Why DEIB Matters: Transforming Your Workplace for the Better

TED KITTERMAN

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Ted Kitterman

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As June marks DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging) Month, it’s an opportune moment to reflect on the strides and challenges in workplace equity, particularly within the ASEAN and ANZ regions. These regions exhibit unique workplace cultures where DEIB initiatives are becoming increasingly pivotal. According to a study by Great Place To Work® , it shows that companies that build a “for all” or “innovation by all” culture generated 5.5 times more revenue growth compared to their less inclusive counterparts.

In the ASEAN region, where diverse ethnicities and cultures converge, achieving genuine inclusion can be complex yet rewarding. Meanwhile, in the ANZ region, the focus on equitable policies has been shown to significantly improve employee retention and innovation. As businesses strive to create environments where every employee feels valued and empowered, leveraging a structured framework like the “Four Equities” can provide a clear path toward meaningful progress in DEIB.

 

Diverse, inclusive organisations aren’t just better for employees — they have stronger business performance and higher stock market returns.

Leaders looking for a competitive edge must ask: “Is my organisation equitable?”

Great Place To Work® research has found that diversity, equity, inclusion & belonging (DEIB) is best measured using the framework of the “Four Equities.”

“A lot of organisations want to build a truly equitable and empathetic workplace, but don’t know how to start,” explains Marcus Erb, vice president, data science and innovation at Great Place To Work. “This is really complex work, but if we focus on these four things, suddenly it clicks.”

The four equities were developed as part of The Great Transformation, a three-year research initiative with 11 companies to crack the code of DEIB.

What are the Four Equities?

Each equity represents a vector of the employee experience that affects efforts to improve equity and inclusion throughout organisations.

1. Equity of demographics

According to Great Place To Work research, there isn’t a prescriptive number that a company must reach to have the adequate representation of minority voices across the organisation.

Instead, companies should ask themselves: “Does your workforce reflect the communities and clients you work in and serve?”

That representation should be reflected across all demographics, roles, and leadership levels.

“What does your leadership look like? Your boards, your CEO, your executives — do they reflect those communities as well?” Erb says.

2. Equity of compensation

Pay equity doesn’t mean equality, but organisations must do a careful audit to understand where they might be overlooking qualifications and skills in some of their workers. For example, does your organisation pay a recent college graduate more than someone who has five years of experience working for your company?

Overemphasising college degrees and traditional career paths can lead to disparity in your workforce.

Companies should also consider external factors that impact employees’ financial well-being. “How can we consider the full economic background of people — not just the work?” Erb says. “Are we rewarding employees in a way that allows each person to experience financial security and be able to pursue their life goal?”

For example, companies might want to offer additional support to neurodiverse employees who might be living on their own for the first time and need additional support navigating financial decisions. Other companies might consider additional ways to support people managing student loans or the costs of caring for a family member.

3. Equity of opportunity

Does every employee in your company have the opportunity to grow and develop? Who is the most likely to be promoted?

Who gets the plum assignments that lead to one-on-one time with top leaders, development of new skills, and opportunities to change job roles?

It’s important to collect hard data, not just about who gets promoted, but also who gets access to training and development, Erb says. Analyse any gaps across different identities, including gender, ethnicity, age, caregiving responsibilities, and more.

Hard data should then be matched to how employees say they feel. Do they feel promotions are handled fairly? Is everyone confident that the company and their manager are invested in their professional growth and development?

“Once you get that picture, you’ll identify the areas where you can improve,” Erb says.

4. Equity of well-being

Well-being has become an essential consideration for DEI&B, particularly as belonging plays a crucial role in employee well-being. Do all employees in your company consistently experience inclusion, belonging, social support, and a sense of purpose?

“You need to feel that you belong there, that you’re accepted for yourself,” Erb says. “If not, you’re going to experience assimilation, burnout, all these other terrible things.”

One particular area where employees often have inconsistent experiences compared to their colleagues is around purpose and meaning at work.

