As you "probably" recall (not really, hu?) a few weeks ago, in light of the Israel-Hamas war, the Israel Equality Opportunities Office reached out to me and a few other DEI consultants and asked us to take part in its initiative to assist businesses with diverse teams of Arabs and Jews. Ever since I have been so troubled with the stories I heard about conflicts between the employees. Conflicts that have a dramatic impact on the work and on the business.
In a moment of self-revelation, I thought to myself that in recent years we have been experiencing such horrifying and large-scale crises, that maybe this is the new "normal", maybe this is the new "routine", and if so, we need to adjust.
The COVID-19 outbreak, the Russia-Ukraine war, the global layoffs, and the Israel-Hamas war are only a few examples from recent years that demonstrate the new world of work is affected by ongoing crises and needs to attend to one of its most common characteristics - globalization.
Globalization encapsulates many positive values that have a great impact on businesses and communities, however, it needs attendance as well. It is well seen that companies that implemented DEI processes successfully throughout the year became more resilient to various crises and found a quicker way to overcome them than companies that didn't think this topic was of importance, or that "they do it naturally".
Organizations are composed of people from different backgrounds, genders, races, abilities, etc. So it should not come as a surprise that (a) different diversity groups might find themselves in a conflict with each other (like in the Israel-Hamas war, in which teams with Jews and Arabs are facing a great challenge) (b) each diversity group has its own needs and deals with crises in their own way (like in the COVID-19 outbreak in which the LGBTQIA+ community was facing increase in loneliness and solitude).
To create a more resilient organization one should focus on improving their DEI policy and processes. Through a good DEI framework, the organization can establish strong relationships between and within diverse groups, as well as work procedures that will guide the employees on how to act and behave in routine and crisis.
Remember that in times of crisis, one of the meaningful affiliation groups that are dispensable for the employees is the workplace, and enhancing the sense of belonging to that group can make the difference between an organization that thrives in crisis, and an organization that needs to downsize or even shut down. DEI is a great powerful way to strengthen employee's sense of belonging.
If you wish to talk to me about DEI in your organization, now is the right time. Book a meeting and let's make sure that next time your organization is the one that thrives.
Corporate Coach for employee engagement and diversity and inclusion