Racial unrest, gender disparity, the LGBTQ+ movement and other causes have come to the forefront of American life. As a consequence, so has the discourse about diversity, equity and inclusion in society.
And that conversation has arrived at the workplace.
Now, more than ever, organizations are finding ways to overhaul their approach to promote an inclusive and fair work environment. While diversity initiatives once stopped short of simply celebrating heritage months, there is more work to be done.
Here’s how to guarantee you celebrate diversity all year at your company.
1. Prepare a diversity calendar
If you’ve committed to promoting diversity all year, it’s important that you make it a priority to celebrate it. And there’s no better way to prioritize something than planning for it. Get ahead of your diversity initiatives by preparing a diversity calendar.
Tracking diversity events and holidays helps your organization avoid disharmony among the workforce and ensures your commitment to promoting inclusivity.
Work with your HR team to develop a calendar that notes cultural, religious, national and special holidays or events. Knowing these dates in advance will allow your organization to effectively plan for activities.
Your calendar should also be comprehensive, robust and full of notes for each event. For example, you can include event suggestions, ideas, plans and tasks to further execute. The more time you invest into planning your diversity events will only be to your benefit.
2. Encourage education
Diversity is about appreciating our differences. Facilitate diversity across your organization by encouraging education. Develop opportunities to help others recognize and celebrate diversity among their coworkers.
One of the best ways to educate others about diversity within your organization is by allowing employees to lead the dialogue. Leaders should be open to allowing groups within their organization to share their perspectives, heritage, roots, background, identity and culture.
There are a plethora of ways to educate others about diversity. Consider hosting potlucks, planning panel discussions, forming company committees and organizing events to encourage education about different topics concerning inclusion.
3. Invest in diversity training
A big part of committing to celebrating diversity all year round is also placing an emphasis on DEI training. Organizations that prioritize DEI development among stakeholders and employees can improve awareness surrounding unconscious bias and barriers to diversity, equity and inclusion.
When people are informed about these issues, they can affect positive change to nurture the behaviors needed to foster an inclusive environment. Companies can also work better to prevent civil rights violations.
Businesses that make the investment in DEI training often experience the following benefits:
A more inclusive work environment
Increased employee retention
Higher employee satisfaction and engagement
More productivity and innovation
Positive brand reception
4. Hire a DEI expert
There is so much to be done when accomplishing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in the workplace. While it’s a valiant effort to take on this objective to the best of your abilities, it’s always in your best interest to hire a DEI expert.
Experts in the space today go by many job titles, including Director/Head of Diversity, Chief Diversity Officer, or DEI consultant. Regardless of the name, these leaders all help implement organizational change toward a more fair, diverse and inclusive workplace.
To jumpstart your hiring process, first consider your company goals, what you need in a role and the skills needed to affect change. Then, set parameters for the financial commitment. From there, vet your candidates through interviews.
Once you’ve got the right candidate for your organization’s needs, you’ll be well on your way to ensuring all your year-round diversity efforts cross the finish line.