Before entering the DEI space, Julie Kratz, who is now a highly-acclaimed TEDx speaker and inclusive leadership trainer, led teams and produced results in corporate America. The numerous “pivot points” she faced in the business world ultimately led her on her DEI journey, helping corporate leaders with retention and overall employee experience by developing a more inclusive workplace.
In Cooleaf’s most recent webinar, Kratz took the stage to share what it takes for organizations to develop DEI strategies that not only have an impact but that last beyond just “trending topics.” The key? Setting meaningful benchmarks and outlining key metrics to create a strategy that lays the foundation for DEI to become a central part of company culture.
“My own sense of a certain lack of belonging in corporate America is really what led me here,” Kratz shared. “When it comes to DEI, so many leaders feel like they don't know what to say or do– so they don’t say anything at all. Right now only 10% of organizations have had communication with their employees about trending events and the current state of the world.”
During an audience poll, Kratz shared that part of an effective plan is returning to the 3 essential components of a DEI strategy: the what, the why, and the how. Kratz suggests that senior leaders start by taking an initial assessment of their own DEI initiatives, then return to these guiding principles to help create action steps.
When outlining an equitable strategy, consistency is key! During the presentation, Kratz pointed out that for DEI to be more than just a “trending topic,” it has to remain consistent in times of uncertainty, such as economic downturn. For this reason, Kratz recommends key stakeholders lean into a clearly outlined, long-term plan that extends for at least 3 years.
“It's not about being perfect at this!” Kratz told the audience. “A lot of organizations haven’t started planning yet. This isn't about keeping score - it's about entering a brave place and bringing your full self”
Kratz offered an important takeaway to audience members, “DEI is emotional - it's human. There should always be an emotional component to it!”
Want to learn more about how Cooleaf can help you plan out your DEI roadmap and strategy? Talk to our employee engagement experts today!