With an increased number of employees working remotely due to the COVID-19 epidemic, I want to share 3 tips organizations can leverage for a successful, ongoing focus on diversity and inclusion. These are time tested tactics I’ve used successfully as a Diversity and Inclusion Leader and Consultant.
- Continue Diversity and Inclusion Focused Dialogue
Leverage your internal intranet and other communication platforms that highlight key messaging from leaders reinforcing support of the organization’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. While employees may not be physically in the office, key activities and progress can still be shared.
- Utilize the Power of Employee Resource Groups
Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) can provide valuable support to an organization’s diversity and inclusion strategy and serve as an invaluable resource. With an increasing number of employees working remotely and geographically disbursed, ERGs can play a critical role in supporting business goals.
- Offering virtual Lunch and Learn opportunities with topics such as:
- Improving Collaboration, Inclusion and Culture Across Distance
- Partnering with IT to support collaboration platforms
- Maximize Electronic and Video Communication Platforms
Prior to the COVID-19 epidemic, many organizations had no remote work business models in place. As a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, organizations found themselves having to create such models. Whether your organization is new at working remote or your employees are tele-work champions, here a few things to remember:
- Working remote can be lonesome; however, video tools can enhance conversations and increase personal connectivity.
- Identify the right tools for your organization. There are numerous technological offerings that can support your organization’s needs. Whether its instant messaging, virtual whiteboards or document creation and storage, technology can provide numerous ways for your teams to stay engaged.
Execution of your organization’s diversity and inclusion strategic plan can remain vibrant and sustainable during these challenging times, by encouraging collaboration and inviting innovative ideas. Seek opportunities to engage employees in ways you might not have otherwise considered. Remember, whether in the office or working remote, your employees remain your organization’s greatest asset.
Felicia Johnson is the Founder and Managing Director of The Gatson Group, a diversity and inclusion consulting firm based in Dallas, TX. She has a licensed partnership with the Institute for Diversity Certification where she offers the renown (CDP)® and (CDE)® certification, and is also a Certified Speaker, Coach and Trainer with The John Maxwell Team. Visit www.gatsongroup.com to learn more.