Workplace

Workplace equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) are important to my company. Where do I start?

Jun 9, 2021
·
7
min read

A survey from The Harris Poll, commissioned by Express Employment Professionals reveals “more than 2 in 3 hiring decision-makers (69%) say their company has taken action to promote a more diverse and more inclusive workforce and work environment.” 

Does your company fall into this majority? If yes, does your company have a larger equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) strategy or policy? While the majority of companies have taken action like providing training sessions or adjusting recruitment strategies, only one-third of survey respondents say they have a policy in place.

EDI are essential in building company culture, effective solutions, and more. If you haven’t familiarized yourself with how we approach these definitions yet, take a look at our previous blog, “Defining equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in the workplace.”

Developing an EDI strategy can be daunting. How do you start? Who are the stakeholders? Is it better to hire someone to lead the strategy or should you look at hiring an agency? In this blog, we’ll share some of the steps Humi’s  taken as we work towards building out our EDI strategy. Keep in mind that each company is unique; we hope sharing our journey can serve as thought-starters for you and your team. 

Getting started

We’re currently in the process of building and rolling out our EDI strategy, joining 10% of survey respondents who indicated they had plans to implement a policy by the end of 2021 and another 16% by the end of 2022. 

Discovering the need for an EDI strategy can stem from different scenarios – an employee feeling like they’re being excluded, a product that only works for a certain group of users...the list goes on. How do we start the conversation around creating an EDI strategy and with whom? 

At Humi, the need to create an EDI strategy was identified by our co-CEO, Simon Bourgeois, with the support of our three other co-founders. This isn’t always the case though. More often than not, the push to build an EDI strategy comes from an individual or group of employees. If you’re unsure of how you can start the conversation at your company, we encourage you to join us on Wednesday, July 6th at 1:00 PM EDT, for our webinar, “Workplace equity, diversity, and inclusion. Where do I start?”

Considerations

Once you’ve gotten some buy-in from your senior leadership team and key stakeholders, it’s time to decide if you want to work with a consultant or agency to help you build a strategy, or if it’s something you will build in-house with existing resources or by hiring a specialist. We’re thrilled to be working on our EDI strategy with an agency, Entelechy Consulting, and here were some of our considerations when looking for a partner: 

Flexible scope

We know EDI strategies do not happen overnight; it isn’t a templated, cookie-cutter document that you e-mail to your employees and expect them to read and easily understand. Some companies have never talked about EDI with their employees, others are looking to update their strategy, and then there are those that are in the middle of implementing a strategy but came to a halt because there are still gaps. 

Humi needed a third-party to meet us where we were and help us get started. Rather than implementing a pre-built framework, we’re working with Entelechy Consulting to build one fit for Humigos. Together, we will decide what will work for us. After all, there is no blanket-approach for a specific set number of company-wide training sessions or senior leadership lean-ins. 

Holistic approach

A long-lasting, impactful strategy goes beyond a one-off training session. Consider the different stages of employee development when learning about EDI. There will be employees who are eager to learn but don’t know where to start, employees who are resistant, and everyone in between. Another consideration is where the employee sits in the organization chart. 

A holistic approach aims to build trust and get everyone on the same page. Try and understand where your people are in terms of their learning through internal surveys and honest dialogue. Beyond the beginning stages, different employees will have varying learning styles, so consider learning pathways that support all learners. 

Ongoing support

This one’s important for us. Since this is the first time we’re building an EDI strategy at Humi, we wanted to partner with someone that would be able to provide support beyond the length of the implementation process. We know EDI is constantly evolving, so having a pulse on how it evolves is important for keeping our strategy and efforts up to date. 

Value (and cost)

Sometimes, cost can be a deal breaker. It’s challenging to put a price on something as valuable as EDI and for some companies, it just isn’t a priority at the moment. We looked into eight different agencies and consultants before deciding who to partner with and while cost was certainly a consideration, value was more important to us. Better value can come at a higher price but can result in longer lasting, effective results. Cheaper ≠ better.

What’s next?

For those of you who are looking to get started, remember to sign up for our upcoming webinar,  “Workplace equity, diversity, and inclusion. Where do I start?” on July 6th at 1 PM EDT. Our webinar will be hosted by Andrea Bartlett, Director of HR at Humi, and our panelist includes Darius Sookram, President of Entelechy Consulting, and Sneha Deokie, People & Culture Specialist at Humi.


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About the Author
Think with Humi
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Hey there 👋 my name is Andrea Bartlett.

I’m the Director of HR at Humi, and I’m obsessed with all things people and human resources. Throughout my time working in a range of industries, I’ve learned that one thing is clear: the world of work is changing and HR professionals are leading the charge.

I believe that businesses should know their people as well as they know their product. But people are complex, and the solutions aren’t always easy. That’s how Think with Humi will help.

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Written by a people leader, for people leaders.

Andrea Bartlett, Director of HR @ Humi
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