Acting Inclusively: Putting DEI Strategy into Practice
In today’s workplace where employee engagement is tenuous, it’s critical for leaders to prioritize inclusivity within their company’s business strategy. Employees are increasingly vocal about their desire to work for companies that prioritize Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). More than three out of four job seekers and employees say a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers. And nearly a third would not apply for a job if there was a lack of diversity in the company’s workforce.
While many companies have committed to making DEI a part of their strategy, heeding feedback from employees over the last few years, much work is still to be done on the implementation of and accountability for this strategy. Creating a workplace that is welcoming of people of diverse backgrounds, is equitable in its treatment of employees, and is inclusive of the needs of its workforce requires ongoing intentional commitment from leadership.
Research published in Harvard Business Review finds that what leaders say and do makes up to a 70% difference as to whether an individual reports feeling included. Just as a company’s culture comes to life based on the examples of its leaders — whether C-suite or a manager of a team of three — success of DEI strategy rests on how leaders implement it.
Leaders should seek out inclusive experiences. How? Stefanie Johnson joins the Leading Up podcast to offer tips on running more inclusive meetings, creating an effective DEI strategy, and how inclusivity can help bring employees back to the office. Stefanie is the WSJ best-selling author of Inclusify and a leadership professor at Rice University, where she runs the Doerr Institute for New Leaders. She also is the instructor of Acting Inclusively, part of Udemy Business’s cohort learning collection, helping leaders learn how to harness the power of uniqueness and belonging.
In this episode, you will learn:
- Why inclusion — not just diversity — is critical to innovation [7:41]
- How to cultivate discussion that includes dissenting viewpoints [9:53]
- Tips for holding inclusive meetings wherever employees are located [13:03]
- The importance of schedule flexibility when creating an inclusive workplace [21:19]
- Why companies need to incorporate DEI into their overall business strategy, rather than a one-off training [25:48]
- How conscious mentoring can help a leader cultivate a diverse network [33:37]
Listen to this episode — and all of our episodes — wherever you get your podcasts.