How to Host a DE&I Week at Your Business

by Sarah Niderost, 4 minutes read
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As businesses continue to grow and look for new talent, they dive deeper into hiring people of different backgrounds and perspectives. And in order to retain employees, they welcome all team members to share their voice and input towards company goals. This goes without saying that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) is vital to every workplace.

If you’re wondering why your workplace lacks employee engagement, motivation, and productivity, centering more of your focus around DE&I could help — and hosting a DE&I week is a great way to do so. Continue reading to learn more about how you can host a DE&I week at your business.

What is DE&I?

DE&I is the presence of differences within a given setting. At work, this can mean differences in race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, and socioeconomic class within your team.

When many think of diversity at work, they often think of physical and visible differences. However, it’s vital to be aware of diversity of thought and the important role it plays in your company culture.

Focusing on DE&I can:

  • Boost morale

  • Improve employee retention

  • Attract more talent when hiring

  • Increase job satisfaction

As you begin your in-depth exploration of DE&I within your organization, it’s important to think of what your workplace is doing well with inclusivity, and what you can improve in your company culture to promote diversity. When planning your first ever DE&I Week, remember what you’ve thought about and take your observations into consideration.

What is a DE&I Week?

A DE&I Week is a whole week dedicated to collaborating with your team on business initiatives that will improve DE&I. If you’ve noticed a lack of diversity in your waitstaff, you can work with your employees to improve your hiring strategies. If you noticed high turnover within your barista team, you can work together on engagement and recognition practices for retention.

The week also allows for a space for staff members to work together that wouldn’t normally work together. They also get to do something completely different for a week, outside of their normal job description, and it’s a great opportunity for people who don’t normally get to lead to put their hand up for any initiatives and grow from it.

Steps you can take to host a DE&I Week

DE&I Weeks have the opportunity to do a lot more for your team than a single two-hour session of sensitivity training. While sensitivity training can encourage your staff to be more aware of their own goals as well as their prejudices, hosting a whole week dedicated to DE&I can be full of opportunities where your team members can speak to each other about important issues, rather than completing an online course.

1. Plan when to host the DE&I week.

Look for a less busy week so that your employees won’t feel stressed about missing any job tasks they need to complete during that time.

2. Pause on your business goals.

This way you can have a concerted focus purely on diversity, equity, and inclusion to make initiatives happen.

3. Brainstorm on initiatives to work with your team on.

Let anyone at your business put their ideas forward and lead an initiative! Let people nominate which team they want to join. Help resource teams toward the end if there are any skill gaps. Once teams and initiatives are decided on, post in your communication platform’s newsfeed to announce each initiative and team member involved.

4. As the week begins, hold a kick-off meeting.

Hold a teamwide meeting to get everyone excited about the week ahead. During the meeting, remind them about the importance of DE&I and how each initiative is making a big impact toward your company culture. Acknowledge how everyone’s contributions are going a long way and recognize each of them for putting in the work.

5. Encourage your team to break off into groups to work on their respective initiatives.

Dedicate time for your employees to connect with each other and collaborate on their DE&I project. You can offer longer lunch breaks, or you can designate 30 minutes every other day of the week so they can make sure they have enough time to complete them.

6. Host a DE&I Showcase at the end of the week.

So each team can show off what they achieved. Think of ways you can implement their initiatives in your organization and congratulate them for all the contributions they made throughout the week. You can show your appreciation by having a team offsite or giving them gift cards to their favorite restaurants.

Continue uplifting your team

When you’re focusing on DE&I and encouraging your team to use their voices, your work environment can transform and you’ll be able to reach company goals faster, collaborate more, and retain your staff.

Want to learn more about how you can uplift your team? Download a free trial of Deputy and find unexpected ways to support your employees.

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