Know you need to put more of a focus on Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) in your workplace but haven’t a clue where to start? I’ll help you get moving in the right direction with 3 first steps.
READY, SET, ACTION! I’ll start with a favorite quote of mine from William Wordsworth, “To begin, BEGIN!” It may feel intimidating to take action – or even know the right action to take given recent events and related to Diversity & Inclusion. The best advice I can give you is to start somewhere. Here are a few ideas of action you can take:
TRAINING: Schedule D&I training for your team – in-person or through an e-learning platform. A good training will address key issues such as unconscious bias in hiring/promoting, what microaggressions are and ways to prevent them, how to be inclusive and give everyone a voice in meetings, and the correct verbiage to use when referencing certain races or ethnicities. The training should be sure to address recent events and help your wokrplace specifically understand how to avoid racism in the workplace. Consider outsourcing this training to a D&I expert to ensure it is serves the intended purpose.
POLICIES: Revisit your D&I and discrimination policies to ensure they include accurate and complete verbiage. Be sure that there is a clear process outlined for employee concerns to be heard AND that it is widely publicized in your organization. They should know where they can go for in-person support, if there is a reporting hotline option, a suggestion box, or if they can report an issue some other way. Commit to a timeframe to make any needed revisions and re-distribute. (Be sure to get written acknowledgement from each person upon distribution.)
STATE YOUR INTENT: Make a statement at your next company meeting about your organization’s stance on recent events and your honest commitment to action. List specifics about the action(s) you are committed to taking SOON in 2020. You don’t need to know all the answers, but thoughtful action is key. Make a statement - then show up fully with your actions.
MEASURE - Measure the effect(s) of the action(s) you take through metrics. This goes for any initiative – to ensure your time and resources are best used. Take the time to ensure that you have the right systems and processes in place to measure these metrics.
GET HELP - This is a great time to reach out to us here at Expedition HR to take advantage of our free initial consult! Click here to schedule. You may have also heard me say this before – tap into your resources! If you use an HRIS and/or Payroll provider, they may have D&I specific tools and trainings which you can access for free or low cost. They may also have partnerships with companies who can help with trainings for a discount. If you work with a recruiting agency, be aware if they fold diversity into the important discussion about the ideal candidate. Find out what actions your business leader peers are taking. Don’t stay stuck in inaction - look outside your organization for ideas and support!
Remember, diversity is a broad term, so don't forget to consider factors at play as well such as upbringing and where they grew up as well as their unique work experiences and education. Each of us brings so many unique aspects to the workplace - we are missing out on such richness if we don't stop and ask questions and be curious to learn! This important D&I work needs to be ongoing, not just something we do today and forget it tomorrow. It absolutely is not something where we should “check the box” and be done. We have a lot of work to do - and it begins with one step in the right direction, followed by another. Be open, be curious - and most importantly, be willing to learn and grow.
So…what is stopping you from taking action to move towards a more diverse and inclusive workplace?