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Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy. In fact, according to the Small Business Administration, small businesses make up 99.7 percent of all employers in the United States. However, while they play a crucial role in our economy, small businesses often do not have the same resources as larger organizations — including human resource departments. This can be a problem when it comes to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).
Oftentimes, small businesses do not have dedicated DEI staff or budgets. In addition, without these resources, it can be difficult to create an inclusive environment. However, just because your organization is small does not mean you cannot invest in DEI.
How Is HR Vital to DEI?
A recent survey found that 94 percent of business owners are also in charge of DEI, but it is important to integrate DEI into the human resources and hiring process. Human resources are vital to DEI for a number of reasons.
First, HR is responsible for recruiting and hiring employees. This gives them the ability to diversify the workforce and ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to apply for jobs.
Second, HR is responsible for creating policies and procedures that foster an inclusive environment. This includes things such as ensuring that everyone has access to the same benefits and opportunities and that there is no discrimination or harassment in the workplace.
Why Is DEI Important to the Overall Success of Small Organizations?
DEI is important to the overall success of small organizations for a number of reasons. First, it helps attract and retain top talent. Diverse and inclusive organizations are more likely to attract and retain employees of all backgrounds. This is because people want to work in an environment where they feel valued and respected. As it stands, 17 percent of respondents to a recent survey did not feel their business was as diverse as it should be, while 40 percent did not feel their workforce was diverse enough to have a DEI policy.
Second, DEI helps boost creativity and innovation. When you have a diverse group of people working together, they are more likely to come up with new and innovative ideas. Finally, DEI helps improve the bottom line. Studies have shown that organizations with diverse and inclusive workforces are more successful than those that do not.
So, if you are a small business owner, do not think that you cannot invest in DEI. A vast majority of small businesses are making DEI a priority, and investing in human resources is a vital first step to creating a more diverse and inclusive environment.
DEI Resources for Small Business HR
If you are a small business owner, there are a number of resources available to help you create a more diverse and inclusive environment. The Small Business Administration has a number of programs and initiatives that can help, including the 8(a) Business Development Program and the Women’s Business Centers.
There are also a number of private organizations that offer resources and assistance, such as the National Association for the Self-Employed and the Minority Business Development Agency. Finally, there are a number of online resources available, including blogs, articles, and webinars.
No matter what size your organization is, DEI should be a priority. In addition, investing in human resources is a vital first step.
Ways to Incorporate DEI Practices into Your Business’s HR Department
There are a number of ways to incorporate DEI into your human resources department. Here are a few ideas:
1. Develop a diverse recruiting strategy.
When you are recruiting new employees, make sure to reach out to a variety of sources. These include job fairs, online job boards and community organizations. You should also consider using a staffing agency that specializes in diversity recruiting.
2. Create inclusive policies and procedures.
Review your policies and procedures to make sure they are inclusive of all employees. These include equal opportunity, anti-discrimination, and anti-harassment policies.
3. Train your staff on DEI.
Make sure to train your human resources staff on DEI principles and practices. This will help them create a more inclusive environment in your workplace.
4. Monitor your progress.
Regularly monitor your progress to make sure you are making progress on your DEI goals. This includes tracking the diversity of your workforce, conducting climate surveys, and evaluating your policies and procedures.
Moving Onward and Upward
Making DEI a priority in your human resources department is vital to the success of your organization. By taking these steps, you will create a more diverse and inclusive workplace that will attract and retain top talent. Ultimately, you will boost your bottom line.