Diversity, equity, and inclusion are important topics for HR leaders and managers to discuss. However, there are several reasons why your leaders may have chosen to forego championing DEI at your organization. Whatever the reason, it’s in the company’s best interests to focus on empowering managers to drive these company-wide initiatives.
This article will go over a few tactics you can use to guide DEI discussions at work.
1. Focus on the Statistics
First, you’ll want to focus on statistics.
If your managers are like most, they’ll appreciate learning about any statistics you have about DEI. Numbers help managers understand the weight of the situation. How can improving diversity, equity, and inclusion drive growth at your organization?
Alternatively, seek inside statistics. For example, you could conduct a diversity, equity, and inclusion survey to see where your company stands on the issue. Managers understand the value of making their employees happy, which might encourage more managers to drive DEI.
2. Seek Inspiration From Other Organizations
Some companies are doing better than others when it comes to DEI.
Getting inspiration from other companies helps managers understand the bigger picture. As a result, these companies become a picture of diversity and something to aspire to in their own efforts.
You can help your team leaders by investing in tools like the Global ERG Network. Networks like this empower managers by giving them a community of supportive colleagues who are dealing with the same workplace DEI issues. When a manager is a member of a network like this, they can learn from the mistakes and wins of other leaders.
In addition to networking with other companies, competitors can be a great resource as well. Your managers want to be able to stand out above the competition. Show company leaders how competitors are moving DEI initiatives forward. Before you know it, more leaders will be on board.
3. Provide the Right Monetary Resources to Invest in DEI
Have you adjusted your budget to factor in DEI needs? Your goal of empowering managers will be hard to reach without the right financial investment.
For instance, let’s talk about hiring diverse employees. Prior to beginning your DEI journey, you might have spent time going to career fairs at the private schools your company executives attended.
If you are truly invested in diversity and inclusion, you have to widen your recruiting methods.
Are you providing the right monetary resources to make changes that will improve diversity at your organization?
Here are some ideas you might want to consider:
- Moving away from unpaid internships.
- Widening recruitment methods.
- Paying employee resource group leaders.
- Offering remote or hybrid work opportunities.
- Adding diverse holidays to the company holiday calendar.
4. Set SMART Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Goals
Next, you’ll want to set SMART goals.
Above all, we know that managers respond to well-defined goals. As an organization leader, it’s time to put some of your thoughts into an actionable plan that empowers managers.
What are SMART goals, exactly? SMART goals stand for:
Each goal you set needs to follow this framework to be helpful to your team.
Here is an example of a DEI-related SMART goal:
Achieve a 20% increase in the diversity of our applicant pool in one year.
So, does this meet the SMART goal criteria?
- Specific: This goal asks us to increase the diversity of our applicant pool. It could be clearer on what type of diversity the company is looking for, but it’s pretty specific.
- Measurable: At the end of a year, we should be able to measure the diversity of our applicant pool against last year’s number.
- Attainable: Goal attainability can be hard to determine. This goal should be attainable if an organization looked at their numbers and put proper resources behind this goal.
- Relevant: If you are interested in improving diversity, this is relevant.
- Time-Bound: We have one year to make this goal a reality, so it’s time-bound.
Other SMART DEI Goals:
Now that we know what a SMART goal looks like, let’s walk through some other potential SMART DEI goals.
- Create 3 employee resource groups for underrepresented populations in our organization by the end of the quarter.
- Improve the score of question #4 in our annual inclusion survey by 10% next year.
- Try out 3 new recruiting methods during our next seasonal hiring push and compare results against our typical methods.
- Improve our careers page to feature voices from five different underrepresented groups in the next three months.
5. Feature a DEI Speaker at Your Next Managers’ Retreat
Sometimes empowering managers is as simple as getting an amazing speaker to connect with your team.
You can do a quick search on LinkedIn to find a wide array of DEI speakers and educators. During your next managers’ retreat, host a speaker who can connect with your team.
After the DEI leader speaks with your managers, try to incorporate some of the techniques they shared. For example, you could encourage your managers to take notes and implement at least one suggestion per department.
6. Use the Right Incentives
Who doesn’t love a good incentive for moving the needle forward on a project? Certainly, it would be ideal if company leaders could make these decisions on their own. You might not find this to be the case, though.
Departmental and company-wide incentives could help you take your DEI initiatives to the next level.
For example, you could award extra vacation days to the department that embraces DEI most successfully (create some SMART goals around this.) You could also provide a team bonding event to the department with the biggest positive change in DEI survey results (announce this after you’ve collected results.)
7. Show That Your Current Focus on DEI Means Something to You
Lastly, we have to talk about focus.
Are you known to bounce around from idea to idea? Can employees trust you when you put your focus on something?
If not, they may be struggling to believe your newfound focus on DEI.
Don’t give up. Focus on proving your dedication. You need to focus on DEI even when you think no one is watching or listening.
For instance, you can start moving forward with goals as a company executive. Get some momentum going and report on your work. Hopefully, other company leaders will join you as they see how much the work means to you.
Conclusion: Empower Managers With the Right Resources
So, you are ready to start empowering managers! Diversity and inclusion work isn’t easy, but we know that you have the tools to do the job well. To sum up today’s blog, put in the work. Company managers will soon follow suit if they see you do it first.