Companies with high levels of employee engagement are much more likely to have well-defined internal DEI policies, a November 2022 report suggested. Research firm Aon surveyed more than 1,200 HR professionals in the compensation and benefits arena, as well as diversity, equity and inclusion leads.
The report sums up findings gathered during Q3 2022 — more than two years after the police murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd rekindled conversations about anti-racism in the workplace.
For context, 82% of companies with high levels of engagement have a clear definition of diversity, equity and inclusion, compared to 65% of low-engagement companies that said the same.
A notable finding was that most DEI policies address gender, sexuality, ethnicity, age and ability, but neurodiversity, parental and veteran statuses, and religion are largely sidelined in DEI policies.
The companies that lead the pack in Aon’s survey are those that have a “broadly defined” DEI strategy, “covering six or more of the categories that are commonly included” in these definitions.
Noting the oft-narrow scope of diversity programs — limiting efforts to racial and ethnic diversity, or the advancement of women — Aon researchers encouraged HR managers to think bigger.
“Broadening diversity analysis to consider other potential candidates and existing employee categories can benefit companies, and the communities where they operate,” researchers said, suggesting that “individuals with varying levels of education and experience” should also be considered for diverse hiring practices.
As a business consultant and analysis firm, Aon naturally touched on the intersection of DEI and compensation strategy. One area where employers have an opportunity to excel is in crafting inclusive benefits packages — both as a retention incentive and as an enticing perk for job candidates.
Aon included ideas such as menopause support for those assigned female at birth and prostate cancer screenings for those assigned male at birth.
Avneet Kaur, head of advisory and specialty practice in Aon’s EMEA department of Health Solutions, said in a press release that diligent demographic analysis also helps.
“When employers design their health and well-being benefits, we recommend they first audit their benefits and ensure that the various demographics of their workforce, including previously underserved populations, have access to and awareness of these offerings, which should also be tailored to their needs,” Kaur said.