Chamber News

DEIA and Work Environment Socialization

June 22nd, 2023

DEIA and Work Environment Socialization

A Gallup survey conducted in June 2022 shows that just 2 in 10 adult employees have a best friend at work. Since having a best friend at work is important when it comes to inclusion and belonging, it’s important to consider how we promote socialization without compromising productivity and quality. Integrating DEIA principles into work environment socialization practices is a great starting point. Here are some ways organizations can achieve this integration:

  1. Raise Awareness
    Educate employees about the importance of socialization in fostering an inclusive environment. Conduct learning sessions to promote understanding, empathy, and awareness of different perspectives and experiences.
  2. Set Inclusive Norms
    Collaborate with employees to create guidelines for inclusive socialization.
  3. Diverse Social Events
    Plan social activities catering to various interests and preferences, ensuring that different employee groups can connect and engage. Consider organizing events celebrating different cultures, traditions, or awareness days related to diversity and inclusion.
  4. Inclusive Networking Opportunities
    Create informal networking events or virtual platforms where employees from diverse backgrounds can meet and connect. This can be done through mentoring programs, employee resource groups, or cross-functional team-building activities.
  5. Inclusive Communication Channels
    Provide platforms or spaces for employees to share their ideas, experiences, and perspectives. This can include company-wide town halls, online forums, or suggestion boxes. Encourage open dialogue and active listening to foster inclusive conversations.
  6. Equip Leaders and Managers
    Provide learning opportunities about inclusive leadership, unconscious bias, and fostering psychological safety. Leaders should actively role model inclusive behavior and address any exclusionary dynamics that arise.
  7. Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
    Support and encourage the formation of ERGs or affinity groups where employees with shared identities or experiences can connect. These groups can organize social events, share resources, and provide a sense of belonging.
  8. Celebrate Diversity
    Recognize and celebrate diversity through company-wide communications and events. Acknowledge and appreciate the contributions of individuals from different backgrounds and promote a culture that values and embraces diversity.
  9. Measure and Evaluate
    Regularly assess the effectiveness of DEI integration into socialization practices. Gather employee feedback, conduct surveys, and monitor participation levels to identify areas for improvement and track progress over time.

Remember, integrating DEIA principles into work environment socialization practices is an ongoing process that requires commitment and continuous evaluation. By intentionally creating inclusive socialization opportunities, organizations can foster a sense of belonging, build stronger employee relationships, and create a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

Sherrice Thomas 
Vice President of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Access