How to Incorporate Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DE&I) in your Workplace!

The best innovations can only come if our people reflect the world’s full diversity of individuals, opinions, and approaches.”

– Alex Gorsky, Chair & CEO, Johnson & Johnson

Even though the concept of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) has been around for years, many big and small organizations have been talking a lot about D&I or DEI over the past year and a half. What is D&I or DEI, you may ask? In short, “The purpose of D&I functions is to ensure that the organization is comprised of diverse individuals (based on characteristics, values, beliefs, and backgrounds) and to foster a work environment in which all employees feel respected, accepted, supported and valued, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and other factors.”

You must be wondering what role Coaching, Leadership etc have to play in DEI. Read on to find out more.

According to the Harvard Business Review, the following FIVE strategies can help organizations create a diverse, equal and inclusive workplace:

  1. Make sure that the C-Suite executives including the CEO are on board for making the organization a better workplace for all.
    • Organizations should make sure that their CEO and all C-level employees are willing to participate and encourage the DEI strategies, because only with complete support from the management can any organization prosper.
  2. Ensure that the organization’s business strategy revolves around DE&I practices.
    • Every organization has its customized mission and vision statements. For DEI strategies to be successful, an organization should make DEI the center of all their business strategies.
  3. Make the executive leaders understand that they are accountable for DE&I results.
    • Executive employees should be given the responsibility of ensuring the proper implementation of DEI strategies in all departments of the organization.
  4. Try to allay and avoid any bias that occurs at the systemic level.
    • Any existing systemic bias should be addressed, solved and avoided before new strategies can become successful.
  5. Direct the training sessions towards leadership development coaching, for best results.
    • Last but the least, while company-wide DEI training sessions and workshops may have some impact and help improve the overall situation at the organization, a better impact can be made if, along with DEI training, the employees (especially managers) are also provided with wholesome skill development and awareness training sessions. This will improve their managerial skills and in turn enhance their relationship with the people they manage. As a result, the people they manage will also experience a changed environment, where they feel more accepted and valued than before.

Good leadership skills can not only improve the managers’ interpersonal relationships, but it will also enhance their ability to lead and maintain a superior team.

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