“We saw in our research that folks don’t experience an equal sense that their work matters,” Erb says. Equity of well-being requires employers to consider the whole employee, the lives that shaped their journey to the organisation and the burdens they may face outside the company’s walls.

“The goal is for employees to show up and bring the best version of themselves to their work,” Erb says.

Starting with opportunity

All the equities are interrelated, but a focus on equity of opportunity has been found to quickly impact the other three equities.

“They’re all important,” Erb says, “but I would say the most critical is equity of opportunity.”

Employees who have equal opportunity to grow and develop are more likely to have higher levels of well-being and are more likely to be promoted into roles with higher salaries.

“If you focus on equity of opportunity, you’re going to promote leaders who can help you create a more diverse workplace, and address equity of compensation,” Erb says.

What are some ways organisations can improve the equity of opportunity for all workers? A simple, but often overlooked example is requiring all people leaders to have a one-on-one meeting with their direct reports.

“If you’re not having one-on-one conversations with your folks about what’s important to them, their performance, what they want to grow into, they can’t grow,” Erb says “And fundamentally, they’ll never experience a fair sense of growth.”

When managers don’t build relationships, employees are left to rely on luck, politics, manipulation, and other unsavoury behaviours to get ahead. One-on-one meetings can also alleviate other issues within the organisation, such as a broken promotion pipeline.

When managers have development conversations and build relationships with their direct reports, promotions become more merit- and performance-driven.

“You can connect with the human that you’re working with because you start to care,” Erb says. “And as soon as you have that care, as soon as you have that empathy, the growth just happens.”

The power of data

The four equities provide the framework, but employee data is what informs leaders about the performance of their organisation.

“You can be doing great things and employees are telling you, ‘No, it’s not actually working,’” Erb says. “There’s a truth in people’s experiences that you don’t get externally.”

It’s not always bad news, either. Sometimes employees will tell you about something that is making a positive impact that you can formalise and scale to the rest of the organisation.

It all starts with an assessment, Erb says.

“Get some data. Look at your company and figure out where you really are — and then think about where you want to be and articulate those goals.”

The right kind of goals for your organisation will be both realistic and a bit of a stretch.

The good news is that progress on the four equities are tied to stronger employee recruitment and retention, and improved overall business performance. When employees experience the four equities, they are more likely to advocate for their company, to become brand ambassadors, and stay with their employer long-term, Erb says.

“They demonstrate more agility and effort — all the metrics we look at just start to jump off the page.”

Benchmark your workplace

Get the data you need to measure the four equities at your workplace via Great Place To Work Certification™.
https://greatplacetowork.com.au/gptwcertification/

TED KITTERMAN

Ted Kitterman is a content manager for Great Place To Work®. Ted has experience covering the workplace, business communications, public relations, internal communications, work culture, employee well-being, brand purpose and more. His work shines a light on the unparalleled data and insights offered by Great Place to Work’s decades of research, helping the company share its vision of a great place to work For All™.

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Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Australia 2024 Evaluation Methodology

Great Place To Work determines the list using our proprietary For All methodology. To determine the Best Workplaces in Technology list, Great Place To Work analyses the survey responses of tens of thousands of employees from Great Place To Work Certified™ companies in the technology industry.

Our survey enables employees to share confidential quantitative and qualitative feedback about their organization’s culture by responding to 60 statements on a 5-point scale and answering two open-ended questions. Collectively, these statements describe a great employee experience, defined by high levels of trust, respect, credibility, fairness, pride, and camaraderie. In addition, companies provide organizational data like size, location, industry, demographics, roles, and levels. Great Place To Work measures the differences in survey responses across demographic groups and roles within each organization to assess both the quality and consistency of the employee experience.

Statements are weighted according to their relevance in describing the most important aspects of an equitable workplace. Survey data analysis and company-provided datapoints are then factored into a combined score to compare and rank the companies that create the most consistently positive experience for all employees in this industry.

To be considered for the list, companies must be Great Place To Work Certified™ and nominate as a company in the technology industry.

We require statistically significant survey results, review anomalies in responses, news, and financial performance, and investigate any employee reports of company incompliance with strict surveying rules to validate the integrity of the results and findings. 

Categories

These organisations’ assessment is based 100% on employee responses to the Trust Index survey.

  • Micro 10-29 Employees
  • Small 30-99 Employees
  • Medium 100-999 Employees
  • Large 1000+ Employees

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Australia 2023 Evaluation Methodology

Great Place To Work determines the list using our proprietary For All methodology. To determine the Best Workplaces in Technology list, Great Place To Work analyses the survey responses of tens of thousands of employees from Great Place To Work Certified™ companies in the technology industry.

Our survey enables employees to share confidential quantitative and qualitative feedback about their organization’s culture by responding to 60 statements on a 5-point scale and answering two open-ended questions. Collectively, these statements describe a great employee experience, defined by high levels of trust, respect, credibility, fairness, pride, and camaraderie. In addition, companies provide organizational data like size, location, industry, demographics, roles, and levels. Great Place To Work measures the differences in survey responses across demographic groups and roles within each organization to assess both the quality and consistency of the employee experience.

Statements are weighted according to their relevance in describing the most important aspects of an equitable workplace. Survey data analysis and company-provided datapoints are then factored into a combined score to compare and rank the companies that create the most consistently positive experience for all employees in this industry.

To be considered for the list, companies must be Great Place To Work Certified™ and nominate as a company in the technology industry.

We require statistically significant survey results, review anomalies in responses, news, and financial performance, and investigate any employee reports of company incompliance with strict surveying rules to validate the integrity of the results and findings. 

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces for Women™ List Methodology

The Best Workplaces for Women™list is determined using Great Place To Work’sFor All™methodology to evaluate hundreds of Certified™Great Place To Work®organisations across Australia.   

Data is based on over 40,000 employee survey responses from women in Great Place To Work® Certified™ organisations across Australia. 

The survey 

The survey enables employees to share confidential quantitative and qualitative feedback about their organisation’s culture by responding to 60 statements on a 5-point scale and answering two open-ended questions. 

Collectively, these statements describe a great employee experience, defined by high levels of trust, respect, credibility, fairness, pride, and camaraderie. In addition, companies provide organisational data like size, location, industry, and the number of women in the workforce and management positions. 

Considerations 

Great Place To Work analysed the gender balance of each workplace, how it compares to each company’s industry, and patterns in representation as women rise from front-line positions to executive/C-suite roles. 
Survey data analysis and women’s representation figures are then factored into a combined score to compare and rank the companies that create the most consistently positive experience and opportunities for all women, regardless of their role or demographic background.   

Eligibility   

To be considered for the list, companies must be Great Place To Work Certified™. Companies must also employ at least 50 women. We require statistically significant survey results, review anomalies in responses, and investigate any employee reports of company in compliance with strict surveying rules to validate the integrity of the results and findings. 

Please note this list is NOT ranked. 

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Australia 2023 Evaluation Methodology

Great Place To Work, the global authority on workplace culture, determined the Best Workplaces™ Australia 2023 List by conducting annual workforce studies through our Trust Index Survey™ and Culture Management platform Emprising®, representing the voices of almost 50,000 employees across Australia.

Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organisation creates a great place to work For All™, meaning that the company empowers all individuals to reach their full human potential. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees report about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organisation, no matter who they are or what they do. We analyse these experiences relative to each organisation’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical in their industry and region. The remainder of the evaluation is an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of the company’s values, people’s ability to contribute new ideas, and the effectiveness of their leaders to ensure they’re consistently experienced.

To ensure surveys truly represent all employees, we require enough people in each organisation to respond that results are accurate to a 95% confidence level and 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

 

Categories

These organisations’ assessment is based 100% on employee responses to the Trust Index survey.

For larger organisations with more than 100 employees, we also use our Culture Audit™ tool, asking organisations to share with us their practices, policies and programs to creating a great workplace For All™ and evaluating the approach they take.

Why do you say in one place your national list scoring is based on 85%/15% and in another place that it is 75%/25%?

We are explaining two different things:

1.  The criteria we evaluate

2.  Where the data comes from