Congratulations, if you are reading this, you should have reached the third stage of the Learn, Plan, Act and Realise Model or are simply looking to learn more before you get started on your EDIB journey. As you’re now aware, great company culture is hugely important to the success and overall health of your organisation, your people, and your customers.
In articles one and two, you will have learned about your company’s EDIB challenges and built a plan for how to tackle any issues that surfaced. The third step of the model is ‘Acting’ – putting the wheels in motion! A plan is just a wish without actions on how to get there after all.
You should now be making a combined effort to change the behaviour and language of your business based on the priorities you set out in ‘Plan. It’s important to note that mistakes are likely to happen along the way, but when they do, just make sure you apologise, acknowledge the error, and commit to doing it better next time around. The effort you make here is more important than the fear that may be keeping your from moving forward.
Once you’ve set out your EDIB strategy – discussed in article two – it’s critical to track your progress against the activity mapped under each pillar. If you want to see your culture shift and your employees to see the benefits, you need to clearly communicate your strategy and provide regular updates to your team/s against the areas you’ve promised to deliver against.
Make use of your communication channels to provide these updates in clear and visual ways. You can be creative – you don’t have to just stick to notice boards and intranet posts. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking this process is one-off exercise though, you need to keep sharing your progress with your people and reminding them that it is a continuous journey.
As employees see the changes being made through the activities you have included in your EDIB strategy, it’s important to continuously ask for their feedback. Employees must feel like they belong at your organisation and employee voice is a critical aspect of people feeling included. Your employees should feel like they can be their authentic selves at work without fear of different treatment. If your employees don’t feel this way, it a major impact on performance and retention.
Ask your people how well each activity you carry out was delivered, what could be changed or improved, and for any other ideas they have that can contribute to your strategic pillars. When asking for feedback, it’s a good opportunity to demonstrate how their previous feedback has been used to make change in organisation. If you check in regularly with your employees, it enables you to measure your progress and ensures you’re on the right track in nudging your culture to becoming more inclusive.
It’s proven that employees will feel more comfortable and be more willing to voice their ideas if you can demonstrate you are acting on what they’ve told you needs to change. It will better allow them to feel like they can actively champion or advocate EDIB. Not all employees will feel like they can be their true selves at work. It’s important to discover how well these people in particular are being represented in decisions being made in your organisation.
Depending on your challenges, you may be able to introduce heightened listening activity to specific underrepresented groups and use initiatives like meeting quotas, reverse mentoring, and training to support those voices in being heard.
For an example of how a leading organisation can still refresh its view and focus on ensuring every voice is listened to and valued, read our case study on Premier Foods. The British food manufacturer was at the Act stage of the model and now has a deeper understanding of its people and has identified gaps and ways to overcome its inclusion and diversity challenges. Premier Foods now has a long-term vision for its goals and is continuously shifting its culture – beginning with raising awareness and helping leaders to better understand its inclusion and diversity landscape.
To read the final step on the Learn, Plan, Act, and Realise Model before it’s published on our blog, simply download our ‘Four steps to create a more inclusive culture’ eBook for even more in-depth advice and guidance on how to progress your EDIB journey.
Your main takeaways from the Act stage:
- Include employees in implementing plans
- Communicate often and explain changes
- Enable employees to have a voice in how changes are implemented