Implementing a DEI plan is one of the best strategies you can take as a boss, manager or business owner. Increased diversity efforts improve workplace morale, productivity and diverse ideas, and can also increase your company’s profits. If you’re looking to put inclusion at the forefront in 2024, here are some methods to implement:
Get Everyone Involved
To know where to start with your DEI initiatives, you must communicate goals to your employees. Ask them what changes they would like to see in the workplace and keep an open mind to their feedback. Consistently expressing your DEI goals and taking action to make a change will show your company’s dedication to the cause and could inspire your current employees to hold these principles to the same standards.
Work with Diverse Organizations
Many organizations are dedicated to the education, hiring, retention and training of diverse talent in just about any field. By working with these organizations, your company will be directly and publicly supporting the groups they represent. You’ll make a difference within diverse communities and show others that your company promotes an inclusive culture. Some ways to support these organizations may include:
- Working together on advertising campaigns.
- Exhibiting at DEI-centered conferences and career fairs.
- Attending diversity-centered conferences and career fairs.
- Including resources (with permission) from these organizations for your employees.
Take Harassment Seriously
Hopefully, this issue won’t arise, but an essential part of enforcing workplace inclusion is ensuring that harassment cases are addressed seriously and correctly. In other words, your workplace must understand that any form of harassment, including that tied to identity, will not be tolerated. Proper protocols for preventing and delivering consequences for harassment include:
- Offering definitions, examples and training on recognizing harassment.
- Stating that you will protect the confidentiality of employees who report harassment or participate in a harassment investigation to the greatest possible extent.
- Requiring managers and other employees with HR responsibilities to respond appropriately to harassment or report it to authorized individuals.
- Providing prompt, thorough and impartial investigation of harassment complaints.
- Taking timely, effective, corrective and preventative action when necessary.
For a complete list of harassment definitions, consequences and protocols, visit EEOC.gov.
Start an ERG
Forming employee resource groups (ERGs) is a fantastic way to promote inclusion within your company. ERGs are groups of people with a shared affinity that come together to support one another, talk about their experiences and bond outside of work hours. For example, ERGs can be helpful for veteran employees to come together to talk about their unique shared experiences and the common struggles they may face transitioning into the workplace. The ERG becomes a safe space for employees to feel heard and supported. Typical groups that come together in an ERG include:
- Race/Ethnicity Specific
- Single Parents
Do the Little Things
Sometimes, the smallest actions have the most impact in showing employees and customers alike that diversity and inclusion are important at your company. If your company is persistently present in diversity spheres and stays up-to-date with the biggest issues in social justice, this alone can increase diverse audiences. Some simple ideas include:
- Involving diverse individuals in your advertising campaigns.
- Having your employees include their pronouns in their email signatures.
- Using proper and inclusive language in the workplace.
Despite the conferences you attend, the organizations you support or what your advertising may look like, it will all be in vain if you aren’t actually implementing what you learn. Creating a more inclusive company is good for your business’s success, but it’s also important in making your employees feel seen and safe while they’re at work.
Be open to new ideas, implement helpful diversity initiatives, keep up-to-date on the latest news and trends, and continue the conversation with your employees. Every aspect of your workplace will be positively impacted.