Canadian Association for Supported Employment

Building Future Capacity by Investing in DEI Now

Sometimes we can get caught up in the thought that there’s never enough time to do it right but always enough time to do it again. This means we always find time to fix what’s wrong, even if we felt we didn’t have the time to invest in the first place. 

This way of thinking can prevent us from making the changes that are necessary for our success. If a minute in planning and preparation can help us save time, energy, and money in the long run, then initial investments of time, money, and energy are practical given the long-term impacts and savings.

Proactive Changes Now Prevent Future Reactive Manoeuvring

Small beginning steps through to the full development of well researched and negotiated inclusive policy changes can all have more impacts further down the line than we can see in the moment. When we make changes now in a proactive manner, reactive manoeuvring is prevented in the future.  

A good example is an inclusive recruitment process. By improving the language you use during recruiting and defining the skills and characteristics you are seeking, you are also clarifying overall organizational communication, evaluation processes, and onboarding. Steps made at the beginning of the employment journey can be lasting and impactful throughout the full recruitment cycle.

Photo: Person with dark skin in a wheelchair wearing casual clothing is smiling while working in an office setting.

Future Communications Will Be Better Received

Communication is another area of investment that pays dividends over time. As an organization, when your messages are clear and consumable by your workers and your audience and remain barrier free, your workplace culture improves and future communications will be better received. 

Once inclusive communication systems are in place, they can be effectively used by anyone in the organization. They are also being modelled for all your stakeholders who may decide to embrace them.

Initial Analysis Offers Organizational Insights

The corporate analysis and introspection that help determine your first DEI steps can also offer insights into the organization as a whole. They can identify, from a high level, where efficiencies can be made and barriers removed. 

Pre-Emptive Changes Improve Morale and Engagement

Effective, pre-emptive changes made before they are needed improve morale and engagement as employees begin to see how inclusion is lived and not just documented.

It’s timelier and cheaper to address opportunities earlier on in any process than to have to adjust after changes have been made. Effective, pre-emptive changes made before they are needed also improve morale and engagement as employees begin to see how inclusion is lived and not just documented.

Building long-term capacity requires work, time, and money up front, but the return on investment exceeds the initial cost. Creating time and space later is as simple as taking the time to do tasks correctly and efficiently the first time. Your future you will be thankful for the boost in capacity.