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6 Top Trends in Workplace DEIB for 2024

6 Top Trends in Workplace DEIB for 2024

In the second installment of our “EX Trends to Watch” series — check out our first installment here — experts from our research and People@Work teams go deeper into the dynamic and increasingly controversial realm of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) in the workplace. Given the increased scrutiny these programs faced in 2023 due to various political and legislative pressures, this article shares some perspective on how these challenges will shape DEIB priorities and investments in 2024. 

#1 — The Balancing Act in DEIB Implementation

Michael Mian, Ph.D., Principal Consultant: "In the current climate, DEIB initiatives face a complex array of responses across industries. Particularly in sectors with a substantial blue-collar workforce, we're witnessing a polarized reaction. On one hand, some organizations are doubling down on their DEIB commitments, driven by the clear benefits these initiatives bring. This includes improved team dynamics, enhanced creativity, and a broader talent pool that aligns with the values of a diverse workforce. On the other hand, there's a growing trend of organizations reevaluating their DEIB strategies. This reassessment is often in response to internal resistance or external pressures. However, despite these challenges, the significance of DEIB in shaping a company's image and appeal, especially among younger generations, women, and underrepresented groups, cannot be overstated. Leaders are increasingly cognizant of this fact and are navigating these complex waters with a keen eye on maintaining and enhancing their organization's appeal to these key demographics [read our blog about the importance of including multiple perspectives in DEIB programming]."

#2 — DEIB as a Core Organizational Principle

Crystal Perel, M.A., Senior Consultant: "From my interactions with DEIB leaders, there's a notable determination to stay the course. Despite the external challenges, these leaders are committed to ensuring that DEIB is more than just a transient program. It's about embedding these values into the very core of the organization's culture. This approach is critical for fostering a work environment that's not only diverse and inclusive but also conducive to employee well-being and productivity. There's a growing realization that DEIB should be a litmus test for the authenticity of an organization's values. It's about integrating these principles into every facet of the company's operations, from hiring and training to everyday workplace interactions. This holistic approach is seen as essential for building a resilient and adaptive organizational culture, one that's equipped to navigate the complexities of today's socio-economic landscape [read our related blog about why DEIB is a must-have in the workplace]."

#3 — The Challenge of Supporting DEIB Roles

Sarah Jorgenson, Senior Consultant: "The rush to elevate DEIB roles in 2020 highlighted a critical gap in many organizations' strategies. While the intent to prioritize DEIB was clear, the execution often fell short. The lack of comprehensive support for these roles — in terms of building effective teams, providing adequate resources, and ensuring alignment with broader organizational goals — led to significant turnover. This not only undermines the effectiveness of DEIB initiatives but also sends a discouraging message to the workforce. To truly embed DEIB in an organization's DNA, it's imperative that these roles are supported by a robust framework. This includes clear objectives, sufficient resources, and a supportive environment that fosters collaboration and innovation. Only then can DEIB roles have a lasting and meaningful impact on the organization."

#4 — Integrating DEIB with Well-Being and Employee Experience 

Ellen Lovell, Ph.D., Senior Consultant: "The intersection of DEIB with other critical organizational aspects such as employee well-being and overall experience is becoming increasingly evident. DEIB isn't just a standalone concept; it's deeply intertwined with how employees perceive their work environment and their sense of belonging within it. To ensure these initiatives remain a central part of our corporate conversation, they need to be seamlessly integrated into other popular areas of focus. This means going beyond mere policy implementation and ensuring that DEIB principles are reflected in every aspect of the employee lifecycle — from onboarding to development, and even exit strategies. Such an approach reinforces the message that DEIB is an integral part of the organizational fabric, crucial for fostering a healthy, inclusive, and productive work environment. It also means that DEIB considerations should be a staple in decision-making processes, particularly those affecting employee well-being and engagement. By embedding these principles in the broader context of the employee experience, we can create more resilient and adaptive organizational cultures, better equipped to meet the diverse needs of our workforce.” [Read Dr. Lovell’s blog on this topic here.]

#5 — Navigating DEIB in Europe

Christian Roome, Senior Consultant: "In the European context, DEIB remains a cornerstone of organizational strategy across my customer base. However, the challenge we're increasingly facing is in the collection and effective use of self-reported demographic data. This data is crucial for organizations aiming to accurately reflect their global diversity and tailor their DEIB strategies accordingly. But this comes with its own set of challenges, primarily revolving around the data privacy regulations in Europe. Navigating these regulations while trying to gather comprehensive demographic information requires a delicate balance. It's not just about collecting data; it's about doing so in a way that respects individual privacy and complies with legal frameworks. Despite these challenges, this work is essential. We're ensuring that demographic data collection is a key component of our main surveys and executive presentations. This focus underscores the commitment to maintaining a diverse and inclusive environment, which is vital for organizational success in today's global marketplace."

#6 — DEIB’s Importance in Customer Engagement

Davinder Johal, M.Sc., Senior Consultant: "The focus on DEIB within the European market is not only sustained but growing, especially from a customer engagement perspective. More and more, our customers are inquiring about how to effectively integrate DEIB metrics and self-reported demographics into their strategies. This trend indicates a shift towards a more comprehensive understanding of organizational diversity and inclusion, beyond internal metrics to include customer perceptions as well. DEIB teams are increasingly relying on programs that capture this kind of information, as it provides invaluable insights into both employee and customer experiences. This data is pivotal for designing strategies that resonate not just within the organization but also with the diverse customer base they serve. The emphasis on DEIB in customer engagement reflects a broader understanding of its importance in creating a holistic and inclusive brand image. It's a recognition that the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are not just internal organizational values but also key factors in building and maintaining strong, diverse customer relationships."

Perceptyx Can Help Your Organization & Your People Thrive in 2024

An experienced partner like Perceptyx can help you extract the maximum value from your listening strategy and your people data, and build a more resilient organization where all employees can thrive. To learn more, schedule a meeting with a member of our team.

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