Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) have recently been a hot topic in many industries. For multiple reasons, many businesses today are becoming more active in their efforts to hire and work closely with a diverse group of employees. In addition, business leaders are educating workforces about this topic by explaining why such efforts are necessary and beneficial.
Construction is no exception to this hot trend. And as the sector has been traditionally homogenous all these years, this might be a go signal to initiate DEI programs.
In this blog post, learn everything about DEI, its role in construction, its advantages, and some of the best ways to implement it successfully.
We hope you learn a thing or two.
DEI in Construction: A Quick Overview
The construction sector has a long history of “like attracting like,” where most companies hire and promote workers that showcase male characteristics. For years, the lack of inclusion and diversity has left many potential employees feeling out of place and excluded by the so-called “Boy’s Club” reputation.
A great lack of DEI in construction is still evident up to this very day. And this continuing absence has led to many claims of sexism and racism, making a lot of employees (who come from marginalized backgrounds) afraid and intimidated by their managers and bosses.
On a positive note, many construction industry leaders today are genuinely paying attention to the importance of DEI and its impact on their entire workforce and business. DEI prioritization has been both a work in progress and a success at the same time.
What Role Does DEI Play in Construction?
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are all aspects of a more functional workplace initiative toward ESG practices. ESG refers to the emotional, social, and governance and defines standards that any company can use to build a stronger and more resilient business with expected long-term success.
Across industries, the social (S) aspect across industries centers on building and fostering relationships between employees, shareholders, and the organization. On the other hand, the social aspect lies in customer satisfaction, great safety practices, organization involvement, and DEI initiatives.
As a construction business owner, it is highly beneficial for your company to track ESG-related metrics and determine several key points. Best to use construction task management software that helps you track all sorts of data – including performance, labor hours, tasks, and even digits and metrics.
When you put a system in place, you can yield many benefits, which we will cite in the next section. Read further.
Several Benefits of DEI
Among many others, here are some common benefits your organization can experience when you prioritize DEI.
- Long-term profitability: A study found that companies with a more diverse workforce are 40% more likely to achieve higher financial returns than the national average. On top of everything, senior executives benefit equally. For every ten percent in racial and ethnic diversity, senior teams can see 0.8% in their earnings before interests and taxes.
Less exposure to risks: Some aspects of ESG, such as fair compensation and employee diversity, are preventative tactics for reducing your company’s exposure to legal risks.
- Better PR: If your construction company promotes DEI, it can successfully build goodwill in the organization and the community. Your DEI efforts can yield better PR opportunities and establish a more inclusive company culture.
- Attracting the next generation: Today’s millennials are three times more likely to apply and work longer at a company that promotes inclusivity and diversity. Another benefit when you power up your DEI efforts is that it will be easier for your company to solve problems in advance, like labor shortage – a staple problem in the industry. This is because the next generation will replace the baby boomers about to retire.
- Staying ethical: Ignoring DEI practices may hurt your construction company on many levels. When your company does not implement ethical business practices, it may result in significant profit losses, unsatisfied employees, and an uncollaborative work environment.
- New perspective fuel strong innovation: With increased DEI, an influx of new viewpoints and perspectives are forming, and they can drive innovation and creativity. When your company DEI practices, you can see an influx of professionals with different industry backgrounds and impressive prior work experiences.
- Enhance employee morale: Your construction workforce is six times more likely to die due to mental health problems than accidents onsite. Workers in the industry face incredibly high rates of mental issues such as depression and anxiety. While some of the distress is caused to the risks involved in their work, employees cite that workplace culture is the source of all.
With DEI integrated into your workplace, you can further improve your people’s overall morale and well-being. With a high level of diversity and inclusion, your workers will feel more comfortable, and accepted and efficiently collaborate.
Tips for Successful DEI Programs
As you move forward, diversity, equity, and inclusion will be the key theme. Here we present seven actionable tips on how to best implement your own DEI initiatives and make them effective and successful.
1. Understand existing identities
A key step to DEI success is to help your entire workforce understands the wide diversity of gender, sexual, racial, and other identities, including how it impacts their individual experiences. As the leader, you have to deeply understand the existing structure of your workforce’s identity types, and doing so can help you determine their inner strengths and weaknesses and where they lie.
2. Invest in construction technologies
Creating an inclusive space for everyone in your organization takes a village. On top of that, you are initiating and reinforcing DEI programs, which can be pretty challenging. However, with the rise of the latest technologies and software solutions today dedicated to construction, what seems difficult to achieve is now becoming easier and seamless.
A sophisticated construction workforce management software like Pro Crew Schedule provides a one-stop solution for your DEI implementations. It is a simple, fully-integrated software solution that is useful in multiple ways. Given that DEI can be complex at times, software like Pro Crew Schedule is just the perfect tool you can use to carry out any of your initiatives successfully.
3. Be clear on the “WHY” (Personal and Business Perspective)
You may begin asking questions like, Why is my company reinforcing a diversity and inclusion program? What are my company’s end goals? How do DEI programs benefit my people and me? Being able to ask these questions and provide answers to these inquiries is another way to succeed.
And when you present DEI programs to your construction team, consider it a positive way to address existing labor gaps and shortfalls. Make sure to communicate in every way possible. And only with construction crew tracking software like Pro Crew Schedule can you connect and communicate with each of your employees. Whether in the field or at the office, the tool’s cloud-based feature allows you to communicate seamlessly and share important updates remotely.
Pro Crew Schedule’s built-in real-time communication is truly top-tier.
4. Buy-in from management is an absolute
The most successful DEI efforts are likely coming from the top down. So, make sure your management and executive team must set the bar and drive great efforts for your company. As the leader, you must advocate DEI and its importance to all your people – ranking from higher to bottom.
5. Time, resource, and funding is necessary
This is something that people will only do on the other side, especially when it is within the scope of their normal work. But your DEI efforts should be prevalent in your employees’ daily work. And this means finding time and resources, as well as funding is necessary – to make all efforts work.
6. Be accountable
Make it easier and safer for employees to speak up when incidents like sexism and racism happen. Integrate a construction crew scheduling software for tracking and reporting incidents. Suppose you strive to create a more inclusive, healthy, and safe environment for all your employees. In that case, you need to deploy cutting-edge software that can help you reinforce your accountability.
Taking necessary actions is needed when incidents happen. And using cutting-edge software that has multiple features only means much easier access to updates, incidents, or alarming events onsite.
Commit to Your DEI Efforts with Pro Crew Schedule
We mentioned multiple times in this blog the wonders and benefits of using Pro Crew Schedule and the possibilities and easiness it could bring to your construction workforce.
Pro Crew Schedule is unlike any other. This cutting-edge construction solution is the leading software in the market because of one distinct functionality – it has combined features of construction inventory management and scheduling. This hybrid feature makes it a top choice among many construction experts in the industry.
Integration, scheduling, inventory, and tracking are all in Pro Crew Schedule. Do not miss the opportunity to take advantage of what it can offer.