How to start DE&I work on a budget

Read on for five effective DE&I strategies and tactics that you can deploy now, even with limited resources.

In response to the movement for racial justice in the summer of 2020, organizations committed to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, but have those generated actual change?

Culture Amp’s “2022 Workplace DEI Report: Understanding the DEI Landscape” compares what HR and DE&I professionals are doing with how employees feel about the actions.

In the “Understanding the DEI landscape” survey, 85% of HR and DE&I practitioners agree their organizations are building a diverse and inclusive culture. Yet only 34% of respondents say they have sufficient resources to support this work and 27% say they know how to measure the effectiveness of its DE&I initiatives.

(Image from Culture Amp’s 2022 Workplace DEI Report)

Given that resource squeeze, here are some of the most effective strategies and tactics to consider to make the most of your time and budget.

1. Document your DE&I policy

Formalizing organizational policies is a starting point for any HR strategy, the report says. And the majority of respondents indicate their organizations have an anti-harassment policy (95%), a code of conduct (93%) and an anti-discrimination policy (92%).

However, only 41% of respondents say their company has a formal DE&I policy. Even among those who do, only 42% respondents said there is an explicit, documented process in place to enforce the policy, suggesting 58% have a DE&I policy in name alone.

With a process in effect behind a DE&I policy, employees can demonstrably see that an organization prioritizes having a diverse workforce.

(Images from Culture Amp’s 2022 Workplace DEI Report)

Impact: Employee perception is much more favorable on both building diverse teams and equal opportunities for all people when there is a clear DE&I policy in place.

2. Strategic support

The survey found that 49% of respondents whose organizations have a strategic diversity plan but 56% said they have a formal DE&I council, forum or committee. The report asks: “If 7% of respondents have a DEI council operating without a plan in place, what exactly are they doing and how effective is it?”

To ensure councils/forums/committees are not operating without a plan, create specific roles, responsibilities and accountabilities within them that advance DE&I.

(Images from Culture Amp’s 2022 Workplace DEI Report)

Impact: Having a strategic diversity plan can help build a more representative workforce, so it makes sense that respondents at organizations with one perceive diversity is more highly valued. And the data shows that organizations with a DE&I council, forum or committee score more favorably on statements related to fair access and growth. They help create the space for more targeted discussions and investments around ensuring equitable opportunities for employees.

Read the rest of this story at  Ragan’s Workplace Wellness Insider, a destination for leaders in HR, wellness and communications. For more information, contact 

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