We published a blog in February 2022 titled “What Happens if You Create a Culture of Curiosity.” The following information offers several additional actions you may want to consider so you can set yourself up for success as you move forward with diversity equity and inclusion work in your organization:
- Set clear goals. Let your passionate employees help. Track your progress and be sure to build in small wins along the way, that is, acknowledge progress as you go. As you reach your goals, set new ones to continue moving forward.
- Establish open communication. Ensure that the entire company is on board with the initiatives. This includes leaders and key stakeholders. Communicate your goals and invite people to share their thoughts and ideas. Invite conversation around the work and delegate to passionate team members.
- Build trust. It takes time to build trust. It is important to lead by example and invest the time to talk to and build relationships with your team. People respond to those who authentically engage with them. Over time this will help you build strong, trusting relationships with your employees.
- Consider cultural differences. Take the time to learn about your employees, business partners, customers, and community. By becoming aware of cultural differences and how they impact your team, you can help ensure that communication lines are open and everyone’s voices are heard. This can stave off potential conflict before it arises. It is also important to review your interview process and interview questions to ensure your organization is using language and questions that are inclusive for everyone.
- Identify and resolve conflict promptly. Conflict is inevitable. Healthy conflict is also an important piece of a healthy culture. Lead by example and resolve conflict as soon as possible. Make sure that the expectation of your leaders and employees is to do the same.
- Embrace different social values. Listening and learning from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences opens a whole new world of possibilities when strategizing, problem-solving, and working together. Embracing different social values enhances communities and workplaces with creativity and innovation that would not be found otherwise.
- Become aware of unconscious biases. Whether we want to admit it or not, each one of us shows up with unconscious bias. This refers to a bias that happens automatically and is triggered by our brain making quick judgments and assessments of people and situations. Our biases are influenced by our background, cultural environment, and personal experiences. Most of these biases do not come from a place of bad intent, but it is important for us to be aware of them, because they can influence the decisions we make. There are numerous activities, podcasts, and books around unconscious bias. Do some research and encourage your colleagues to do the same. Have a discussion around what you learn.
- Use inclusive language. Revisit your employee handbook. Take another look at job postings and your website. Do some research into how you can use more inclusive language. Be sure to share your findings with your team and set standards for how to more effectively communicate.