Articles — February 8, 2023
Celebrating Black History Month with Benefits Equity
Black History Month, which celebrates the history and cultural contributions of the Black community, can be a powerful tool to challenging bias and encouraging inclusion and diversity in the workplace. As an HR team, you can make the most of this celebration by incorporating employee benefits into your diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategy.
Below are a few ways HR teams can engage with Black History Month through employee benefits.
Making employee benefits part of your DEI strategy
Reviewing your benefits from an equity perspective is a great way to put the lessons of Black History Month into practice. Here are a few ways to improve equity within your benefits package:
Offer flexible and diverse plan options: Consider adding benefits that are location- or time-agnostic. Having both virtual and onsite programs maximizes accessibility.
Reduce costs and educate: Many Americans find it difficult to access financial guidance and lack solid financial plans. Reducing your program’s costs are one way to increase equity. Educate your employees on program pricing and give them access to financial planners that can assist individuals of all financial backgrounds. It can go a long way.
Check your programs for representation: It’s important for employees to know they are seen and valued. If the benefits you offer don’t accurately reflect and serve the diversity of your workforce, employees won’t feel as connected. Focus on offering benefits tailored to the cultures and lifestyles of your employees, such as access to wellness coaches from a range of backgrounds. You can also broaden the reach of certain benefits you may already offer – for example, like expanding from exclusively offering childcare benefits to offering dependent care benefits – to meet your workforce where they are at.
Infuse your communications with DEI: Inclusion doesn’t just stop at what you offer. You also show your employees how much you care through how you communicate your benefits. Make sure your text is inclusive and all your employees are visually represented in your communications. Additionally, ensure the communications are broad and cover a wide range of mediums. This way, they can equitably reach all your employees.
Black History Month lessons year-round
Black History Month and other heritage and awareness months are a fantastic opportunity to cement monthly DEI initiatives as year-round practices. By 2044, the US will be a majority minority country, and Millennials and Gen Z will be the most diverse workforce in history. Employees expect ongoing diversity education and recognition.
Celebrate your employees’ racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds. Embracing diversity creates an inclusive work environment where employees feel comfortable and can perform their best.