Collector - November 2020 - 48

LASTWORD

Building an Inclusive Workplace
This interview is an excerpt from a recent episode of the ACA Huddle discussing diversity, equity and inclusion programs.

D

iversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)
programs continue to gain traction in
the corporate world, but how can you
develop one that matches your organization's
goals and initiatives? Here, Cori Power,
manager, learning and development,
BerganKDV, explains how to get started. This
is an edited excerpt from the presentation.
Power: An inclusive environment ensures
equitable access to resources and opportunities
for all. The inclusion factor is so crucial. It
enables individuals and groups to feel safe,
respected, engaged, motivated and valued for
who they are and their contributions toward
the organization and the organization's goals.
Everything starts with inclusion because
it's a choice. Diversity is. Diversity always will
be there. But we choose whether to include
diversity or not. And in being inclusive, we
can choose whether we're going to provide
equitable resources or not. Without inclusion,
there is often diversity backlash.
Authenticity is a truly important aspect
of inclusion. Sixty-one percent of people,
more than half, feel they must cover up
some aspect of their personality at work.
And brain science has actually proven that
feelings of rejection are just as impactful as
physical pain. So not being included at work
is just as painful as getting kicked in the shin.
This is going to really affect your job
performance because you're focusing
your energy on repressing pieces of your
personality and worrying about others
judging you versus just doing your job well.
Here's a takeaway: Go back to your teams
and find out how they feel about their
work environment on a scale from 1-10-
one being completely exclusive, 10 being

48

completely inclusive. Where would they rank
your company? Do they feel like you have
an inclusive or exclusive environment? That
information is a piece of putting this into
practice. It's a good place to start.
Now let's talk about how you can make an
impact in your organization through a DEI
program. I want to note that I did not use
the word "initiative" intentionally. Initiative
implies a plan for dealing with a problem.
It feels very short-term. Like, "We've got
this problem, so we're going to install this
initiative and everything will be taken care of."
I suggest using the term "program"
because it feels much more long-term. It's
here to stay. Like, "DEI is a program that
we're going to implement and we're going
to keep it." You can absolutely use the term
initiative but use it when you are discussing
specific actions within the program you're
focusing on.
The first step to implement a DEI program
in your organization is the assessment
process. It's kind of like a map. When you
are plugging in something to your GPS,
you have to start with where you are in
order to get to where you want to be. In the
assessment process, you can gather all sorts
of demographics about your organization
and the team members that work within it.
If you have a Human Resources
Information System (HRIS), you can use it to
find age, gender, disability, ethnicity, family
status, veteran status, anything else you keep
within your HRIS system to understand the
demographics of your current employee
group. Sometimes you can use a third party to
gather this information, specifically if you are
looking for info that is a little more touchy.

You can also use employee engagement
scores-I recommend doing engagement
surveys at least annually, if not more often-
to benchmark where your team is at for
engagement or satisfaction. Use those results.
See who is engaged and where satisfaction
might be falling.
Next, identify the areas of needs or concerns
based on what you gathered during that
assessment process. Maybe you've identified
that management within your organization
is full of older white males. Maybe you found
that black team members make less than their
white team members. Maybe you found that
the accounting department only hires females.
You might get quantitative data showing that
employees feel like they can't be themselves at
work. Maybe they are part of that 61%. Once
you have that information gathered, you can
put some next steps into place about how you
can move your firm forward.
To listen to the complete presentation, visit
www.acainternational.org/products/thehuddle-9-9-2020.

Title: Developing a Diversity, Equity
and Inclusion Program
Participant: Cori Power, manager,
learning and development,
BerganKDV
Air date: 9/9/2020

ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG


http://www.acainternational.org/products/the-huddle-9-9-2020 http://www.acainternational.org/products/the-huddle-9-9-2020 http://www.ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG

Collector - November 2020

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