What is one strategy or policy you are using to ensure and measure a fair and equitable workplace?
To help you discover the best workplace policies that ensure fair compensation, we asked HR leaders and CEOs this question for their best strategies. From giving structure to the hiring process to creating a diversity and inclusion training program, there are several strategies that may help you ensure and measure a fair and equitable workplace in your business.
Here are 11 equitable workplace strategies to ensure fair compensation:
- Give Structure to Your Hiring Process
- Practice Wage Transparency
- Use Effective Survey Questions
- Conduct Regular Reviews of HR Policies
- Invest in Organizational Values
- Shift Culture Through Measurement
- Define DEI for Your Organization
- High Performance and Competitive Compensation
- Communication, Psychological Safety, & Accountability
- Give Your Employees Some Choice
- Create a Diversity and Inclusion Training Program
Give Structure to Your Hiring Process
Unconscious bias can create lots of unintended consequences including making the dreaded "bad hire." Implementing structured hiring by clearly defining the interview team and the questions they'll be responsible for asking is a great start in combating bias.
When you provide definition to the interview loop, your team avoids repeat questions and enables teams to learn as much as possible about the candidate while providing an excellent experience.
Practice Wage Transparency
From the CEO down to the college interns, wage transparency inside an organization removes the hidden unequal pay agenda other companies are facing. Having a CEO disclose their annual salary transmits trust, realistic expectations, and builds the foundation for a more united work culture. The use of leveling can defuse wage disparities and has prompted many organizations to rebuild, rebrand, and relaunch recruiting strategies with much success. Employees know their pay along with their colleagues. This eliminates the element of surprise and keeps pay in balance.
Use Effective Survey Questions
I notice in my work that many surveys include questions about inclusivity, and questions about engagement or trust in leadership, but not questions that address both. We ask on our workforce surveys with clients, "My direct supervisor is committed to and supports diversity, equity and inclusion" and, "I would feel comfortable reporting matters of microaggressions, harassment, discrimination or bullying to my direct supervisor." These measure whether supervisors have the tools to create inclusivity and equity, not perceptions of feeling included. Supervisors can then be measured against the survey results, held accountable, and develop skills where needed.
Conduct Regular Reviews of HR Policies
With the rapid changing of information, regulations, and laws, HR practitioners should ensure their policies are updated to ensure fair and equitable treatment of all employees, job seekers, and stakeholders. For example, the Crown Act was recently passed in the House. The bill banned race-based hair discrimination at work, federal programs, and public accommodations. Dress Code policies addressing the management of employee dress and appearance should be reviewed to ensure they "respect racial differences in hair texture" and do not discriminate.
Training and communication from the top down are also important to adopting new policies so that even in the absence of a discriminatory policy there is no internal bias around these issues that would cause someone to still feel as though they could not were their hair naturally without being discriminated against.
Invest in Organizational Values
We’ve really been focusing on better investing our team in our organizational values. In my experience the strongest organizational cultures not only have shared values, but constantly refer back to them and think of ways in which the team can live them. In other words, values need to be more than just some nice words on a website or poster in the office. That’s why we include reflections on how we’re living our values in our quarterly planning cycle. These provide us a moment to step back and really think about whether we’re embodying our shared vision for organizational culture, and identify concrete steps we can take in order to improve.
Shift Culture Through Measurement
Measuring equity in the workplace should be frequent, varied and accessible. Using tools such as annual culture surveys or climate assessments allow organizations to dive deeply into anonymous employee feedback on programs, policies and procedures that may be inequitable.
Resting solely on assessments does not speak to accountability; therefore, best practices to increase accountability are to host frequent town halls, listening sessions and frequent small group discussion forums to encourage grassroot efforts versus top-down task orders. Lastly, making sure the employees have access to various means of giving feedback is essential to lifting every voice at the organization and instilling a sense of inclusion. By using these techniques, organizations have the ability to listen, measure and act on key DEI efforts that can change the trajectory of their culture.
Define DEI for Your Organization
Not every organization is the same and not everyone defines Diversity the same. What I found extremely impactful is working with employee representatives at all levels, to help define what Diversity, Equity and Inclusion means for our organization. We are now working on how to weave those definitions into all facets of our organization starting with Talent Acquisition.
High Performance and Competitive Compensation
Compensation is often the largest investment a company makes; fair & equitable compensation is a foundational element of any business management/human capital strategy, and success of the total rewards program is grounded in two most critical factors.
- Delivering high performance at all levels - individual & team levels, and management & executive cadres all of which in aggregate drives a company’s performance & profits.
- Competitive market positioning for attracting & retaining diverse talent. We use robust data, thorough analysis of performance results and sophisticated analytical techniques to ensure objective, fair and well-aligned compensation outcomes.
There’s open communication and responsible transparency around goals, measurements & processes. This ensures employees have “skin in the game”, believe they are being fairly compensated and rewards are equitable, both internally and externally. We make efforts to maximize economic opportunities and growth for all our employees.
Communication, Psychological Safety, & Accountability
Communication, psychological safety, and accountability are essential. First, when it comes to "how" to create a fair and equitable workplace, organizations often forget that the answers are in the room. We should communicate with employees and ask them questions about fairness, equity, and compensation.
However, before we ask questions, leaders need to ensure that a culture of psychological safety exists for all employees, so they feel comfortable with providing honest feedback.
Lastly, asking questions isn't enough. What we do with the answers is just as important; therefore, leaders are accountable for what they hear and for implementing the change needed to create a fair and equitable compensation strategy.
Give Your Employees Some Choice
Make remote work or office work the choice of the employee to ensure fairness in the workplace. Some employees have been itching to get back to the office while others would prefer to work from home forever. Listen to your employees’ needs and preferences and they will thank you.
Make things fair between in-office and at-home employees by being clear about expectations and setting distinct work hours. It can be tempting for remote employees to sleep late and work late, but keeping the same work hours as office employees helps even the playing field. Also, be sure that you are transparent about what is expected from all employees. Assign the same amount of work to remote employees as in-person employees.
Create a Diversity and Inclusion Training Program
We have created a diversity and inclusion training program at our company. The program targets all employees and addresses a range of issues which include unconscious bias, microaggressions, and cross-cultural communications.
The training moves beyond encouraging employees to tolerate differences. We are teaching employees how to work well together and embrace each other's diverse perspectives. We know that by promoting and embracing diversity in our company, we will attract a much wider range of candidates who are looking for a progressive workplace.