Ten Effective DEI Initiatives for Organizations
Most businesses hire employees from different cultures, races, genders and backgrounds. Each employee has their own voice, and it is up to the company and its leaders to ensure that every voice is heard. Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives help business owners turn this ideal into a reality.
Action-based DEI initiatives give employers a detailed plan that will create an inclusive workplace. It aims to remove any discrimination to ensure the wellbeing of its employees.
Successful DEI initiatives create many benefits for both the employee and business managers, such as:
- Fair treatment of employees
- Inclusive work environments
- Financial growth in the company
- Boost in productivity in the workplace
- Reduced stress
- Happier employees
To help you create a fair workplace that accommodates employees and includes them in decision-making, here are ten DEI initiative examples you can implement in your business.
1. Assess Your Company’s DEIB Culture
Before you can implement an initiative, you must know the current status of your diversity and inclusion initiatives. If you are unsure where to get started in assessing your company’s diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) initiative, an assessment will help.
Conduct a meeting with all managers in each department. Since they work with their employees daily, they might have some initial concerns you can address. Encourage each manager to have discussions within their own departments, either as a group or individually.
The goal is to discuss the current DEI initiatives and assess whether or not they are effective. When you lead the discussions, ensure that you highlight the goals you wish to achieve. Create a space where your employees feel comfortable voicing concerns without consequences.
2. Invest in Employee Resource Groups
DEI initiatives are a great way to include all employees when it comes to decision-making, planning and being a valued member of the team. One way to integrate the initiative is to create employee resource groups (ERG). ERGs are groups within a company made up of employees from the same race, gender, culture or sexual orientation. The objective is to create an environment where employees who share the same background can connect and support each other.
Creating an ERG takes careful planning and consideration. To help you get started, take a look at how you can implement an ERG:
- Find employees interested in participating in the group.
- Delegate responsibilities within the group.
- Establish the aim and objectives.
- Enlist new members to your group.
- Inform your employers of the importance and benefits of the group.
- Get support from your employers.
3. Put Leadership at the Forefront of DEIB
As a manager, your employees look to you to lead them and make important decisions. You are also responsible for creating a fair and inclusive workplace where all your employees can thrive. Take the opportunity to invest in a leadership learning experiences program that will help you implement successful DEI initiatives. This includes managing relationships and conflict, change and unconscious bias.
After your leadership program, you will be able to craft the best practices and policies to implement DEIB initiatives.
4. Collect DEIB Data Through Surveys and Focus Groups
Assess the status of the DEI initiatives in your company by collecting data from various departments. The data you collect will help you determine if there are areas in which you can improve first.
You can collect data from employees in the workplace by:
- Creating surveys: Ask employees a range of questions, including open-ended questions where they are able to explain their answers.
- Conducting interviews: Have a one-on-one session with each employee. Give them the opportunity to air any grievances.
- Starting focus groups: Some employees find comfort in speaking in a group instead of one-on-one. Start a group discussion and take notes throughout.
Sensitive topics can come up when assessing your current DEIB initiative. It is your duty to keep all data and answers anonymous where possible.
5. Build DEIB Awareness and Train Employees at All Levels
Employees spend much of their time together. Some employees even spend more time with their coworkers than with family. Over time, they become comfortable saying and speaking about things in the office. However, what might be seen as a joke or an innocent statement can potentially alienate a colleague. DEI initiative training seeks to create awareness and highlight the consequences of our actions in a hybrid workplace.
It is beneficial to a company if all of its employees take part in DEI initiative training. You can lead by example by having management across the company participate in the training first. Here, they will learn how to be aware of unconscious biases in the workplace and learn how to communicate in a hybrid working environment. Once each manager has taken part in their training, their employees can take the next step in creating an inclusive space.
6. Create a Strategy for Communicating DEIB
Communication is vital when focusing on inclusivity in the workplace. If you want every voice to be heard, you need to have strategies in place that will give everyone in your organization an opportunity to take center stage.
Take a look at these communication strategies that will support diversity initiatives in the workplace:
- Create a safe space: Meeting with employers can feel intimidating. To counter that, create a space where your employees are free to voice concerns and provide ideas and solutions.
- Listen: We learn more from listening than speaking. So take this opportunity to listen to what your employees have to say.
- Schedule a weekly meeting: Weekly meetings are a great way to stay updated on employee concerns and share ideas on current projects.
- Ask for feedback: “What do you think?” This simple question is a great way to include an employee in decision-making and planning.
7. Audit Internal Policies
When assessing the DEI initiatives in your company, do a full sweep of all your policies. An internal audit will help you determine how effective your DEI initiative really is.
Consider the hiring process of all your employees and the requirements of the application process. Does it favor or exclude a specific demographic? You can also collect data on employees’ gender, race and culture to determine whether you can become more diverse.
8. Refine Hiring and Recruiting Processes
Your hiring process can reflect how diverse you are. Do you focus on a specific demographic or are skills your main priority? This is all an indication of how diverse and inclusive you are. To ensure you have inclusive practices, here are a few ways you can refine your hiring processes:
- Create inclusive job ads
- Offer internships
- Use panel interviews
- Make use of blind interviews
- Use AI to pick candidates
9. Have Inclusive Company Holidays
Showcase your diversity initiatives in the workplace by implementing inclusive company holidays. Give employees paid time off where they can enjoy the holidays with their friends and family. If you cannot take the day off, bring the party into the office. Allow employees to share their history and food to give everyone an understanding of where they come from and the traditions that shape them into who they are.
10. Host DEIB Mentorship Programs
One of the best ways to learn and adapt to a workplace is through a mentorship program. Mentors have an abundance of experience and advice that they can share with coworkers who might be struggling to adjust to a new environment.
Useful examples of how you can implement mentorship programs at your company include:
- Create an ERG: ERGs gives employees their own community within the workplace to offer advice and support.
- Traditional mentorship: Assign a senior employee as a mentor to a junior or intern.
- Reverse mentoring: Give senior employers the opportunity to learn from their junior staff.
Implement DEI Initiatives With Exude Human Capital
Exude Human Capital is your solution to creating a diverse workplace where your employees can thrive and deliver their best work. We have a range of diversity and inclusion training and initiatives to help you create an equal space where every employee matters.
At Exude, we have experts who have vast experience in helping organizations reach their inclusion goals and successful DEI implementation. Get in touch with us today by calling (610)403-9909 or completing an online form and take the first step towards a fair and inclusive workspace.