You need some of the best DEI initiatives in your organization since increasing diversity is not a passive endeavor. Increasing diversity in the workplace takes effort from everyone involved in the company, so it’s important to have all teams on board. Learn more about some of the best DEI initiatives that you can adopt in your organization today.
Best DEI Initiative #1 – Enroll Employees in DEI Training Programs
Enrolling your employees in DEI training programs and courses is one of the easiest and best DEI initiatives that you can do. DEI training courses can help teams embrace and respect their differences and can create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment. DEI training courses can range from gender inclusivity training courses to cultural intelligence training courses since DEI as an umbrella term covers many different ideas.
DEI training programs can be easy to come by if you look into online training platforms. EdApp, a free mobile-first, gamified learning management system (LMS), includes DEI training courses in their course library with over 800 pre-made courses. These microlearning courses can be completed in as little as 5 minutes, anywhere at any time. But just because lessons are kept short doesn’t make them any less informative. With microlearning, there’s an emphasis on keeping lessons in small, digestible chunks to help increase knowledge retention.
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Best DEI Initiative #2 – Hire for Diversity
While you can instill DEI concepts and ideas with your current workforce, your best DEI initiatives should start with the hiring process. With online job postings, you can leverage diverse job boards to try and get capable workers from diverse backgrounds and communities. There are job boards for women, LGBTQ+ communities, race and ethnic groups, and more. Alternatively, you can ask your employees to refer candidates they’d know that come from different backgrounds. With diverse job sites and referrals, you could find ambitious and talented professionals that you wouldn’t find anywhere else.
You can also have your HR team avoid bias when it comes to recruiting, interviewing, and selecting job candidates. EdApp has a course on Interviewing Talent for Startups that includes a lesson on how recruiters can mitigate bias with structured interviews. There are other hiring methods tackled too, such as implementing blind screening of résumés and holding diverse interview panels, that can help make fundamental changes when it comes to fighting against bias and diversifying your workforce.
Best DEI Initiative #3 – Embed DEI into Your Company Core Values
Update your company’s core values to give importance to workplace diversity and inclusion. This can show your current employees and potential job candidates that your organization values DEI and works towards that vision. Reviewing and implementing core values take time, but once it’s done, you can get your employees up to speed with the new values through compliance training or corporate values training activities.
You can distribute your training or activities efficiently with EdApp. With its built-in authoring tool and slide template library, making beautiful courses on the LMS is simple and easy. You can organize your teams into custom user groups and remind them to take their courses with push notifications. Through survey slides, your workers can also share their thoughts and opinions about the new core values, including them in the discourse and feedback process of core value implementation.
Best DEI Initiative #4 – Invite Candid Discussion
Allow your employees to publicly discuss current events, celebrations, movements, and life experiences. Having open discussions on these topics can lead you to recognize varying beliefs, perspectives, and values that matter heavily to your workforce. The results of these discussions could also help you in the formation of your other DEI initiatives.
Through EdApp’s forum-like discussion board, you can have your learners share ideas and opinions while taking courses. This way, information is still fresh and discussion can be done while learning.
Best DEI Initiative #5 – Celebrate Diverse Holidays and Events
Following candid discussions, you can find what diverse holidays and events your team members celebrate. If you have a workforce composed of people of different religions, races, and ethnicities, you have to consider the events that matter to these communities. Celebrating these events is one of the best DEI initiatives that you can implement to make your employees feel supported.
You can propose company holidays to celebrate movements and events like International Women’s Day, International LGBTQ+ Pride Day, Hanukkah, Ramadan, and many more. These company holidays should properly reflect the demographics of your workforce. Alternatively, you could offer your workers 1-2 personalized holiday leaves, so they can celebrate the events that mean more to them personally. Either way, your workers must see that you care for their traditions or practices.
Best DEI Initiative #6 – Establish Mentorship Programs for Underrepresented Groups
Mentorship is one of the most effective DEI initiatives out there. By offering mentorship to your employees that are in underrepresented groups, you would be connecting people, increasing the sharing of knowledge, and providing opportunities for those who deserve them. This initiative can also help boost the representation of minorities and increase career satisfaction levels among employees.
Although EdApp is mostly used for asynchronous online learning, it can still work well for virtual instructor-led training. With integrations for webinars, video conferencing, and virtual classrooms, you can have your workers meet with their mentors in the LMS program. With so many learning style options available, your mentors and employees can choose a method of learning that works best for them.
Best DEI Initiative #7 – Build a Diverse Leadership Team
Similar to hiring for diversity, it’s equally important to hire or build a diverse leadership team. Having a diverse senior leadership team can help make employees feel represented and spoken for at all levels. Diversity is built not only from the bottom-up but also from the top-down. Some of the best DEI initiatives won’t be successful if there’s no support from top leadership. Have a team of leaders willing to embrace diversity and inclusion initiatives so that their passion for DEI can ignite the rest of the organization.
Best DEI Initiative #8 – Start Employee Resource Groups
Employee resource groups (ERGs) inherently aim to foster a diverse and inclusive workforce by providing support, enhancing career development, and contributing to personal development. These groups are typically formed around common social identities or life stages like gender, race, sexual orientation, parenthood, or late adulthood.
ERGs look to accomplish goals like improving work conditions, tackling company-wide challenges, and bringing employees together. You can even use these ERGs to gain a deeper understanding of the needs of your employees and help address gaps where needed. Also, ensure that your company’s ERGs are open for any full-time employees to join so that everyone can feel welcome and supported.
Best DEI Initiative #9 – Use Inclusive Language
Sometimes, implementing and embodying DEI values can start with the self. Making an effort to change how leaders and employees communicate with each other can influence positive changes in behaviors and support effective communication. Inclusive language can be introducing yourself with your preferred pronouns, adopting gender-neutral terms, and using person-first language.
In EdApp’s Diversity and Inclusion course, there’s a lesson that covers the use of inclusive language in the workplace. Check it out if you want to know more about how you can stop excluding certain groups of people through the use of inclusive language. Feel free to also look at this list of self paced learning tips that can help improve your learning experience.
Best DEI Initiative #10 – Issue a Statement from Your CEO
The last best DEI initiative on this list is issuing a statement from your CEO. It may seem like a small initiative, but the CEO plays an important role. Being at the top of the organization, the CEO should be the first to react and set an example for the rest of your employees when it comes to accepting and embracing diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Have the CEO make a verbal statement or back up their talk with actions. Similarly, have them highlight what the company is doing exactly to support the DEI initiatives and movements. If employees know they’re being backed up and supported by their top leader, they can feel reassured, included, and safe in the workplace.
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