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A Construction Company’s Guide to (DEI) Diversity Equity and Inclusion

Construction companies have begun to look at their business practices and begun to assess how they can improve Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) in the workforce.

This is not only in response to an increased interest in companies’ efforts to embrace and develop different identities. It is also the result of companies of all industries recognizing the benefits of having these practices in place.

What is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?

The term “DE&I” is an umbrella term that is used to describe three distinct concepts:

  • Diversity: The range of groups of people in your workforce. These can refer to differences such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, marital status, etc.
  • Equity: Promoting fair processes providing opportunities for all individuals in a company. In the workplace, this requires employers to recognize barriers and opportunities and properly address them so that everyone has a level playing field.
  • Inclusion: When your employees feel a sense of belonging due to your policies and have the ability to be their true selves.

The Benefits

Implementing DE&I policies is not just a trend, it has real implications for your employee’s (and your company’s) success. Benefits include: 

  • Promoting diversity, particularly in the construction industry brings higher levels of productivity and employee retention. This can positively affect your company in many ways including financial performance.
  • Companies that had more gender diversity are more likely to outperform on profitability. And the ones that didn’t take diversity into account are less likely to experience profitability above the industry average.
  • Promoting equitable practices allow for better retention, but it also creates a stronger workforce. Creating custom learning and development plans can help create that level playing field that they need to succeed in your company.
  • Workplaces that have embraced and supported employees’ differences have employees who are more likely to contribute profitable ideas, skills, and innovations. These practices also encourage higher retention rates and are associated with spending less money on recruiting and onboarding. With the construction industry facing high turnover, this could be key to keep the revolving door shut.

How to Start

Now that you’ve heard about the benefits of DE&I in the workplace here are some actions that you can take to get started:

  • Do a Diversity Audit  

Before thinking about where you have to go, you have to think about where your company currently stands in terms of things like recruitment. A diversity audit, which consists of data collection diversity equity and inclusion and staff consultation, can help you understand the identities that make up your workforce. It can help you create a tailored Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategy.

  • Identify the “Why” and Create Goals from there

Once you assess where you are, the next step is to define the business case and why your company could benefit from a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative. To do so, it’s important to highlight how initiatives in this space connect to your company’s mission and values.

The next step is to identify goals by addressing needs uncovered through the audit is necessary. Goals, such as those targeting recruitment and engagement, must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based – think (SMART).

  • Get management on board

Once you have the what, why, and how established, it is now time to engage management. Show them the benefits you plan to achieve and your roadmap for achieving them.

When implementing DE&I initiatives, construction companies need to know that Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is not just a trend. It is something that should be cultivated and assessed at least annually. By doing so, not only will your employees flourish, your company will, too.

To learn more about Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, feel free to check out our recent webinar discussing the topic in depth.

Need expert support with your workforce management?

Contact Payroll Systems to see how you can leverage our easily scalable solutions. We pair human skills and empathy with the latest technology to take on our clients’ HR and payroll processes.

We offer paperless employee onboarding and paperless benefit enrollment as well as timekeeping systems with companion mobile app, physical clocks, and customized job costing and labor distribution reporting.

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This article provides general information and shouldn’t be construed as legal or HR advice. Since employment laws may change over time and can vary by location and industry, please consult a lawyer or HR expert for advice specific to your business. You can also contact Payroll Systems to inquire about our HR support services.