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Accountability is key: Diversity, inclusion and belonging

This series discusses diversity, inclusion and belonging (DIBs) in the workplace. Join us as we look at starting and building out your DIBs plan, as well as implementing and evaluating your plan.


As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was your organization’s culture.” 

Okay, that’s not exactly how the saying goes, but the sentiment rings true. It takes a lot of time and effort to develop a thriving organizational culture and put a diversity, inclusion and belonging (DIBs) plan into action

But that’s not all it takes. You also need to make sure you set clear expectations in regards to who is handling what and when. Otherwise, all of your careful research and planning may fall into disarray. 

Why is it that so many companies fail to build this accountability into their DIBs programs? This is a question I’ve thought long and hard about. While there may be no single answer, there are ways to properly design an accountability system that will ensure your team is consistently building a healthy organizational culture.    

But how?

For starters, it’s important to understand what accountability is and what it looks like within an organization. This isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition: What may work for one organization may not necessarily work for another. To set your team up for success, accountability strategies must be tailored to your organization’s specific structure, culture and goals. 

Although every company’s DIBs goals will differ, here are a few ways you can start establishing accountability when building out your plan.

Be clear about who does what

When creating your plan, you need to know who’s in the driver’s seat for each goal. If, say, one of your objectives is to increase the number of women who hold senior positions in your marketing department, then the marketing manager should develop a specific strategy to help achieve this outcome. 

For example, part of the strategy could be ensuring that women make up 60%of the applicant pool for engineering positions. By being clear about who does what, you’ll have better accountability and empower your team to play their part in achieving the organization’s DIBs goals.

Hold leaders accountable

Are your leaders doing everything they can to achieve a more inclusive workplace? To make sure everybody is contributing equally, set goals for each department leader at the beginning of every year and measure results throughout the year. 

If your leaders have a clear understanding of what success looks like for their part of the plan, they’ll be more motivated to do what they need to to make it happen, and your whole organization will reap the benefits.

Review your progress

Keep in mind that a DIBs plan isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it type of endeavour. Even if you’ve made your expectations and objectives clear, you will still need to regularly check in and review your team’s progress to make sure your plan is on track. 

Schedule quarterly meetings with your team to discuss DIBs metrics, trends and any opportunities to improve. This will not only show that you’re invested in the growth and happiness of each employee, but also hold everyone accountable to the goal of achieving positive organizational change.

Starting to put the pieces together? Stay tuned for the final part of this series where I go through the last step of this process: developing a clear implementation plan and evaluating your DIBs strategy. 

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