Talent Management

How to make DEIB a part of your talent strategy

DEIB talent strategy

Editor’s Note: The following piece is an excerpt from our latest report, Managing Workforce Velocity: Improving Employee Retention. Download the report to learn more ways to improve retention and keep your talent.

Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) — the piece that I always add — must be an integral part of your talent optimization strategy. The most successful companies are people-centered, people-focused and people-first organizations.


1. Thinking Diversely About Diversity

When most people think of DEIB, they think of representation. Representation is one piece of this, but your strategy must go beyond representation and look at diversity in other ways — diversity of thought, diversity of background, diversity of experience, diversity of perspective and diversity of styles.

People want to be in communities where they feel psychologically safe to take risks, to learn, to grow and to challenge themselves and others. They need to feel seen, heard and valued.

CEOs really need to have a variety of different perspectives that inform them about the different ways to think about their workforce. Take the work-from-home debate.

Studies show that neurodiverse workers thrive in work-from-home situations because they don’t have as much stimulation and can control their working environment. Also, consider accommodations for the otherwise-abled, such as people who have physical challenges, are hearing-impaired, or are vision-impaired.

2. Be Proactive, Not Reactive

It’s better to be proactive and think about these things before there’s an issue.

When people are interviewing at your company, they will ask questions about how you support working mothers or people of different sexual orientations or gender identities, or how you’re preventing harassment.

If you’re not creating a clear message of how your company treats its people, someone else will. Remember, in the absence of a clear message, people will create their own.

3. Consider Policy and Process

Talent optimization and DEIB are about policy and process. Often there’s no process in place that allows you to stop and recognize, “Oh, we need to think about this.” Ultimately, if you have not created a psychologically safe environment, people are not going to stay.

4. Optimize the Environment to Attract, Engage and Retain People

Talent optimization and DEIB are not coddling your people. They are important in creating an environment that allows them to be their best. If we want to attract, engage and retain talent that we can optimize now and into the future, this must be an important part of who we are and what we do.


Related Resources

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: How leaders can take action on DEI

The Vistage Diversity and Inclusion Resource Center

Category: Talent Management

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About the Author: Keisha Rivers

Keisha A. Rivers harnessed the lessons learned while leading during a harrowing Hurricane Katrina experience to become a successful international speaker, change agent and learning leader. As President and Chief Change Officer of The KARS

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