Strategy & Consultancy

Building buy-in for DEI

You've taken the first step: drafting a strategic plan for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). That's a milestone you should be proud of! But what happens when not everyone is on board? This is where the real challenge begins. It's crucial to understand that a DEI strategy is not just about writing plans but primarily about effecting change. And let's face it, change is tough. People naturally resist change, especially when they don't immediately see its benefits.

Geplaatst op:8 maart 2024
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In my career as an expert in change management and DEI, I've learned that buy-in within an organization is not just desirable; it's absolutely crucial for any change to succeed. This realization hit me years ago, during a project in an organization where DEI initiatives just couldn't take off. The key? Personal connection and finding common ground.

A turning point came through a series of workshops we organized, not just with management but with employees at all levels. During these sessions, people shared their personal stories, their doubts, but also their hopes. It was a process that took time, but the impact was undeniable. By actively involving people and making them part of the solution, the atmosphere shifted. Skepticism gave way to engagement, and resistance to curiosity.

This moment of experience taught me something important: change is driven not by plans but by people. The importance of buy-in cannot be understated. Without the buy-in and engagement of your team, any attempt at change is doomed to fail. This is why it's critical not just to write your DEI plan with a few key stakeholders but to develop a strategy that is embraced by the entire organization.

But how do you create this buy-in? Start with transparent communication about the why behind your DEI initiatives. People need to see the bigger picture—how it aligns with the mission and values of the organization and what it means for them personally. Create platforms for dialogue and exchange, where employees can share their concerns and ideas. This not only builds a culture of openness and trust but also increases the sense of ownership over the DEI process.

Finally, be patient and persistent. Building buy-in is a process that takes time, with room for learning and adjusting. By centering your employees in your DEI strategy, and by continually striving for inclusion at every step, you lay the groundwork for a culture where diversity is not just valued but forms the core of how the organization operates. It's a journey that is both challenging and deeply enriching, and it's a journey we must undertake together, as a united organization.

Written bySana Sellami

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