In today’s rapidly changing world, where the fabric of our communities is being reshaped, cities, counties, and organizations must proactively address the challenges and harness the opportunities that arise from a diverse populace. Research has found that organizations with inclusive practices and plans can increase their profits by 21% and revenue by almost 40%. Because of the many benefits, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have become paramount to many public agencies charged with creating inclusive environments for their staff and their residents.
The best way to make change is by creating and executing a DEI plan, and there are many benefits – two of which encompass social and economic implications. If your municipality is considering a DEI plan, below are a few of the most important reasons this undertaking is a must-have for your community.
DEI plans can provide an “accountability roadmap” for achieving equity and inclusivity goals by establishing clear goals and metrics, providing regular reporting, conducting audits and assessments, engaging stakeholders, and holding leaders accountable for progress toward DEI goals. The plan should outline who is responsible for implementing these actions. Reporting and tracking should also be publicized to provide a framework for community members to hold their local government accountable for progress toward these goals.
A recent Equity Audit we completed for Hillsborough County in Florida received great community support and engagement. In 2022, the County created an Office of Equity and Community Impact following our recommendation contained in the Equity Audit.
Fostering Community Engagement
DEI plans, at their core, demand the involvement of the local community and business leaders. This engagement can help build trust, share ownership, and advance DEI goals in a way that reflects the needs and priorities of communities. A plan can also signal to community members that the municipality or organization is committed to addressing diversity issues and actively working to create a more inclusive environment. When community members see investment in these areas, they’re more likely to get involved, voice their opinions, and participate in community events and meetings.
Increase Employee Retention
Over the past five years, turnover due to racial inequity in US workplaces has cost $172 billion. (SHRM) DEI plans can increase employee retention by fostering a sense of belonging, providing growth and development opportunities, addressing bias and discrimination, increasing engagement and motivation, and improving communication and collaboration.
According to Gartner, 80% of organizations rate themselves as ineffective at developing a diverse and inclusive leadership bench. However, by creating a workplace culture that values DEI, organizations can find and retain high-priority employees while creating an environment where all employees feel valued, supported, and motivated to stay and contribute to the organization’s success. Organizations can find and retain high-priority employees while creating an environment where all employees feel valued, supported, and motivated to stay and contribute to the organization’s success.
Positive Economic Impact
Establishing a DEI plan can help tap into the full potential of employees and community members to help better serve diverse communities, leading to positive economic outcomes. Diversity can bring a broader range of perspectives and ideas that lead to increased innovation and creativity. This can help cities and counties improve their reputation, attract new residents, and foster growth.
Creating and executing a DEI plan may seem like a daunting task, but you don’t have to do it alone. MGT is familiar with issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion faced by local and state municipalities as well as small and large organizations in today’s environment. In fact, our team has an extensive track record addressing access, diversity, equity, and inclusion in a variety of organizational settings. MGT’s considerable experience provides a distinct advantage in designing the best criteria for a DEI group, delivering the most effective and valuable deliverables, and providing the most benefits to our clients.
“Many consultants couldn’t do what you do. Your ability to connect with staff – the DEI committee and those who are not comfortable with DEI work – was a difference maker.” – Patrick Hernandez, Arapahoe County
If you’re interested in learning more or are ready to work with us to assist in developing a DEI plan, reach out to MGT today!