Best Practices for Talking about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

July 28, 2021

This month, we’ve put the focus on building Team Member autonomy.  That conversation also needs to include Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives.  An essential part of autonomy lies in psychological safety, and a way to build psychological safety is to show your organization’s dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion.  By ensuring a safe workplace that uplifts and empowers all of your employees, you are creating an environment that allows your Team Members to feel confident and supported in all of their endeavors.  That level of safety gives people a stronger sense of control over their experience, as there has become an apparent emphasis on equitable opportunities.  They know that their actions dictate their outcomes and they will not be penalized because of what they look like or their experiences. Because of the importance DE&I plays in autonomy, we wanted to share some best practices to have an open and productive conversation surrounding DE&I.   

  1. Identify the purpose of the conversation.  Before beginning your DE&I conversation, reflect on what you are trying to achieve.  Do you want to have a better hiring process?  Do you want to have a round table to exchange perspectives?  Do you want to share educational resources and identify organizations/programs you want to work with? By identifying the purpose of the conversation and what you want to achieve by the end of it, you can have a better understanding of what rules and boundaries you should be setting.  Additionally, identifying a purpose helps to create a specific standard of expectations and avoids disappointment or frustration from miscommunication.   
  1. Establish rules and boundaries: Before beginning your DE&I conversations, it is important you establish any rules or boundaries surrounding the structure of your dialogue.  Does everybody need to contribute to the conversation at least once?  If you’re on Zoom, does everyone need to have their cameras on the whole time?  If someone gets emotional during the conversation, how do we handle it in a way that doesn’t take away from the current discussion?  Linking these rules back to your organization’s values is an especially nice touch for bringing everyone together for the same purpose (Forbes).  Establishing the rules and boundaries ahead of time can help to mitigate potential conflict that comes from a discrepancy in expectations.   
  1. Have a closing strategy: When it comes time to close the conversation, have a strategy set in place to end the conversation on a note that keeps emotions in check and clears up any conflicting viewpoints.  We want these conversations to be uplifting and productive, but with any DE&I conversation, there is likely to be an emotional aspect to it that can stick with people, even after the discussion has closed.  Because of this, it is important that we have a strategy in place that resolves the discussion and leaves everyone with a sense of direction.  Does everyone have an educational resource that they will research and summarize for the next meeting?  Is there a topic that everyone will consider and reflect upon for the next conversation?  Are there any action steps for the team to take in between now and the next conversation?  Having an action item can help your team to channel their energy and emotions toward something that they can feel good about.  Without this sense of direction, individuals may take any unresolved emotions outside of the room and into their work.  We want people to feel good about these conversations, but with an inherent emotional aspect to DE&I conversations, we need to have a plan in place for how we will address these moments and move forward.   

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives have become a core part of many organizations and has helped to create environments that are welcome to people of all different backgrounds.  Additionally, 3 in 4 employees report that having a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers (Glassdoor). Celebrating and prioritizing these initiatives shows your employees that you care about them and are investing in their futures long-term.  DE&I is ever evolving, so our conversations surrounding DE&I are always evolving as well.  Understanding how to make these conversations open, productive, and safe helps us to strengthen our Team Members’ sense of autonomy.   

Here at Truvelop, we know it goes beyond the app. Truvelop’s performance management tools can help strengthen the Manager-Employee relationship with transparent, objective, productive feedback, and that relationship also requires a foundation of trust.  When we have a strong commitment to DE&I initiatives, we are showing that we have a strong commitment to our Team Members.   

Contact us to today to learn more about how Truvelop can help your organization adopt a more transparent culture that fosters strong Manager-Employee relationships and builds Team Member autonomy. Don’t just take our word for it, see what our Customers have to say.