An Inclusive Growth Strategy
An Overview of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
We have all heard talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), but when everyone in your company gets along, is it necessary? The answer to that question is yes. DEI is an integral part of your growth strategy, even if no evidence exists that changes are needed now.
This blog post will identify three simple areas to help you improve your DEI efforts while driving increased financial and personal growth.
To get started, let’s break it down by definition. According to McKinsey & Company, DEI is defined quite simply as the “three values that many organizations today strive to embody to help meet the needs of people from all walks of life.”
Di-ver-si-ty - noun
The practice or quality of including or involving people from various social and ethnic backgrounds and of different genders, sexual orientations, etc.
Eq-ui-ty - noun
The quality of being fair and impartial. “Equity of treatment”
In-clu-sion - noun
The practice or policy of providing equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized, such as those who have physical or intellectual disabilities and members of other minority groups.
As business leaders, we know DEI is vital to the culture, but it’s more than creating a welcoming work environment. Statistics show that companies that embrace DEI have fresh perspectives that drive recruiting and retention efforts while yielding an average 33% increase in EBITDA.
DEI in Home Building
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) announced it has formed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force. The task force was created to review and establish best practices for developing and sustaining policies designed to enhance a diverse and inclusive membership that is representative and reflective of all communities seeking the American Dream of homeownership.
“NAHB’s goal is to have a membership that accurately reflects the diverse communities in which we live and work,” said NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke, a custom home builder from Tampa, Fla. “We want to improve the culture by ensuring a welcoming environment where every person can thrive in this industry and create a successful and rewarding career.”
The DEI Task Force will create a structure for long-term improvement in the diversity, equity, and inclusion within NAHB’s membership through development, dissemination, and engagement at the local, state, and national levels. Click here for an informative FAQ created by the NAHB DEI Task Force.
Home Buyer Demand
The Millenials and Gen Z comprise the most significant percentage of home buyers. This creates a necessary shift in marketing strategies; according to an article in Forbes Magazine, “Today’s consumers are looking for brands that walk their talk.” This doesn’t mean you have to jump on the bandwagon for every issue, but it means they are looking beyond the marketing message and want to see evidence your company values align with their own.
Millennials and Gen Z also make up a growing portion of the workforce. All efforts applied towards DEI to attract these demographics as customers will also support your recruiting needs as you continue to grow.
Home Builder DEI Top-3 List
The home building industry is filled with people passionate about making our communities a better place, so the changes necessary to improve DEI are manageable. Based on copious amounts of research, we have identified the top three categories to focus on.
What You Say
What You Convey
What You Do
We mentioned that modern consumers don’t want you to jump on the bandwagon. As you look for ways to implement your DEI strategy, make sure you remain authentic. Signaling values that can’t be seen in what you say or do may ultimately do more harm than good.
What You Say
What you say matters, and many builders nationwide are already making changes.
Across the country, many builders have been replacing the term “master” with “primary” for the largest bedroom suite once they learned of the impact of the implied dominance and ownership. Words have power, and changing terms can bring positive change, so using the primary bedroom is worth a try.
A person’s pronoun is how they view themselves. With most of us, the correct pronoun to use is obvious, but in instances where it is not getting it wrong can dramatically impact one’s self-worth. The simple act of including your pronouns on your email signature line, name tag, or online media can prevent harm and showcase how you value them as humans.
What You Convey
Across all forms of media, we are seeing the importance of representation. We encourage builders to look at their buyer demographics and ensure your imagery properly showcases your target audience.
Including a visual representation of your buyer demographic in your marketing collateral can create a sense of belonging that brings customers through your doors and further showcases your company's commitment to DEI.
Hiring and promoting a diverse team will help your profitability goals and support your efforts to recruit new team members. Depending on the size of your team, this can be tricky to navigate, but as you grow, consider recruiting tactics that will expand your reach.
What You Do
From the product you build to your involvement with the local community, what you do should support your values and stated DEI efforts.
Do your home plans support your local demographics? Including optional spice kitchens to ADA or accessible features that meet community needs will help to communicate your commitment to inclusion and help more leads convert to sales.
Looking for opportunities to give back to the community is always good. Be intentional about community involvement; it will fuel your soul and provide substance to your stated values.
In conclusion, the words we choose and the language we use have the power to affect the people and the world around us. Our words represent our beliefs, morals, prejudices, and principles—sometimes in ways we may not mean—and can shape an audience's perceptions of us as well as the issues about which we speak and write.
Implementing Your Inclusive Brand Strategy
DO&Be Agency has helped builders across the country develop meaningful marketing and brand strategies. We have seen the data and impact of crafting an inclusive brand strategy; please contact our team if you are ready to take some proactive steps and would like us to guide you as you go.