DEI, Human Capital Management

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Grounding Strategy


A small manufacturing company was experiencing high growth from both organic growth and M+A activity. The CEO and the CHRO both saw an opportunity to ground their leadership team in the core elements of DEI so as to increase overall awareness and allyship in the organization.

The employee base had significant tenure and recent efforts in diverse hiring were creating mixed success as the culture was not evolving. The management team knew their talent was success and so increasing a focus on belonging and engagement became very much linked to success.

The primary goals for these efforts were to create a new focus on DEI as well as a baseline of common language.


The engagement started as a series of simple DEI trainings over 6+ months. The were two town halls (lecture style >100 participants) and then two targeted classes for people leaders (interactive class <25). The reception of these learning experiences was very positive, and the DEI Committee was hungry to do more.

Exude facilitated a series of focus groups in addition to the feedback from the consultants that delivered the training and the DEI Committee to center on a second phase of this work. The listening exercise revealed key themes around hiring practices and performance management practices.

Working with the core HR team, Exude introduced our thinking about vertical and horizontal work in the DEI space. The vertical piece tied to having a strategy, a statement, core training, etc. The horizontal work spoke to how this core vertical played out in things like the handbook, HR communications, or the experience an employee had with their supervisor around goal setting, coaching meetings, and final reviews.

The second phase of training centered on the performance management lifecycle. We prioritized key employee experience moments and then worked with both the HR team and people leaders to center and influence their thinking and doing going into the prioritized moments.


The success of this engagement was translating a training scope of work into a learning scope of work. We worked together to prioritize the most significant moments in the employee experience and then upgraded practices to be more inclusive and equitable. The training in phase one opened the door, and the work in phase two kept the door wide open for more discussion, more psychological safety, and more change for the good.