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DEI starts at the top but is practiced at the front lines.

The volatile market conditions brought about by the pandemic have challenged revenue leaders to actively calibrate execution of strategic opportunities against a public health crisis that has impacted their employees in unique and often difficult-to-predict ways. Many leaders have engineered flexibility within the virtual workplace in response to employees facing mounting pressures of childcare and mental and physical health. Executives that have failed to understand and address these pressures now face a growing talent gap, as many employees seek out organizations with an embedded DEI philosophy.

Even in normal market conditions, revenue organizations that commit to DEI programs acknowledge and nurture the value of their employees. Alexander Group’s recent Diversity, Equity and Inclusion survey shows that 57% of revenue leaders cited “acquiring diverse, well-qualified talent” and “retaining diverse, high-performing talent” as primary reasons for investing in DEI programs. Notably, the DEI practice that receives the most buy-in from revenue leaders aims to promote an equal share of childcare: of 13 potential DEI programs described in the survey, providing paid parental leave is by far the most highly implemented and highly effective measure.

Another approach to successfully embedding DEI practices into company culture is to establish a DEI-focused task force composed of individuals across all levels of the organization. This is a highly implemented practice across companies. 71% of Alexander Group DEI survey respondents cited advanced or fully-implemented DEI task force programs. Collaboration across levels of the revenue organization encourages different generations to learn from one another, helping executives directly access and incorporate diverse opinions into both internal governance and go-to-customer strategies.

According to Stacy Tiger, EVP & chief HR/Experience officer at Allegiance Bank, “one approach to successfully attracting and retaining top talent is to match the energy and expectations of early-career employees, who tend to be more vocal about workplace expectations and expect an inclusive environment.”

Wendy Bahr, chief commercial officer at Rubrik, adds that “retaining diverse and best-in-class talent requires introducing flexibility into the workplace in the form of flexible working hours, continued work-from-home models, or hybrid-remote programs. Because nearly all firms have experimented with flexible work models in response to the pandemic, employees at all levels will continue to expect some degree of flexibility from leading organizations going forward.” 61% of revenue leaders surveyed by Alexander Group stated that their firm had already implemented flexible work hours, with another 29% in the beginning stages of implementing flexibility into the revenue organization.

In addition to being attentive listeners to the voices of their employees and customers, revenue leaders need to communicate their DEI implementation intentions and progress frequently, collecting and incorporating employee feedback as they expand the programs.

DEI starts at the top but is practiced at the front lines. That is why companies increasingly focus on program implementation rather than just communication of commitment. For instance, revenue leaders are increasingly focused on identifying and eliminating disparities in sales compensation plans. Nearly 50% of Alexander Group’s DEI survey participants are in the exploratory/beginning stages of designing fair and more equitable quotas; approximately 40% are exploring systematically evaluating pay levels for equity.

Learn about all the steps needed to achieve a new level of relevance and competitiveness in the market in the DEI Excellence in the Revenue Organization whitepaper or contact us to learn how the Alexander Group can help.

 

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