Fall is in the air.

We can feel the back-to-school energy infusing our offices with a mix of excitement and anxiety as our calendars and inboxes are getting filled by the minute.

Don’t let your Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) plans fall by the wayside. Now is the perfect time to revisit your DEI vision and goals, and map out activities that will help your organization make meaningful strides in the right direction.

There are 3 planning essentials that are crucial to demonstrating your organization is committed to DEI: good plan, good budget, and good leadership. Let’s look at each in more detail.

  1. Good plan
  • Approach Diversity and Inclusion like any project in your organization by creating a workplan with realistic objectives and timelines. Break the work down to concrete and manageable deliverables that tackle different aspects of DEI, such as an employee engagement survey or a series of training sessions.
  • Identify the key outcomes you are aiming to achieve, both in terms of output (concrete things that are being produced) and impact (the changes you want to see happen as a result of the workplace activities).
  • Assign people to deliverables. Even though the work is likely to be collaborative it is helpful to have leads who coordinate the activities and report back to the team on the progress being made.

 

  1. Good budget
  • DEI initiatives that try to run on a low tank don’t get very far. Be sure to allocate sufficient funding, personnel resources, and time for planning and executing the activities.
  • Training is often the biggest component of an organization’s DEI strategy. Rather than looking at it as expense alone, reframe it as an investment with future impact and return.
  • Don’t stay behind as your competitors recognize the value of this investment. In one survey of companies across several industries, one in three (35%) reported that they were expecting to increase investment in diversity and inclusion efforts while only 3% were expecting it to decrease.

 

  1. Good leadership 
  • Since Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts impact every level of the organization, these efforts need formal endorsement and oversight from senior leadership. This gives credence to the work and helps counter-balance the doubters and nay-sayers who see this work as “fluff.”
  • In her article for Forbes, consultant and coach Dixie Gillaspie reminds us that leaders are responsible for culture, creativity and performance. Naturally, the imperative for diversity and inclusion permeates all three: a diverse workforce and inclusive culture drives creativity and high performances, as research
  • Since Leadership faces unique pressures when it comes to executing DEI, leaders may need support and development in the form of strategic planning, training, or individual or group coaching.

A plan endorsed by senior leadership with dedicated resources and input from employees can drive your DEI forward in a meaningful way.

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Harmony@Work is Canada’s leading provider of interactive Diversity, Equity + Inclusion workplace training programs. All Harmony@Work certificate programs, customized workshops and consulting services help organizations build the awareness, skills and leadership necessary to thrive in today’s multicultural environments. Our diverse team of Harmony@Work facilitators uses science-based tools and interactive training methods that deliver results.