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DEIA | Inclusive Workplace Policies for Retention

April 21st, 2022

Inclusive workplace policies are one of the cornerstones of establishing an inclusive workplace and a culture of belonging. They serve as the framework for standardizing employment conditions to consider all employees, including those from marginalized or underserved communities.  Here are four areas of focus to consider when developing inclusive workplace policies. 

Talent Attraction and Recruiting 

  • Ensure that your Talent Attraction and Recruiting Process is documented and utilized in meetings and performance conversations. 
  • Establish a Talent Attraction and Recruiting goal and strategic plan to attract and acquire diverse talent. 
    • Share this goal with your organization AND be sure to reinforce the idea that diverse recruiting is not void of the intention to hire the best person. It’s about hiring the best person regardless of background. 
    • Ensure that your job advertisements speak to a broader range of candidates. 
    • Source diverse candidates from where they congregate. 
    • Make sure there are multiple diverse candidates in the talent pipeline, AKA The Two in the Pool Effect
    • Encourage diverse employees to share the job posting with their network and make referrals. 
    • Utilize artificial intelligence (AI) technology to screen resumes. If you’re not able to utilize AI technology to screen resumes, Implement the “Blind Resume Screening Process” by blotting out personal information on resumes (e.g., name, school, date of birth, city, and state, area code, etc.) before distributing them to screeners and/or hiring managers.  
  • Implement the “Blind Interview Process” for initial interviews.  
    • Set up a text message interview using a cell phone or another form of virtual chat technology. 
    • Explain the process to the candidate, and be sure to include directions to answer all questions without providing personal information. 

Talent Management 

  • Develop competencies for executives, leaders, and employees and utilize them in interactions and performance conversations. 
  • Establish SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound),job-related performance objectives for each employee, and utilize them in interactions and performance conversations. 
  • Establish a formal calendar for performance conversations and talent reviews
  • Be transparent about succession planning and logic for your choices. 

Reasonable Accommodations  

  • Insert a question on the employment application about reasonable accommodations for persons living with disabilities. 
  • Make modifications that enable a person living with disabilities the opportunity to successfully perform their job tasks to the same extent as people NOT living with disabilities. 

Inclusive Health Care Benefits 

Here are some examples of inclusive health care benefits to consider offering your employees. 

Benefit Description 
Employee Assistance Program A work-based intervention program designed to assist employees in resolving personal problems that may adversely affect the employee’s performance. 
Mental Health Care A benefit plan that helps employees manage their emotional, psychological, and social well-being. 
Domestic Partner Benefits A benefit plan that offers non-married couples the same or similar benefits to those provided to married couples, regardless of the gender assigned at birth. 
Gender Transition Process of changing gender presentation or sex characteristics to align with an employee’s gender identity. 
Maternal and Paternal Leave A benefit that covers all or a portion of pay when a parent stops working to either prepare for a child’s birth or adoption, give birth to a child, adopt a child, recover from childbirth, and/or bond with the child after birth or adoption. 
Adoption Assistance A benefit that provides financial assistance for expenses related to adopting a child. 
Fertility Insurance A benefit that covers the diagnostics and treatments that help potential parents who are struggling to conceive or carry a child to term. 
Contraception Coverage A benefit that covers all or part of the expense for male and female birth control. 
Emergency Childcare Assistance A benefit that provides financial assistance and services to employees when an emergency event occurs (e.g., childcare provider is ill, childcare center closes, etc.) 
Floating Holidays Paid days off employees can take any time during the year, separate from vacation, PTO, and/or sick time. Employers can grant either full or partial pay for this day. Gives employees the flexibility to choose their own holiday time off, allowing them to celebrate culturally relevant holidays that may not be part of a traditional holiday package.    
Pet Insurance A benefit plan that pays all or a portion of veterinary treatment and/or funeral expenses for employee’s injured or ill pets. Sometimes includes a benefit for lost or stolen pets. 

RESOURCES 

Sherrice Thomas 
Vice President of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Access
SherriceThomas@columbus.org