A team is discussing how to help their organization develop a diverse and equitable workplace.

We created our DEI Framework to help organizations think about the various components of creating a diverse and equitable workplace. Each component is an oar helping to move your organization toward the target. We have talked about strategy and leadership commitment as well as recruiting and hiring diverse staff. The final three oars are:

  • Inclusive Performance Management
  • Equitable and Inclusive Organizational Culture
  • Marketplace and Community Impact.

Inclusive Performance Management: Establish Clear and Agreed Upon Goals

It is essential to set clear goals and expectations for each individual in your workforce. Established goals must be based on objective job requirements. Responsibilities should be clearly articulated and agreed upon between the employee and their supervisor. Supervisors and their direct reports should discuss the behaviors and actions that demonstrate success for the role.

Without clear goals and benchmarks, agreed upon by all parties, you cannot successfully evaluate employee’s performance. This lack of clarity leaves room for subjectivity and biases.

Inclusive Performance Management: Employ Multiple Evaluation Resources to Avoid Bias

Bias also creeps into performance evaluation when only one person is giving feedback. 360 reviews, where key staff members review each other, can be a great way to look at performance from a variety of points of view.  It is important to ensure multiple check-ins and touchpoints throughout the performance evaluation cycle. Consistent and frequent feedback where positive and constructive insights are shared and processed in real time.

Inclusive Performance Management: Monitor, Measure and Evaluate Outcomes of the Performance Management System

Even with the best of intentions, our systems often perpetuate the structures we’re trying to avoid. It’s critical that you look at your performance management system and evaluate the results. Both quantitative data about turnover, retention, promotions and raises AND qualitative data about employee engagement and feelings are important when evaluating.

Equitable and Inclusive Organizational Culture: Identify Inclusive Values, Behaviors and Norms

Many organizations state their intention to foster equitable and inclusive workplace environment. However, some organizations have not identified the specific behaviors, values and norms employees must embrace. Once you’ve identified and communicated the organizational values and expectations, it’s important to hold employees at all levels of the organization accountable for living those values.

Equitable and Inclusive Organizational Culture: Foster an Environment of Trust & Transparency

An overall environment of trust and transparency will help employees and leaders feel safe to be their authentic selves. An environment of trust will provide space to have critical conversations about factors within the organization that may be impacting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Providing awareness and education opportunities as part of the organizational learning curriculum can increase awareness and cultivate shared understanding on challenges and triumphs for a multi-cultural workforce. Education opportunities can be formal presentations or informal learning sessions based around shared readings.

Marketplace and Community Impact: Establish Strategic Alliances & Partnerships

Every organization has the potential to extend its reach  and impact beyond their clients and customers and  into the communities where they operate. Engaging diverse suppliers and contractors is an initiative that supports minority and women owned business enterprises.

Organizations can also play a role in connecting with the future generation of professionals that hail from underrepresented groups  for their industry. Information sessions, mentoring programs and internships are all options for sharing the skills and expertise needed to excel.

DEI work is an ongoing process. We encourage you to download our DEI Framework as a way to start thinking about the steps your organization needs to take.

A Framework for DEI Strategy

Your organization is ready to get serious about Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI). But what does that mean? What departments does that include? How do you start? We’ve prepared this visual tool to help you better understand what’s included in a DEI plan and where you can start.

A Framework for DEI Strategy eBook