As you plan for 2023, how are you incorporating actionable DE&I objectives? How are you planning to encourage diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

To help you best evaluate and improve on your Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) initiatives going into 2023, we asked HR managers and business leaders to share their insights. From seeking the help of DE&I executive coaches, to opening the doors to a global workforce, there are several DE&I objectives that you may adopt for 2023 with the goal of engaging employees and developing an inclusive atmosphere in the workplace.

Here are nine DE&I objectives these leaders are working on to encourage inclusivity in their workplaces.

Seek the Help of DE&I Executive Coaches

“A DE&I executive coach can help reform the psychology of manager-employee interactions/behaviors. They can help managers to consistently engage in inclusively structured and personalized interactions with their team so that it becomes natural to make equitable decisions. These reformed interactions become demeanors that positively impact employee engagement, equity, and employees’ mental health, which can then be measured, tracked, and reviewed based on established structures. We would invest in an external DE&I executive coach to review our policies and practices based on non-conventional indicators of readiness to induce an inclusive atmosphere through reformed interactions and behavior.”

Florence Idowu, Chief Talent Strategist, Bavarde Talent Solutions

Begin With Empathy

“I believe that before we can have a discussion that includes DE&I+B (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging) we should start with empathy. Empathy is a learned skill that allows us to connect with others and thus inspire action. Understanding and practicing three types of empathy includes: 

  1. Cognitive empathy: being able to know how another person is feeling and what they are thinking 
  2. Emotional empathy, which occurs when you absorb the feelings of another person, often leading to a physical reaction
  3. Compassionate empathy: understanding someone’s situation, feeling for them, and being driven to help

This sets the stage for the deeper conversations needed to truly embrace DE&I+B as part of organizational culture, not just a check-the-box compliance activity. Leadership is expected to model empathy and behaviors we hope to see across the organization, supported by in-depth, ongoing DE&I development programs at all levels.”

Paul Zaentz-Lewis, Founder and CEO, Inclusive Change Consulting LLC

Add New Actionable Scope

“We are formalizing an inclusion council by adding a recruitment process, by-laws, and a budget. We are also adding the first affinity group – women @ company X. The priorities for training and development are new manager training with DE&I baked into the curriculum and creating solid messaging both internally and externally reflecting the company’s commitment to DE&I. It’s going to be a terrific year!”

Melissa Lamson, Managing Partner, Leading with DE&I

Invest in Unconscious Bias Training

“We are making a concerted effort to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workplace as we plan for 2023. We recognize that this is an ongoing journey, and we are committed to taking active steps to create a more inclusive environment for all of our employees. To that end, we have made a number of changes to our policies and procedures, and we are investing in training and development programs that will help everyone in our organization to become more aware of unconscious bias and its impact on the workplace. We believe that these efforts will help to engage our employees and create a more positive and productive work environment for all.”

Antreas Koutis, Administrative Manager, Financer

Engage External Stakeholders for Impartial Feedback

“As we plan for 2023, our HR team is scheduling quarterly reviews with external stakeholders, including consultants, former employees, and local community members. This is due to the fact that our department has primarily relied upon internal surveys in the past. However, by doing so, it is clear now that the results of those surveys were skewed by operational biases. Therefore, by incorporating feedback from external stakeholders this year, we are hoping it will help our team obtain impartial feedback and identify obvious obstacles. That way, we can ensure we are measuring the correct metrics and establishing the desired outcomes to hold our leaders accountable.”

Alaina Ross, Co-Founder & Registered Nurse, Sleep Family

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Diversify Recruiting Outreach Strategy

“I’ve made a conscious effort to diversify my company’s recruiting outreach strategy to further embrace our DE&I efforts. Job advertisements, employee referrals, or any other single recruiting method alone doesn’t provide a representative sample of available candidates in the job market. Relying on one approach overlooks many of the potential candidates. As a result, I assemble a talent pool full of diverse candidates by sourcing talent from various non-traditional recruiting platforms. I also like to use offline recruiting methods, such as industry-specific conferences and events, or host our own meetups.”

Alex Wang, CEO, Ember Fund

Introduce DE&I From the Beginning

“Explain to new hires the importance your firm places on diversity and inclusion, provide a definition of what it means to work in an inclusive environment, and outline any initiatives you have planned to promote a sense of community among your staff. If you want to wow your new hires, you need to be ready to discuss the steps your firm is taking to increase diversity.”

Joe Troyer, CEO & Growth Advisor, Digital Triggers

Bring Everyone Onboard

“Best practice dictates that getting your whole team on board is critical to DE&I success. Having only HR and C-Suite employees involved in the plan isn’t enough. Sharing objectives followed by an open, two-way discussion with everyone in the business will explain your goals. Then you can solicit questions, feedback, and suggestions from the people who are impacted. Including current employees in your interview committee will help keep your commitment on track by engaging them and helping to keep the DE&I plan on track for everyone present and future. Getting your whole team on board with your DE&I plan will engage employees and actively develop an inclusive atmosphere.”

Temoer Terry, Partner, The Mommy Care Kit

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