling short, rethinking their priorities, and reconsidering how they spend their time.
The companies of yesterday are not the companies of tomorrow
The companies of yesterday are not the companies of tomorrow, and some of the practices that we got away with are not going to fly in the future we are trying to co-create together.
The world we are in today is one where DE&I is prioritized, and it needs to be done well and with a focus on equitable outcomes. The hallmarks of emerging leaders and the companies who are going to be the most successful as we move into a more equitable future are those who think about compensation and benefits and how that affects people across the diversity spectrum – those who provide professional development, employee involvement, and make visible commitments.
For folks taking this seriously, the starting place is to measure what matters. Thank you to Top Workplaces for providing a metrics-based calibration where we can recognize our impact on the people who make the work possible.
The dawn of DE&I as an industry
The dawn of DE&I as a new industry is the result of so many people being left behind. As I see it, we’re at an inflection point, not unlike what we saw with information technology 35 to 40 years ago.
Decades ago, it was a big deal to have a technology “guy” you could call to fix your broken Texas Instrument calculator. Now fast forward 15, 20, or 25 years. That’s when the world started to understand that meaningfully embedding information systems and technology across businesses would create a force accelerator, exponentially increasing our capacity to get to the vision and mission of the organization.
That is the inflection point we are at with DE&I. We are living this reality. Diversity, equity, and inclusion cannot be a stand-alone thing in a corner. We are now at a place where if you begin to calibrate and quantify DE&I at a systems level and integrate DE&I values into your organization, you will have the same force acceleration power that information technology did 25 years ago.
Why Top Workplaces recognition is significant, especially now
Consumers are increasingly thinking about the companies they want to support. Now, job seekers and employees are doing the same. That’s why earning a Top Workplaces award is more important than ever. It’s a symbol of a people-first culture. It’s also a differentiator that allows companies to stand out amongst their peers.
Today, prioritizing the best practices that support DE&I is a hallmark of the companies that will be the most successful as we strive for an equitable future. How you recruit and hire new talent matters now more than ever. How you compensate people across the diversity spectrum matters. Professional development, employee involvement, making visible commitments – all of these things matter.
This quarter, Energage is recognizing Top Workplaces committed to building and sustaining diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces, as demonstrated by their practices. The Top Workplaces national award for DE&I Practices is based on company processes, policies, and other systems. And as with its other national Culture Excellence and Industry awards, being a Top Workplace is a prerequisite.
A commitment to DE&I starts with measuring what matters
The starting place for DE&I is measurement. Capturing feedback and listening to your employees is the only way to know where your company excels – and where there are opportunities for improvement.
- How do we compare to other companies in our industry and size band?
- Are we thinking about our culture in the right way?
- Do we know what matters most to our employees?
If you want to commit to DE&I genuinely, it’s imperative to think about these things, ask your employees for feedback — and then listen. Really listen. To do that requires the ability to see people and be compassionate. It’s prioritizing creating systems and structures and policies and procedures that leave absolutely no one behind.
Winners of the Top Workplaces national award for DE&I Practices
Kudos and shout out to our October 2021 Top Workplaces award winners – and to everybody who took the assessment to be considered for this award. It is a really big deal. Congratulations and thank you for your devotion to DE&I accountability and prioritizing the well-being of your people.
People are not numbers. People are living, breathing, beautiful souls who deserve care. They want to show up at work as their amazing selves. They want to contribute their talent, intelligence, and creativity to serve your bottom line. Keep up the fantastic work.
Nominate your company for Top Workplaces, the recognition program that’s powered entirely by employee feedback.