What is your Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Focus for 2023? | QCS

What is your Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Focus for 2023?

Dementia Care
January 26, 2023

Emma Christian, People Consultant, People Projects Team at Napthens explains the importance of having a good ED&I strategy.

The world of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (‘ED&I’) has certainly been at the forefront of many businesses for a while now, with business leaders starting to understand the importance of having a diverse workforce. You may be reading this and thinking we have everything in place. We collect data on our employees, we run ED&I training, so what else is there to consider?

There is a lot actually; ED&I should be a consideration as part of any people-related process. With many people deciding on where to work based on how the employer treats their staff, ED&I plays a big part in attracting and also retaining employees. With the CIPD just releasing their 2022 Inclusion and Diversity Report, it’s a good opportunity to consider what you are doing internally.

Use your data

So, let’s consider this; you have collected the data about employees but what do you then do with it?  Many businesses collect data but then just sit on it. It’s important that if you are going to the trouble of collecting information, you use it to the benefit of the organisation. This may help with things like deciding where to advertise roles and help target recruitment initiatives.

Create a plan

As with anything, there should be a clear plan. Businesses should take a look at the overall strategy to understand what it wants to achieve; from there sub-strategies are formed to underpin this. From an ED&I perspective, it’s having the ability to understand where there will be an impact on the business with certain focuses. Not only will this help achieve the overall strategy, but also avoid unnecessary monetary waste on initiatives that do not provide a return.

Survey your staff

So where to start? Consider an audit/health check on your workplace culture. Send out a survey to gauge your employee’s understanding and opinions, then collate the data to analyse. From there you can consider areas to focus on. Having an evidence-based plan is going to be far more successful than just thinking about the popular initiatives.

The CIPD report found that the most common areas of focus that were currently being considered were:

  • Mental health (29%)
  • Race/ethnicity (23%)
  • Gender (21%)

Whilst the report showed that 36% of employers had no plans to focus on any ED&I areas, other employers highlighted the following areas that they were choosing to focus on for the future:

  • Mental health (21%)
  • Race/ethnicity (15%)
  • Gender (14%)

Whilst the focus areas are largely the same, it is clear that there is a reduction on the number of employers who are choosing to focus on ED&I. It could be argued that the cost-of-living crisis and the struggle to recruit has contributed to this, with businesses looking to just get through the next period rather than being proactive. However, as we saw with COVID, the businesses that had a plan and were ahead of the game statistically fared better. With the new generation of workers coming through and with their expectation on workplace culture being greater than ever, now is not the time to sit back and not be proactive.

The CIPD report shares 7 recommendations for practice in 2023 for you to think about in your own business and how you can help make an impact:

  1. Build an evidence-based long-term plan or strategy with impact measures to track progress.
  2. Take a data-driven approach to gain buy-in, investment and maximum impact.
  3. Critically assess your people management approach with an inclusion & diversity lens.
  4. Enable managers, including through job design and training on core people management skills, to fulfil their vital role in creating inclusive workplaces.
  5. Support leaders to champion inclusion & diversity as role models and hold others accountable.
  6. Tailor your approach to inclusion & diversity to your organisational context.
  7. Take a long-term view; don’t take your foot off the pedal.

If you have any queries or are in need of specific advice in relation to any employment law query, please contact a member of the Napthens Employment Team who are able to offer 30 minutes of free advice to QCS members.


Employment Law Specialists


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