In recent years, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have become part and parcel of not only our daily routine but also our workplace ethics. Focus areas for DEI work ebb and flow with social movements and the needs of employees. Below are 6 trends we’ve noticed over the past year across organizations, but first, we’ll share a bit about us.
About Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Programs
Our experts at Hyphens And Spaces bring a human-centered systems-thinking approach to DEI enablement, strategy, and learning. At Hyphens And Spaces, we have an undeniable responsibility to instill lasting and meaningful change in workplaces. We impart knowledge on the creation of systemic change around DEI activities in the workplace and its importance in all aspects of modern business, including quitting quietly, burnout, great resignation, and more. This is especially applicable in recent days’ events involving historical injustices that have marginalized and disadvantaged the previously underrepresented workforce.
6 important Diversity and Inclusion DEI Trends for 2022
Here are six crucial insights on diverse and inclusive workplace trends for this year to reflect on.
1. Accepting the New Norm
With the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting our way of life since early 2020, the current trend is based on weaving your company’s DEI practices into the new norm. In 2022, many companies work remotely to avoid the spread of the virus. As a result, many companies now have different approaches to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace, such as hybrid models and working remotely full-time. Some organizations have already implemented long-term safety and health policies to keep their workforce safe amid the pandemic while others have created flexible work-from-home programs.
2. Incorporating all Stakeholders
By bringing all the people involved together, including the junior, senior, and management staff, your DEI strategy will be more effective. Excluding anyone in DEI learning in your organization will create a non-inclusion notion that will be counterproductive in achieving your ultimate DEI goals. This is especially true for senior management and CEOs.
2022 has seen a rise in the efforts to lead by example and the implementation of DEI campaigns to achieve an inclusive culture, hand-in-hand with the underrepresented. The inclusion efforts show the world how your organization truly values the underrepresented.
3. Enabling Diverse Gender Expression and Gender Identity
2022 has seen an increase in awareness about gender expressions and identities. Companies worldwide have been doing their best to accommodate this aspect by adopting inclusive practices. For instance, some ensure that they have gender-neutral bathrooms while others are creating awareness regarding the use of inclusive language for people of different gender identities.
4. Hybrid Mandatory and Voluntary DEI Training
Even if you have the authority, forcing your workers to attend your DEI training classes can be counterproductive. Making generic DEI training mandatory could even do more harm than good to your organization. However, having exclusively opt-in DEI training can lead to conflict in prioritizing DEI activities and not reaching the people in the organization who could really benefit from the skills development.
For the work to be impactful and successful, you must offer baseline learning opportunities to give your employees a common understanding of DEI language and expectations, as well as the freedom to continue learning. Furthermore, trends in diversity and inclusion training in 2022 have moved beyond the basic unconscious bias, harassment, and legal compliance training that talk only about do’s, don’ts, and, consequences your employees or organization might face. Employees both expect and benefit more from skills development training that touches on more subtle and prevalent issues.
At Hyphens And Spaces, we always focus on the positives of optimal representation. Our DEI campaigns are successful because we address topics that are relevant to the day-to-day experiences of employees and leaders. They address burning questions and offer concrete evidence-based tools that support engaging across different backgrounds.
5. Going Over and Beyond Tokenism
Companies have become more aware that inclusion and diversity are much more than letting one woman take part in a panel full of men or employing one person of color. Companies have been making efforts to do impactful DEI practices and not just the bare minimum. DEI just for the sake of being politically correct or sounding trendy does not cut it this year.
Companies are changing towards being more intentional and mindful of their diversity and inclusion strategies and goals. They are also gearing up to build on the foundations set 2 years ago when there was an uptick in interest in racial injustice. They are now aiming to create equity and inclusion for multiple identities and on varied topics that impact the employee and client experience such as a shifting political climate, the looming recession, and more.
6. Grassroots DEI Groups
DEI committees and ERG groups are not new in organizations. However, we have noticed an uptick in these groups being established and spearheaded by employees.
According to a recent survey, about 48% of the companies surveyed had at least one employee resource group that were typically centered on identities such as gender identity, ethnicity or race, and sexual orientation.
These employee resource groups are important in fostering psychological safety and building a community for workers. They are instrumental in inclusion because they participate in or spearhead inclusion and diversity activities and discussions. These inclusion activities are effective tools for driving an inclusive environment.
The fact that is emerging more organically demonstrates growing employee engagement in DEI initiatives.
Get the Best DEI Partnership in 2022
For the remainder of 2022, DEI trends will be at the forefront of incorporating workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion into your company’s policies and processes to create a favorable work environment. It will entail hiring, training, and retaining employees through a DEI lens, as well as creating inclusive teams.
Hyphens and Spaces provides world-class, adaptable services. We use innovative teaching methods and a goal-oriented approach to help your workforce understand and promote diversity and not have unconscious bias while working in your organization.
For more on DEI learning or strategy work, contact us at [email protected] today.