by Linda Mougalian

As HR leaders develop strategies to create workplaces that are engaging, supportive and empowering to LGBTQ employees, human capital management technology can help.

Numerous studies have shown that organizational cultures built on diversity and inclusion best practices support innovation, creative problem solving and a high-performing workforce.

During Pride Month, individuals and organizations around the globe recognize the history, rights and contributions of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning (LGBTQ) community. For businesses, Pride Month serves as an important reminder that investing in diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives all year long creates a sustainable culture of inclusivity and increased engagement.

Technology plays a key role in informing, benchmarking and executing D&I initiatives that support LGBTQ employees and other diverse employee groups. At ADP, we’ve found that innovative human capital management (HCM) technology solutions drive the successful implementation of diversity and inclusion best practices, and support an inclusive, engaged culture for all employees.

Always Designing for People: Diverse HCM Technology

ADP’s value for our own diverse workforce shapes the experiences and solutions we design for our clients. This year, ADP was rated third in the United States on the 2019 DiversityInc list of “Top 50 Companies for Diversity.” It’s our 10th straight year being recognized, and this underscores how deeply diversity and inclusion are integrated into the fabric of our business culture.

As my colleague Rita Mitjans, ADP’s Chief Diversity and Corporate Social Responsibility Officer, has said, “We are highly focused on creating an inclusive environment where employees feel empowered and can reach their full potential. This ranking backs our ongoing commitment to create a workplace that values every individual.”

At an overarching level, diversity is the “what,” representing employee demographics across a range of races, ethnicities, genders and sexual orientations. Inclusion is the “how,” the cultural approach and action framework that ensures every employee is recognized, supported and empowered to do their best work. That same commitment to diversity and inclusion drives our product development philosophy: Always Designing for People. Our commitment to leading the market in innovative HCM technology is shaped in part by a dedicated focus on continued progress around diversity and inclusion.

1. Improve Visibility with Stronger Diversity Analytics

Visibility is important because every organization is unique. To design effective D&I initiatives and benefit from diverse perspectives, firms first need to understand the makeup of their employee population beyond gender, ethnicity and race. Historically, businesses have relied on engagement surveys and business resource groups to measure population size and employee satisfaction among their LGBTQ workforce. Today, better data and communications tools are supporting more robust initiatives.

ADP was the first major HCM vendor in North America to introduce Self-ID. Self-ID is an optional self-service feature that enables employees to voluntarily indicate their sexual orientation and gender identification confidentially within ADP’s human capital management system, in addition to other areas such as race, ethnicity and veteran status. By inviting employees to self-identify, HR leaders can gain important insights into engagement, performance and compensation. Without a cultural shift to a place where employees feel safe to report, however, those valuable insights will be more difficult to identify

With more advanced diversity metrics, organizations are better equipped to engage a diverse group of employees and implement initiatives that support a culture of inclusion.

2. Explore Transparent Compensation and Pay Equity

As the ADP Research Institute® notes, there are high expectations for compensation transparency and pay equity in today’s employment landscape. An organization’s approach to pay equity can significantly affect, among other things, its reputation and ongoing levels of employee engagement.

Taking the initial steps to assess that information or act on it can be challenging. Innovative HCM technology solutions are making is easier for organizations to uncover insights and identify potential areas of risk and opportunity when it comes to pay gaps related to race, gender or LGBTQ status.

3. Reduce Bias in the Recruiting Process

Understanding diversity and inclusion best practices can help address any biases that might otherwise emerge during the recruiting process.

To that end, we’re seeing forward-thinking organizations take steps to redesign their interview process and implement unconscious bias training. Firms are implementing “blind hiring” technologies, which are designed to help eliminate bias and identify qualified candidates.

Certain ADP recruitment modules offer an intelligent search and visualization tool that allows recruiters to customize search criteria and narrow the candidate funnel by prioritizing the skills and attributes that are most relevant to a given position. Recruiters and hiring managers can gain a new perspective on their candidate pools and hiring processes, while supporting diversity and inclusion goals in a tangible way.

Building a culture based on diversity and inclusion best practices drives innovation and supports deeper employee engagement. Beyond Pride Month, embrace the possibilities that innovative HCM solutions offer to help your team support LGBTQ employees. With greater workforce visibility, pay equity and concrete steps to eliminate bias from the recruiting process, organizations committed to diversity and inclusion can take important steps forward toward an inclusive workplace that supports the potential of all employees.

Remember, applicable laws (provincial, territorial and federal) may prohibit or require collecting voluntary self-identification information, including gender. Employers are advised to talk to their legal counsel to determine which laws apply to their operations.

This article originally appeared on SPARK Powered by ADP.