Author: Cassie Myers
As we say goodbye to a trying and unpredictable year, it can be tough to look back and identify positives. It was a tough year, but together we pulled off many accomplishments, especially when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).
At Lunaria, we love the important work we get to do and the people we get to do it with. We are honoured to have partnered with incredible organizations in 2020 for their DEI needs. In 2021 we are committed to continuing to pursue impact and improvement.
While the 24 hours that separates the last day of 2020 from the first day of 2021 can seem minuscule, the change of a year brings a host of feelings for your employees. On one hand, there are feelings of excitement, hopefulness and dedication associated with starting the year off right. On the other hand can be nervousness, concern for what the new year might bring, and uncertainty of what one’s next step should be.
The new year is an incredible chance to shore up support for DEI work by leaning into feelings of excitement, reinvention and dedication. DEI can also provide clarity and structure to ease the senses of nervousness and offer tangible opportunities for employees to plan their next steps around.
We included a list of steps you can take to support employees this new year.
1. Review your DEI efforts of 2020
Reviewing your 2020 efforts helps you answer the questions, what are bringing with us into 2021 and what should we leave behind? In reviewing 2020 efforts, you learn what initiatives worked well and what your 2021 strategy might need to look like for equity to grow.
A review can be completed through a combination of surveys with employees and leadership, 1:1 conversations with key DEI leaders including ERGs, working groups and HR staff, and/or a top-down analysis of efforts. A review gets employees excited about the possibilities of DEI and demonstrates a commitment to avoiding past missteps.
Reviewing your 2020 DEI efforts communicates to employees that you hold yourself accountable and helps you as a leader better understand where you are and where you need to be.
2. Set clear, measurable goals for 2021
Clear measurable goals for 2021 answers the questions, how will I know if I am doing DEI right and where do I want to be at the end of the year? Your 2021 goals can give employees something to look forward to and ease anxieties about the unknown. The more measurable the goal, the easier it is to communicate and to instil confidence in employees that DEI is a priority.
Your goals are unique to your organization but can focus on anything from employee DEI sentiments, to engagement in learning activities and opportunities for employee feedback. Our blog, The 6 Pillars every DEI Strategy Needs, outlines key DEI strategy components you can incorporate into your 2021 goals.
Setting clear and measurable goals for 2021 shows your employees that you have a plan they can count on, and it helps you as a leader hold yourself accountable and focused on what matters most to your organization.
3. Provide an avenue for employees to get involved this year
Once you have reflected on your past DEI efforts and created measurable goals, you can plan opportunities for employees to plug-in. Planning avenues for employee involvement can help maintain new year excitement and assure employees that they are an important part of the DEI process.
Engagement opportunities look different for every organization but can include ERG formation, upcoming training opportunities and scheduled feedback points. A point of engagement for January might be a brainstorming session for 2021 DEI efforts. This can help you better understand employee desires and reposition DEI as an important organizational pillar for the year.
4. Let us walk alongside you this year.
We know how hard DEI work is. We are committed to walking alongside DEI professionals and people leaders. Our new initiative, Seeding DEI is one of the ways in which we aim to achieve this goal.
Through Seeding DEI, our community of people leaders, DEI professionals and equity advocates will receive impactful actions they can take to improve DEI at their work delivered to their inbox monthly. Each list of actions or ‘Seeds’, will be shared in the first week of the month with outlined DEI actions for each week.
Our goal through Seeding DEI is to equip all employees with accessible and practical actions to advance DEI in the workplace.