As companies work to be more inclusive and diverse in their workforces and customers that they serve – there is always room for improvement. As we all know June is pride month for the LGBTQ+ community. To show support, many companies temporarily replace their traditional logos with a rainbow version for the month to express support and inclusivity. However, how does your company support pride, diversity, and inclusion beyond just the month of June? Here are a few ways to drive DEI efforts year-round beyond one month.
Create Employee Resource Programs And Groups.
In our previous article “How To Build A Truly Inclusive Workforce,” we discussed the importance of the what and why of diversity and inclusion policy and approaches such as “What is your strategy and why are you following or focusing on it?” Move beyond celebrating diversity and inclusion one month a year, by setting up employee resource groups that are community specific and hold regular sessions, seminars or meetings all year. These groups create a safe space for employees to discuss scenarios with one another, allow for questions, and create a sense of belonging within the organization. These groups should be a resource to support both diverse community members of your workforce and everyone else to foster safety, collaboration and information sharing. Create opportunities for education and awareness and let these employee resource groups share their own experiences of DEI in the organization. Use these groups as feedback to gauge how effective the DEI strategy is being implemented and supported across the organization.
Showcase Inclusion Throughout The Year
Each and every month choose a different diversity group to highlight to both employees and customers and structure meetings or seminars around this theme to drive awareness and education. Even if your organization is still in the beginning stages of implementing a DEI strategy or framework, start with small things like raising awareness across the organization. Hold regular lunch and learn sessions or quarterly seminars from experts or others on their lived experiences. Highlighting these sessions, experiences and monthly diversity efforts on social media will drive awareness amongst customers and attract diversity talent to your organization.
Create Volunteer Events That Support DEI
Moving beyond simple sponsorships, companies can partner with other organizations (non-profits, advocacy groups, etc.) that value DEI in more meaningful ways. Work closely with these external organizations to identify opportunities, events or ways to provide support beyond monetary donations. Create company volunteer opportunities or days that are optional for any employees to support the organization in a meaningful way and give back. This will allow for employees to physically experience and participate in a different way instead of listening to a speaker or learning session. From a leadership perspective, some employees learn better by reading and listening while others learn from physical experiences. Keep this in mind when creating these events, opportunities and resource groups to support different learning styles across your workforce.
Partner With Organizations That Value DEI
Companies know that Diversity & Inclusion drives collaboration and ultimately the bottom line within their teams and their workforces. Take this approach one step further by examining any external vendors that you partner with, and how they are approaching or demonstrating their own commitments to DEI. Leverage this diversity across your partnerships and networks to drive better results on projects, collaboration, products and more. Learn from others’ diverse teams and identify potential opportunities that may have not been uncovered before. In terms of recruiting and hiring, look carefully at the recruiting or search firm that you work with. Recruitment teams that are diverse have a much different perspective and approaches when it comes to hiring strategy and will have access to broader diversity networks.
About The Author.
Jeff Raymond (email@example.com), President and Founder of Raymond Search Group (RaymondSearchGroup.com), is an industry-leading recruiter specializing in Construction and Real Estate, Engineering, Architecture, HVACR/R, Building Automation Systems, MEPF, and Manufacturing. Jeff is known for delivering the top 5% of industry talent to his clients with unrivaled efficiency and network. Clients and candidates alike rely on Jeff as a trusted advisor through his recruiting expertise and industry insight.
Jeff earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, Management, and Operations from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He is experienced in the construction industry and is Procore certified in multiple areas. He is an active member of the Urban Land Institute, ASHRAE, the Institute of Refrigeration (IOR), and The OSHA Education Center Association.