How does an organisation go about starting to shape its DE&I strategy?
Now that we have addressed why having a DE&I strategy is of significance, it's time to address where to start.
Before we share tips, we have to say - doing something is better than standing still.
Standing still can often be perceived as lack of interest, lack of investment in making a difference, lack of empathy or just general lack of awareness and disregard for the challenges minority communities face.
I'm sure you'd all agree none of those are positive associations for your business.
So doing something to show you care is better than waiting for your strategy to be perfect (hint: it never will be) before you start.
Now that we've addressed the elephant in the room, here is the simplified version of how to get start shaping your DE&I strategy from scratch in 3 simple steps.
Evaluate your organisation’s current state when it comes to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion - do an equity audit. As part of the audit:
Truly listen to your employees - they’re your best source of insight and the people who live and breathe your culture daily
Carry out internal and external surveys to really gauge employee and customer sentiments
Collect and report on DEI data such as gender pay gap, ethnicity and more
Carry out focus groups
Leverage existing feedback channels such as performance reviews and company wide surveys to get a sense of how you're doing and the progress you're making
Identify the areas of improvement and focus using a holistic approach across the whole organisation. Some things to consider:
Look at every area of the business from recruitment and talent development to product development and procurement. Improvements can be made across the board
Open dialogue and awareness - pivotal part of your strategy should be centred on building awareness and educating employees on the importance of DEI and the difference it can make to individuals and the business alike. Securing a buy in from employees across all levels of the organisation is crucial for the success of your strategy
Be consistent and transparent in your communication both internally and externally about the work you’re doing to create a sense of belonging and create an inclusive and safe environment that allows everyone to be themselves and bring forward their unique strengths, opinions and views. We don't know what you're working on unless you tell us
Implement across the organisation. One way to install accountability and shared responsibility for your DE&I efforts is to ensure your company OKRs include D&I goals
Leverage Employee Resource Groups, Culture teams, Diverse Leadership Forums representing all parts of the business to create a wider community of change makers at the grassroots level of the company. The more inclusive leaders across the business you have spearheading your strategy, the more likely it is to come to fruition and the faster you get to reach your goals
Dedicate resource - not only does it allow your business to accelerate your efforts in the space but it instals accountability and shows that you’re truly committed to making a difference
Have you heard the famous quote "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"? That's exactly it - that's all you have to do. Take the first step and then the next one....
For more details on how to get started shaping your DE&I strategy, message our team on firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation.