Team management

9 DEIB tips to make your company more inclusive

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Creating an inclusive and welcoming company culture, regardless of business size, is more than just the right approach to human resources—it’s a key element in achieving financial success. Studies have shown that diversity and inclusion drive innovation and productivity. This is true at all levels of the workforce, including upper management, ownership, and directors.    

What is DEIB?

The acronym stands for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging. These are the building blocks for creating a modern company that embraces the global equality of gender, race, religion, and identity. The idea is that everyone should feel welcome and valued for what they bring to the table. Companies that focus on DEIB can improve in the following areas:    

  • Culture: Making your company a more desirable place to work
  • Problem-solving: Tackling challenges with a team from different backgrounds
  • Innovation: Inspiring creativity by encouraging diverse perspectives


The world has grown smaller and closer with the evolution of modern technology. Diversity means including people of all races, religions, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and physical ability. In other words, don’t exclude anyone. Keep in mind that diversity is not the same as inclusion. We’ll get into that in more detail below.  

One way to promote diversity is to create a recruitment strategy for groups that are underrepresented in your company. This could include people of color, indigenous people, LGBTQIA+, and others. Specifically recruiting women in roles historically reserved for men is another way to increase diversity.      


Diversity is a good start, but it’s much more effective when you also have equity. Everyone on the team deserves a fair shot to thrive and advance. Pay scales should be the same for everyone. Unfortunately, women are still earning just 82% of what men earn on average. People of color are too often underpaid and left in jobs with no hope of advancement.

The best way to promote equity in the workforce is to make sure you have it on your executive and management teams. Employees from all backgrounds should feel represented in positions of authority. That gives them incentive to work harder because the rewards are attainable. No one should feel that they can’t advance to a position of leadership. 


Diversity and equity are a good start. Inclusion takes your company culture to another level. It’s important that everyone feels valued and inspired to participate in company initiatives and events. That starts with letting employees know that their input is important. Someone is listening, good ideas will be acknowledged, and credit will be given to whoever comes up with it.

A good way to increase inclusion is to meet employees where they’re at. Attend to their needs so they’re incentivized to meet yours. Examples of this are offering flexible work options, supporting employee resource groups (ERGs), or adding nursing rooms for new parents. Providing childcare facilities and/or resources can also increase inclusion. 


Belonging is a key piece of DEIB that should not be overlooked. Unfortunately, people who don’t conform to societal norms are often made to feel like outcasts, so they hide who they truly are. Allowing people to be themselves at work could fuel the self-confidence they need to be happy and fulfilled. As their employer, you can help provide that to them.

It’s okay for employees to separate their personal life from their professional life, but they should never feel like they can’t be themselves in the workplace. Diversity, equity, and inclusion create an environment where workers are encouraged to be their full selves. Initiatives to promote belonging can include social gatherings for employees, peer recognition, and leadership training.

Tips to improve your company culture

A strong company culture cannot be built overnight. Implementing DEIB principles in an effective and lasting way takes time. Begin with a commitment to do something about it every day. The following tips can help you make your company a better place to work for all employees—now and in the future.   

1. Create a culture where every voice is welcome

Employees should feel safe enough at work to share their opinions openly. Fear and judgment need to be removed from the culture, along with any bias associated with gender, race, religion, orientation, age, etc. Everyone is equal and everyone has a right to be heard. 

2. Diversity starts at the top

A diverse leadership team shows employees that individuals who look like them can attain promotions and salary raises. It also helps in the decision-making process because ideas and incentives are coming from leaders who represent the entire workforce, not just one group.

3. Design benefits to be inclusive

Childcare facilities and flexible work schedules are incentives that will encourage parents to work for you. Generous vacation allotments and remote work options have been proven to increase productivity. Design your benefit programs to be more inclusive so you can make your business a great place to work for all types of people.   

4. Make sure pay equity exists

Equal pay for equal work should be the norm, not the exception. Review your compensation plans to make sure you have parity in your pay structure. Salaries should not vary based on race, sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity.

5. Build a training program

Train your employees on DEIB initiatives. Your team is a vital piece of building and/or changing your company culture. You’ll also want to offer leadership training for those interested in learning new skills and growing with the company. Make these programs open to all, not just a select few. 

6. Establish a continuous feedback culture

Weekly or monthly meetings between managers and workers might seem excessive and tedious, but they’re a big part of building a more inclusive culture. Use them to build trust and foster open dialogue. Encourage employees to schedule frequent 1:1s with their leaders, and hold leaders accountable for keeping those meetings on the calendar. 

7. Expand your holiday calendar

Every culture, religion, and nation have their own holidays. Recognizing the major ones that your employees celebrate and allowing them to take time off when needed is an exercise in inclusion. Make sure you’re clear on why you’re taking this initiative.   

8. Recognize exceptional performance

Increase employee engagement by rewarding employees who go above and beyond. Find ways to recognize your top performers, especially those doing work that’s more ‘behind the scenes.’ Make sure you’re being equitable with how you distribute recognition. 

9. Empower employees

Provide guidance for employees to set up employee resource groups (ERGs) to help foster a diverse and inclusive workplace. It’s important not to interfere with the process after that. These groups are meant to be employee-led, so company leaders should play supporting roles when help is needed. It’s great to have a vision for your company culture and values, but your team is what brings it all to life.

The importance of eliminating bias

The most dangerous thing about bias is that it can be unconscious. Most of us are raised with a certain belief system that causes us to treat others differently. Educating your team about this can be challenging because it requires them to change a way of thinking that’s been ingrained in them since birth. Their bias may not be openly malicious, but it’s there.

Exposing employees to new ideas around this issue is crucial if you want to successfully infuse DEIB into your company culture. You may even find that you have an unconscious bias or two of your own. Work together to develop actionable skills to eliminate it. Your goal is to create a better workplace for everyone, including the executive team.


This content is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice of any type, such as financial, legal, tax, or accounting advice. This content does not necessarily state or reflect the views of Bluevine or its partners. Please consult with an expert if you need specific advice for your business. For information about Bluevine products and services, please visit the Bluevine FAQ page.

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This content is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice of any type, such as financial, legal, tax, or accounting advice. This content does not necessarily state or reflect the views of Bluevine or its partners. Please consult with an expert if you need specific advice for your business. For information about Bluevine products and services, please visit the Bluevine FAQ page.

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