Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Action: How DEI Works at Instant Teams
Workplace diversity and inclusion is more than just a checkbox and providing the “right answers” to customers and potential employees. Advancing diversity efforts requires increased training and intentional awareness to truly understand the experiences of those involved and how their unique skill sets are valuable to our professional teams. By truly understanding the meaning of DEI and why it’s so essential and examining existing hiring practices, we can identify the next steps towards improving diverse and inclusive hiring practices to make the workplace more accessible for all. So how does DEI work at Instant Teams?
What are EEO and DEI?
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) laws strive to eliminate discrimination in workplace settings. Two U.S. agencies -- the Civil Rights Center and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program -- handle EEO monitoring and enforcement and help businesses remain compliant.
Within individual companies, Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives reflect efforts to create and maintain a workplace in which all employees can participate and contribute to the business’s success and are valued for their skills, experience and unique perspectives. On a personal level, EEO and DEI help eliminate the “one size fits all” hiring mentality and build diverse, inclusive and multi-faceted teams.
The Transformative Power of Diverse Hiring
Staffing agencies, recruiters, internal hiring teams and on-demand talent providers are the DEI gatekeepers for every company. Though diversity initiatives are usually company-wide and can be built into the very framework of an inclusive organization, hiring teams have the final say over resumes, interviews and hiring decisions. Without defined DEI best practices, it’s all too easy for unconscious (or even conscious) bias and other subtle discriminations to creep into hiring practices.
“An organization that values equal employment for all increases the chances that it will have a diverse workforce, which has many positive actions for the teams, departments, and overall organizational productivity and creativity,” said Briana Pruitt, Director of People Operations at Instant Teams . "Ensuring a culture of diversity eliminates those biases and allows all candidates equal opportunity to be submitted to hiring leaders.”
Diverse hiring practices unlock a greater range of talent and perspectives that can be valuable to an organization, plain and simple. Professionals with unique worldviews, ethnicities, ages and gender identities can provide insight to a broader consumer base: It’s impossible to recognize the pain points and motivations of a diverse group if your internal team is limited to people with similar backgrounds and ideologies. When corporate culture embeds inclusivity from the top-down, positive change can’t help but filter down to the greater organization.
Additionally, research shows that diverse companies yield a more significant ROI (both profitability and long-term growth). According to “Why Diversity Matters,” a McKinsey & Company study, companies with gender-diverse executive-level professionals are 15% more profitable than their primarily white, male counterparts. Finally, racially and ethnically diverse teams perform up to 35% better than homogenous companies. Knowing the meaning and value of DEI and transforming your hiring practices to be more inclusive elevates your business above those still trying to fit diversity into their culture rather than building their entire hiring strategy around its integral value.
Developing an Inclusive Hiring Strategy
Instant Teams, a leader in military spouse employment and remote work spaces, recognized early on that diversity was key to business success. Our business model relies on the diversity of the military-connected community - spouses, veterans, caregivers and survivors - as well as the natural diversity that a remote workforce offers. And because it’s so important that our own teams be diverse, we understand how important it is for our customers seeking to build and outsource work to dedicated teams, as well.
In addition to a strong diversity mission, Instant Teams has several diversity partners for sourcing talent within the military-connected community. The Modern Military Association of America is the nation’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to advancing fairness and equality for the LGBTQ+ military and veteran community. And Esposas Militares Hispanas USA Armed Forces focuses on Hispanic Military FAmilies with programs dedicated to breaking language barriers and providing employment and education opportunities to Hispanic military spouses and children.
Inclusion should celebrate the diversity of your workforce. And attracting top talent — especially for fully diversified or remote teams with global access — also requires a culture where executives, employees and contractors are free to bring their authentic selves to all aspects of their lives, including their work.
Additional Ways to Improve DEI
Here are just a few ways that Instant Teams has embedded DEI in its culture:
- Encourage self-identification - and respect of those preferences. As an example, when team members are open to it, they’re encouraged to make their preferred pronouns clear through Slack, email signatures and other channels. Even those whose pronouns match their expressed identity are encouraged to make their preferred pronouns clear to normalize self-identification and discussions around it.
- Anti-harassment vigilance: Company policies discourage and penalize harassment, as well as offering clear and supportive channels for recourse.
- Support transgender and transitioning professionals: Instant Teams recognizes all diversity on its team and providers support for transgender and transitioning professionals.
- Track internal diversity statistics: Tracked for EEO, these allow us to identify areas where diversity could be improved or where inclusion and equity measures are necessary to ramp up support for specific demographic groups.
- Employee resource groups - Instant Teams is currently working on empowering the formation of ERGs - employer-recognized workplace groups voluntarily led by employees who share an affinity with one another. These commonalities could be race, religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, social or economic causes and shared interests. This can help give specific employee groups a voice and offer them a path
Here are 3 additional ways you can increase DEI at your company.
Challenge The Norms
Though positive steps are being taken to promote increased corporate diversity, many companies are still unaware of the advantages DEI brings (or that their DEI efforts might be lacking). Take stock of your existing company culture and identify areas of improvement. Offer a self-identification survey to your employees and see how the resulting workforce diversity data can add value to your organization.
Facilitate Open Conversations
Diversity thrives best in open company cultures, where curiosity and continued learning are the pillars of inclusion. Prove to your employees that each one, with their unique backgrounds and experiences, matters to your organization. Highlight team member stories, update your company on continued D&I efforts and make intentional room for every voice to contribute to your evolving culture through relevant holidays and community events, cultural awareness opportunities and more.
Partner with Instant Teams
At Instant Teams, EEO and DEI hiring are more than guidelines for avoiding DOL enforcement: it’s the baseline of everything we do and a crucial part of our growing success. Employing a 43% minority and 94% women workforce, Instant Teams’ commitment to supplying fully remote, diverse, inclusive teams sets an example across industries. If your business is looking for an outsourcing partner -- not just to understand the value of DEI, but to prioritize it and help you move toward a more diverse future -- contact a Team Development Lead today.