- August 17, 2022
- By Joshua Reid
- Company Structure , COVID-19 , Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- covid , DEI , dei initiative , digital , diversity , equity , inclusion , post covid , post pandemic , remote work
How Will Businesses Incorporate Diversity Initiatives in a Post-COVID Era?
CEOs and supervisors will have to wrestle with how to move their company forward in a post-COVID era. Whether developing a hybrid model for their business, where employees work part-time at home and part-time at work, or developing another model that works for their business, CEOs and supervisors will have to adapt once again to a changing work landscape. Businesses might need to consider how they will incorporate and maintain a diversity initiative in a post-COVID era.
How will the initiative positively or negatively affect the employees?
How will the business create a diversity initiative in a post-Covid era?
These are questions businesses might need to ask themselves as the world slowly opens up. What will the business world look like in the aftermath of the pandemic? Because COVID-19 forced companies towards a digital workplace, it also caused many of the diversity initiatives businesses may have started before the pandemic to adapt to the digital landscape.
How can businesses incorporate their diversity initiatives in a post-COVID era?
In an article by HRDive titled “4 ways to make diversity and inclusion the new normal in a post-pandemic era,” author Courtney Berry argues that the presence of diversity and inclusion allows businesses the opportunity to look at problems with new perspectives. Outside of businesses receiving the chance to hear issues within their company from a wider range of voices, the presence of a DEI (Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity) initiative in a post-COVID era also allows businesses to set themselves apart from their competitors.
Incorporating a diversity initiative into a company in a post-COVID era allows CEOs and supervisors to expand the demographics in which they market their products and services.
“This is a time for us to expand our understanding of inclusion from surface-level indicators (i.e. gender, race, age) to larger, more intricate situations… we need to ensure a continual adherence to the principles of inclusion while we are working under some of the most stressful situations as a nation and an industry…”Courtney Berry
A business’ diversity initiative in a post-COVID era might cover gender, race, age, etc, but how a company incorporates those aspects into the industry in a potentially virtual landscape could be a challenge for businesses. For example, through varying home situations. For Berry, a company should be willing to be flexible with their “office” hours due to how the pandemic affects employees differently, whether that be a need for childcare, working parents, etc.
The diversity initiative a business incorporates in a post-COVID era might look at how the pandemic has affected its employees and what the business could do to help their employees post-pandemic. For example, in an article by McKinsey & Company titled “COVID-19: Implications for business,” the team at the company asks an important question: How can corporations maintain their cultures in a world of hybrid work? One way that corporations could keep their work culture in a world of hybrid work is by utilizing video-messaging systems like Zoom or Google Meet and implementing diversity initiatives that make use of video messaging systems. This could allow businesses to hear from diverse perspectives and change what might need changing in their company.
In a McKinsey survey, it was reported that of the 100 executives surveyed, 90% “envision a future with some combination of remote and on-site work,” whereas 68% “have no detailed plan for how it will work (exhibit).” For McKinsey, many of the executives surveyed had good reason to desire a future with remote options because it gave businesses an “increase in productivity and customer satisfaction.”
“Companies emerging from the crisis are realizing that workforces require new capabilities to face the digital and environmental future.”McKinsey Editorial Team
How a business incorporates a diversity initiative into their company in a post-COVID era should be discussed by not just the CEOs and supervisors but also by the employees. This could give the employers insight into what areas of DEI they need to expand on and which aspects of their initiative they might need more diverse perspectives. It would also allow businesses to see how the initiative affects their employees, whether positively or negatively.
Berry, Courtney. “4 ways to make diversity and inclusion the new normal in a post-pandemic era.” HRDive, 20 May 2020.
“COVID-19: Implications for business.” McKinsey & Company, 13 April 2022.