Remember it’s an ongoing process, not a quick fix
Diversity and inclusion aren’t just hot topics in the news or on social media. They may be front and center right now in a way that makes them seem almost trendy, but the reason to employ them has always been there, and always will be.
That’s why it’s important to take time to think through your efforts, set goals and milestones, get insights from employees and your community, and implement your initiatives thoughtfully. That builds a foundation that can strengthen your operation, now and into the future.
10 Elements to Include
Diversity and Inclusion is an integral part of your business strategy. These 10 elements will help you organize and prepare to take initial steps in beginning a diversity and inclusion initiative.
1. Create a Task Force or Working Group
The task force, working group, or champions will establish a clear set of goals and timelines in order to accomplish their work.
2. Engage Senior Leadership Commitment
Gain commitment from the top by preparing the business case for diversity and inclusion, especially your expected outcomes.
3. Develop a Statement
A statement explains why the organization is committed to diversity and Inclusion. The statement aligns that commitment to the overall mission of the organization.
4. Articulate Your Vision/Mission/Strategy
Outline your organization's broad vision for commitment to diversity and inclusion. Align the commitment to the overall mission of the organization as defined in your statement. The strategy articulates what the organization will do to realize that statement.
5. Be Specific in Your Definitions
Get basic definitions down and hone in on your focal point. Definitions of diversity and inclusion and other terms such as equity, equality, belonging, and access will inform your work.
6. Further Define Areas of Focus
Areas of focus, pillars of concentration, or aspirations will help define your goals. They’ll also give other contributors, like task force members and employees, a clearly stated path.
7. Develop a Plan to Implement Strategy
The plan will outline how the organization will work (now and in the future) toward implementing the strategy. Be specific in both short- and long-term actions you hope to accomplish.
8. Identify Necessary Resources
What professionals do you need to bring in to implement your plan? Do you need help with marketing, HR, strategic vision, or community outreach? Think about what resources would be most helpful.
9. Listen to Employees and Act on Results
Employee feedback and insights can offer a view of the operation’s strengths and challenges that you may not see on your own. But if you don’t use that feedback, it will slow to a trickle, so be sure to implement what makes the most sense, and let employees know why other feedback wasn’t able to be implemented.
10. Measure Outcomes
Your implementation plan should have goals and milestones, but in order to realize those, you need to be able to measure whether you’ve reached them. Be specific in your goals and it will be easier to track your progress.