Employees and peers alike look to leaders in the corporate space as examples for success and inspiration. For this reason, C-suite executives are positioned to hold a good deal of influence on the implementation of their organization’s DEI efforts. In this week’s blog, we’ll take a look at some of the ways corporate leaders are successfully addressing DEI in their organizations.
They Are Implementing DEI Training Strategically
Effective C-suite leaders know that, to ensure successful DEI training, they must first understand their organization’s culture, how it needs to change to support DEI, and a strategic plan for how to make that change happen. This plan has to be aligned with the organization’s overall business strategy. To make a positive impact that creates behavioral change, all DEI training must also be in alignment with these overall strategies.
To achieve a holistic overview of an organization’s culture requires the right knowledge and tools. At Gupta Consulting Group, we do our assessments using our proprietary ELEVATE Cultural Assessment tool (ECAT™). We look at your culture through the lens of your goals and your organization’s values. With the information we gather, we develop a strategic plan for DEI in your company. The data tells us where your company’s DEI training should focus (e.g. overall DEI training, gender bias training, race and ethnicity training) and what specific tools your employees would most benefit from receiving. It also provides baselines to measure against as we continuously monitor your workforce’s DEI gains.
They “Show Their Work”
Corporate leaders understand that for any company-wide strategy to be effective, they must get buy-in from all levels of their organization. They know that people will look to them to model DEI practices by promoting inclusion and championing equity policies. Employees at all levels will be encouraged to participate in DEI initiatives when C-level executives are cheering them on. But effective leaders also know how important it is to “show their work.”
Successful DEI leaders are transparent about their strategy and share why they want to implement one—whether because it reflects and upholds the organization’s existing values, or because the organization’s values need a 21st-century update. These leaders share why it matters to them on a personal level as well as a professional one. Crucially, they are also transparent about how they plan to implement all of the new policies and procedures that may accompany a DEI strategy. It is human nature to be resistant to change, and anxiety thrives on uncertainty. For these reasons, employees who do not have a full understanding of what kind of changes they will be experiencing are likely to be wary and resistant. Openness by leadership and an invitation to participate will encourage them to be curious and engaged instead.
Full participation can only be achieved if all employees feel that they are an integral part of the organization’s strategy and have a voice and a role to play. This role can be emphasized in DEI training, with tools such as bystander intervention or gaining the kind of cultural competence that can help fellow teammates feel more included.
They Understand How DEI Training Should Transform Company Culture
As a crucial component of a larger strategy, successful C-suite leaders know that effective DEI training should help change your company’s culture on a fundamental level. Through training, employees can build awareness of unconscious bias, encourage cultural competence, and foster inclusion. When supported by a holistic workplace strategy, the types of changes brought about by training will have a profound impact. This is because people who feel more comfortable being their authentic selves in a workplace are more likely to keep working there—and more productively, at that. The more inclusive the workplace, the more likely leadership will be to be able to attract and retain diverse talent and reap the benefits of a diverse workforce. That’s why corporate leaders committed to DEI will seek training that does more than educate—it helps transform the culture.
For these reasons and more, corporate leadership invested in successful DEI implementation will ensure that DEI training is implemented strategically, transparently, and transformatively.
I’m Dr. Sangeeta Gupta, and I founded Gupta Consulting Group to help CDOs and HR leaders create and implement DEI programs that meet their organization’s unique needs. Schedule a conversation with me today to learn more about our DEI solutions.