Organizational Well-Being is Supported By DEI Work.

Organizational Well-Being is Supported By DEI Work.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). From improved culture to a better bottom line, you’ve likely heard the benefits. But DEI can feel like a catch-phrase thrown around without context. Perspectives’ consultant, Elaine Robbins Harris, takes us inside her approach to DEI, focusing on how diversity and inclusion concepts can positively impact organizational well-being and culture.  

“A focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is a strong foundation for a culture of belonging and well-being within an organization.”

Elaine Robbins Harris


A sense of well-being (i.e., positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, and achievement) has a major impact on all aspects of our lives. In the workplace, it fosters connections, communication, collaboration, and positive outcomes.

The culture of an organization influences the innovation, productivity, and achievement of employees. A culture where a sense of well-being is pervasive because everyone feels welcomed, respected, acknowledged, and heard, has positive performance outcomes.

The DEI Program offered by Perspectives provides participants with awareness and understanding of how to apply concepts that foster a sense of belonging and actual inclusion. This program is not a training session – it is a discussion session supported by tools that enable reflection, awareness, and insight. Discussion allows participants to share experiences and perspectives and learn from the experiences and perspectives of others.

Elaine describes an individual’s DEI journey in three stages: Self-awareness, Commitment, and Intention. Self-awareness is the process of understanding our own views and opinions. Commitment is the decision to continually examine those views and opinions. And finally, intention is about taking actions that reflect that self-awareness.  


Self-awareness starts with recognizing that we each have a unique lens. A combination of our various identities (i.e., age, economic status, race, ethnicity, gender identity) and personal growth experiences shape our lens. They shape how we see ourselves, how we see others, and how we see the world.

An example of the impact of unique lenses: Two people may be sitting on a park bench or may be present in the same meeting, witness an incident, and have two totally different perceptions and responses to the incident.

Awareness of the impact of different lenses can foster acceptance and appreciation of diverse ideas, perspectives, and approaches. When this occurs in the workplace everyone feels recognized and valued – there is a sense of well-being and belonging. This creates enhanced creativity and varied problem-solving and decision-making strategies which positively impacts performance.


Awareness of our lens and understanding of our differences can broaden our perspective. And a broader perspective is the foundation for connection, communication, and collaboration.

Better connection, communication, and collaboration are not only good for the individuals, but it creates an environment for better performance and outcomes. When people with diverse experiences and lenses feel safe and heard in the workspace, we begin to see ideas with broader perspectives and identify opportunities that may not have been noticed before. The bottom line benefits when the focus on DEI practices is ongoing.


Unfortunately, bias is often viewed as a negative aspect of human interaction. Actually, bias is a natural part of the human condition that can have a significant impact on perceptions and workplace interactions. Understanding the neuroscience of how bias is formed removes the negative reaction to the concept of bias. Our brains are wired for bias and preferences. Fortunately, they are also wired for change and growth. Bias can be managed.


Empathy and curiosity are key elements for developing and maintaining a culture that appreciates and respects diversity and inclusion.  Empathy is an interpersonal approach, seeing a situation from the perspective of the other person. Curiosity is an intellectual approach that involves your commitment to continuous learning and making meaningful connections. Combined, these two factors provide a solid foundation for meaningful interactions in diverse settings.

The goals of focusing on DEI concepts and strategies are to create a culture where:

  • Everyone feels a sense of belonging.
  • Employees apply empathy and curiosity to develop workforce connections.
  • People acknowledge and welcome diverse perspectives which positively impact performance and outcomes.

When people with diverse identities, experiences, and lenses are welcomed and encouraged to contribute, there is a wider range of innovative ideas and problem-solving approaches. This can positively impact bottom-line results.


Elaine Robbins Harris develops and presents DEI programs that focus on developing and sustaining an inclusive culture where employees feel a sense of belonging.  These programs cultivate awareness, commitment, and engagement as a foundation for collaboration, innovation, and improved business outcomes.   
Elaine has delivered programs for The Kaleidoscope Group and the Anti-Defamation League and has worked with clients from various sectors, supporting them in aligning Diversity & Inclusion with their mission and goals.  
She has worked on DEI projects with Nationwide Insurance, Sara Lee, Thrivent Financial, Moraine Valley College, Harper College, South Suburban College, University of Nevada Las Vegas, and the Chicago Police Department.   

To learn about our DEI services contact Jonathan Eisler, VP of Business Development & Organizational Consulting at