Five Steps to Reignite Your DEI Council

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five steps to reignite your dei council
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Has your DEI Council lost its spark? With concerns about the economy, DEI might be one of the first initiatives to be placed by the wayside, which could end up hurting your organization in the long run. If you’re looking to reignite it and get people excited again, here are some tips: 

Define your purpose – what is the goal of the Council, and what does it hope to achieve?

It might be time to revisit the purpose and goals of your Council. How are you looking to support a work environment that emphasizes diversity, equity, and inclusion? Are your goals to create opportunities for education on this topic? To hold leadership accountable for creating a more equitable workplace? To help create systems change that will support equity? This is a great time to re-establish the purpose of the Council in order to gain a reinvigorated sense of purpose.

Get buy-in from all members – make sure everyone understands the goals and is on board

Achieving any goal requires a coordinated effort. Getting buy-in from all members of the Council ensures that everyone understands their role and how to work towards a shared objective. Taking the time to get everyone on board can be well worth it in the end; it encourages collaboration and sets expectations for commitment, helping ensure that difficulties are addressed early on and can be overcome as a unit. By having everybody in agreement before embarking on an endeavor, the work is more achievable.

Create a structure that works for everyone – this may mean breaking into smaller groups or committees to focus on specific topics

One of the greatest challenges in creating a structure that truly works for everyone is making sure that all voices are heard. Breaking into smaller groups or committees to focus on specific topics can be a great way of ensuring that each voice and perspective is taken into consideration. To make this model most effective, those chosen to form these smaller groups should cover a wide range of backgrounds and thinking styles. It’s also important to remember to communicate any decisions – no matter how small – back to the larger group so that everyone is included in the conversation and feels their input was taken seriously.

Set realistic expectations – don’t try to do too much at once, or you’ll risk burning out

Setting realistic expectations is key when it comes to reaching your goals. It’s important to remember that success rarely happens overnight and that taking small, manageable steps toward an end result will lead to greater success in the long run. Breaking down a goal into more achievable parts can help keep motivation high. Additionally, trying to take on too much in a short amount of time runs the risk of quickly becoming overwhelming and feeling discouraging – leading to burnout before anything can be accomplished. Taking the time to determine what is realistic for you to achieve will ensure not only better results but also greater satisfaction in reaching your goals.

Keep the momentum going – schedule regular meetings, review progress, and get unstuck when things get sticky!

Being on track requires commitment and dedication; however, it can be easy to fall off the wagon if you don’t regularly check-in. Schedule regular meetings to assess the work and review your progress towards them. Regular reviews will help ensure your Council stays motivated and provide insights into what actions are helping you reach your end goals. Keep the momentum going by continuing to reflect and refine. It’s easy to spin your wheels, and politics can get involved, so when that happens, notice it, name it, and see what can be done to move forward. This work can never be done quickly or without much thought, but it’s important to remember that getting stuck in inaction can be worse than moving forward imperfectly.

Defining your purpose, creating a structure that works for everyone, and getting buy-in from all members are essential first steps to reigniting your Council. It’s also important to set realistic expectations and keep the momentum going by scheduling regular check-ins. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating that spark for 2023 and beyond!

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