Build A Strategic Roadmap For DEI To Avoid Stalling Out

Avoid stalling out on DEI initiatives by building a strategic roadmap from the start

Organizations deeply committed to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work understand it’s a long game. DEI is a journey rather than a destination. Yet, having tangible priorities and expected outcomes is key to long-term success.

Industry leaders in DEI often build a road map of activities for the coming year. It is connected to an overall strategy that outlines what DEI means at the organization and why it matters. Before building a road map of priorities, define your DEI strategy. This should align with your organization’s mission and values to ensure authenticity. Ideally, DEI connects to your existing cultural values. Also, consider doing an assessment to determine your organization’s current DEI status. Without a thoughtful assessment, you risk prioritizing the wrong activities.

Road mapping can be done in a variety of ways. For example, it can be accomplished through a formal off-site with senior leadership; or with a DEI Council or Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) that do annual planning; or, even better, by using employee input to decide what is important to prioritize in the short-term.

Priorities distinguish what’s important to the organization. Resourcing them signals an authentic long-term commitment to DEI. Here are some examples of DEI priorities to include on a road map:

  1. Assessments
  2. Focus groups
  3. Senior-leadership education
  4. Education for all employees
  5. Inclusive-leadership training
  6. Employee resource group (ERG) programming
  7. Cultural celebrations
  8. Communications support
  9. Community involvement
  10. DEI headcount
  11. Bias-intervention tools

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to DEI. Priorities should match where the organization is on its DEI journey. For those at the beginner phase…….


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