This past year has brought EDI (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) conversations to the forefront more than ever before. As a part of that focus, organizations have formed EDI committees. But what should an EDI committee do? How can they best be successful?
We’ve been hearing from some of our customers that their EDI committee discussions have been difficult, at times contentious, but most importantly, not effective. None of this is surprising. EDI issues are complex, wide ranging and are often highly emotional.
What can organizations do to actively address EDI issues in a way that makes progress, opens conversations, and ultimately makes a difference for the organization?
We recommend that EDI committees be established with a clear internal focus. A focus that directly relates to making a difference at your organization. One way to achieve that is to have the committee look at one policy or procedure at a time through an EDI lens.
Here’s an example: In a recent conversation with a customer, we talked about their tuition reimbursement policy. What they learned was that their policy required the employee to pay the course tuition and cost of books up front and many of them did not have the financial means to do so. If the goal of this policy is to provide employees with a ladder to grow and advance within the organization, it’s missing the mark for the people who need it the most.
How many of your policies are holding employees back from achieving their full potential? Evaluating them individually through an EDI lens will result in tangible, actionable results.
Will focusing internally on EDI issues solve the larger problems of systemic racism, discrimination, and harassment? Certainly not initially, but if we all do our part making small changes, we can feel better knowing that the net result will be a much better environment for everyone.
What successes have you had with your EDI efforts? Let us know what has worked for you!
Meet Kevin Brozovich, energetic entrepreneur, people-focused team-builder and HR practitioner-turned consultant. For almost 10 years, Kevin was Founder and Chief People Officer of HRM Innovations, a Kalamazoo-based Human Resources consulting firm many would consider the top in the region. After pulling his hair out making daily decisions about running the business (does it matter where the coffee comes from?), Kevin joined forces with the Rose Street Advisors team so he could solely focus on what he loves most: working with clients.