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Integrating Equity in Your Operations

Our friends at Big Change Consulting and Raising the Bar Performance Group are starting our series by discussing how to integrate equity into your operations — read on for helpful suggestions for leaders who want to create an equitable employee handbook. Nonprofit organizations of all sizes and types are exploring what diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) mean to their missions, staff, and programs. This journey is unique for each nonprofit and campaign based on the organization’s history, people served, its cause category and place in the overall nonprofit sector or movement, and even the individuals within it.

Often this journey begins with taking stock of a group’s demographics and committing to increasing diversity within the staff to reflect the community it serves. This important first step is filled with nuances, challenges, and opportunities. Couple your recruitment and hiring efforts with examining internal policies and practices to help incentivize employees to stay with the organization once they are hired.

Creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace not only ensures employees are valued, but also boosts overall employee performance and retention. Research repeatedly demonstrates that employees primarily leave their jobs for new opportunities because they feel undervalued.

The employee handbook is foundational to the employee-employer relationship. It lays out employee benefits, conflict management, rules of engagement, and other sensitive topics that need to be handled thoughtfully and fairly. As such, your organization’s values and DEI goals should be clear throughout the employee handbook.

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