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In the “new normal” workplace diversity gets help from tech tools

The disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have defined a “new normal” in the workplace. Companies can seize this opportunity to ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusivity are adequately integrated into the new workplace culture. 

These Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) policies and practices are also known as Inclusion and Diversity (I&D) or Diversity and Inclusion (D&I). 

“Companies in Asia seeking to thrive in a post-pandemic world must enable staff to bring their whole selves to work if they are to attract, nurture and retain the best talent during times of change,” said Gordon Watson, CEO of AXA Asia. 

Human resources departments should not have to work, alone, to create a work environment where employees feel that their voices are heard and their differences are recognized. After all, “DEI technology tools can deliver meaningful insights, metrics, and data that can provide the objectivity and credibility to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion across the enterprise,” wrote Deloitte Consulting LLP. 

Tech tools for diversity & inclusion

There is a growing number of technological tools which offer companies the necessary support to create a safe, open, and inclusive workplace. 

Powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI), tools such as SeekOut have been developed to “help talent acquisitions teams recruit hard-to-find and diverse talent,” wrote Mary Ann Azevedo of TechCrunch.

“It finds talent by scouring public data and using natural-language and machine-learning technologies to understand the expertise of each candidate to build a complete 360-degree view of each potential employee. Specifically, it blends info from public profiles, GitHub, papers and patents, employee referrals, company alumni and candidates in ATS systems,” said Azevedo.

Although SeekOut is only five years old, it is used by some of the most highly valued companies in the U.S. — VMware, Waymo, Twitter, Salesforce, Rover, and Merck.

By using such DEI-focused recruitment and selection tools, companies are more inclined to objectively recruit the right candidates based on their merit and skills, alone.

Newer organizational network analysis and social platforms can create a stronger sense of inclusion and belonging with companies’ teams and groups while machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) can provide more objective performance reviews.

With over 4,000 global clients including Etsy, McDonald’s, and Slack, Culture Amp helps companies improve their employee engagement, retention, and performance.

“The ability to identify and thoughtfully pull levers to increase engagement has a huge ROI. And not only on productivity, but retention as well,” said Dawn Sharifan, VP of People at Slack.

As such, such tools help leaders and managers to keep track of job performances in real life and consequently, identify the appropriate behavioral assessment tools to develop more inclusive employees.

Chronus is award-winning mentoring software that has assisted an array of companies such as Mercedes-Benz, Uber, RMIT University, MetLife, and McGraw Hill.

“Today there is a mentoring buzz at all levels, and Daimler realizes mentoring is key to the health of our organization,” said Suz Hahn, Learning Architect, Daimler Trucks North America.

Hence, with assistance from tools such as Chronus, companies can carefully monitor the execution of organizational baselines, effectively measure job performances and progress, and deliver actionable recommendations.

Nevertheless, research has shown that these DEI tools can also deepen exclusionary practices. Therefore, the best way to optimize these tools is for DEI professionals to be well informed prior to the employment of these tools in the workplace and to be prepared to address any issues and feedback raised by the employees.

Michelle Low
Michelle Low is a Malaysia-based writer and educator, with experience in interactive learning and archaeogaming.