April 14th, 2022

How to Create a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan

Diversity, equity, and inclusion do not happen overnight. These initiatives require careful planning and execution from the top down. Without a plan, diversity, equity, and inclusion are hard to execute and track. 

A DEI plan is an internal, formal document or communication that provides the background, business case, goals, and strategy of the organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Having a formal DEI plan in place showcases a commitment to DEI and holds organizations accountable to DEI goals. Here are four steps to get you started in crafting your DEI plan and strategy.  

4 Steps to Develop a DEI Plan & Strategy 

Step 1: Evaluate your current progress toward DEI

To determine the progress your organization wants to make with diversity, equity, and inclusion you have to know where you’re starting from. Companies can judge their existing DEI efforts by assessing their current employee demographics and gathering employee feedback through internal surveys. 

  • Internal survey results should break down metrics like job satisfaction and sense of belonging by demographics for more insights
  • Organizations can benchmark their demographic data against other data sources—such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics—to compare their current DEI progress and formulate goals

Step 2: Build the business case 

DEI requires buy-in from all levels of an organization from leadership to management to individual contributors. Not everyone will be aware of the benefits of DEI. So start by educating yourself and your company on its importance:

  • Establish an Employee Resource Group (ERG) to talk about DEI
  • Hold a roundtable or lunch and learn to talk about the importance and benefits of DEI in the workplace
  • Set up formal training on topics like bias, micro-aggressions, stereotyping, cultural awareness, etc.

Keep in mind that leadership plays an especially important role in the success of DEI efforts. Business leaders serve as role models and change agents for DEI. Holding leadership accountable for the DEI plan execution and success will ensure someone is advocating for its progress. 

Step 3: Develop a DEI plan and policy document 

Because diversity, equity, and inclusion encompass a lot, it’s helpful to organize your DEI efforts into a document. There are numerous ways to approach a DEI plan, but most will include: 

  • The company mission and vision and how DEI fits in 
  • The business case for DEI 
  • Why the organization is committed to DEI
  • Goals and key performance indicators related to:
  • Key steps or actions to achieve DEI goals
  • Communication strategy for sharing DEI progress

Step 4: Communicate your DEI plan and progress

A DEI plan will provide organizations more benefits when they can report on it and show their progress. Transparency of efforts is also important to uphold a commitment to DEI and ensure progress is made. Businesses can share efforts through a variety of channels by:

  • Having a DEI section on the company website 
  • Sharing status updates in company meetings
  • Highlighting progress through stats on job boards or in job descriptions

How Obsidian HR Can Help With DEI

Small businesses already have their hands full with plenty of other responsibilities. Finding the time to work on diversity, equity, and inclusion in your company may seem impossible. With an HR partner like Obsidian HR, you can find more time and the strategic support you need to focus on this important initiative. 

When you work with Obsidian HR, you can find and onboard talent faster and easier. Our resume database, recruitment advertising, and applicant dashboard make it easy to log jobs, create job listings, post to hundreds of job boards, and track results. 

On top of that, our full-service HR team will help you handle everything that comes after a new hire so that they feel welcome and supported. If you’re ready to learn more, reach out to us, or download our full guide on how to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in your business. 

Download Our Guide: How to Promote Diversity, Equity & Inclusion In Small Businesses

Learn strategies and tips for improving diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices in your small business.

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