Following the uprising against police brutality and racial injustice in the past year, companies of all sizes are vocally announcing their commitment to developing and/or improving their DEI initiatives. However, DEI is more than a policy – it requires a culture change.
Stating a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is not enough. Companies have to foster a culture of inclusion so that every employee has a voice and feels comfortable bringing their full self to work.
“When we think about inclusion, it’s often limited to race or gender. People don’t think about disability, especially invisible disabilities, or socioeconomic as differences. Everyone has something that is unique and special and everyone is looking to work and exist where what makes them special and unique will be an asset, not a detriment,” shares Jesse Krohn, the Associate Director, Education & Prevention in the Office of Equality and Diversity at Drexel University Goodwin College of Professional Studies.
For many companies, DEI initiatives focus mostly on ensuring there is diversity in the people represented, but what is often overlooked is how they feel once they are in place. Do they have a seat at the table? Are their voices heard? Are their voices valued? Do they have the same opportunities as everyone else or are they simply a checked box?
One of the first steps a company can take to develop an authentic and genuine workplace of diversity, equity and inclusion, is an intentional effort to build strong teams.
Team building creates the space for employees to learn from, and about, one another, which will improve employee morale and collaboration, and help employees gain new skills.
Our team shares a few ways to facilitate team building in a remote environment:
- Foster inclusivity: Inclusivity is more than making sure everyone is present. Inclusivity means creating space for everyone to feel wanted and seen. Inclusivity is the biggest building block for fostering and creating collaborative relationships. It requires being open-minded and judgment-free. A disconnected team will negatively impact a business, destroying morale and productivity. Check out our tips for how to create an inclusive environment necessary for employee retention.
- Facilitate open dialogue: Establishing the space and expectation for open dialogue helps create healthy, equitable work environments. Many problems arise in the workplace because employees do not feel free to speak out whether to offer new ideas or voice concerns for areas that need improvement. In order to build a strong team, it is important for every employee to feel heard. Not everyone is going to agree but everyone has a right to voice their opinion and share their experiences. Truvelop provides not only a dashboard to see how well your team is performing but also a Spark feature, which allows your team to communicate with one another.
- Team bonding: Not all conversations with your coworkers must be work-related. In our virtual work environment, there is no distinction between work and home life, and more employers are recognizing that is isn’t appropriate or effective to expect employees to have two versions of themselves. Engaged, passionate and committed employees are those who are accepted for who they are and have the ability to bring their whole selves to work. When employees get to know one another, discover common interests and experiences, they form bonds that improve employee satisfaction and foster a culture that drives talent retention.
Building a strong team that values inclusivity will improve morale, reduce turnover and drive productivity. More importantly, it creates an environment where everyone feels valued. Contact our team today to learn more about our talent engagement and performance evaluation tools.