7 tips on how to prioritise DE&I in a recession

DE&I is still possible with a tight budget

How do businesses create and maintain a successful diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) strategy in a challenging economic climate when running costs, inflation, and living costs are high, but cash reserves are low?

And why should they?

First, as a business, you want to outperform your peers, and robust DE&I initiatives can help you do that and attract and retain top talent.

There are also legal obligations employers must consider to prevent workplace discrimination and provide a work environment free from harassment.

It is a moral responsibility to promote diversity and inclusion and to create an equitable workplace for all employees; equally, inclusion initiatives can help foster a positive work environment and improve employee morale, even in tough economic times.

Maintaining DE&I initiatives during a challenging economic climate can be tricky, but it is important to prioritise these efforts for the company’s and its employees’ long-term success and wellbeing.

So even though investment in inclusion strategies may be low this year, it is still possible to create a sense of belonging with careful planning and prioritisation. Here are some steps businesses can take:

  1. Make diversity, equity and inclusion a priority: Despite economic challenges, companies need to prioritise DE&I and allocate resources to support their DE&I initiatives.
  2. Involve employees: Encourage employee involvement in the inclusion process by providing opportunities for feedback and input. This helps build a sense of ownership and buy-in among employees, making the initiatives more successful.
  3. Leverage technology: Use technology to support DE&I initiatives, such as online training and virtual events. This can reduce costs while providing valuable learning opportunities for employees.
  4. Partner with organisations: Collaborate with community organisations, advocacy groups, and other stakeholders to achieve shared inclusion goals. This can leverage resources and create a more impactful DE&I strategy.
  5. Focus on impactful initiatives: Rather than spreading resources thinly across many initiatives, focus on a smaller number of initiatives that will have the greatest impact. This helps maximise the impact of DE&I efforts while minimising costs.
  6. Measure progress: Regularly assess the impact of DE&I initiatives to ensure they achieve the desired outcomes. This helps identify areas for improvement and make adjustments as needed.
  7. Continuously adapt: Be prepared to constantly adapt DE&I initiatives as the business environment changes. This helps ensure that the inclusion strategy remains relevant and effective over time.

By taking these steps, businesses can create and maintain a successful DE&I strategy even in challenging economic conditions and reap the benefits of a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace.

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