Becoming an all-inclusive organization doesn’t happen overnight and getting started can feel like a daunting task with big goals to achieve and a long list of action items. During OOH UNITED’s Virtual Seminar earlier this month, Kinetic’s Programmatic OOH Partnership Lead, Adrian Witter was joined by Intersection’s Chief People and Diversity Officer, CiCi Holloway and Lamar Advertising’s Diversity and Talent Manager, Derek Haigler to discuss what’s important when tackling the goal of being an all-inclusive organization.
One of the first steps Holloway recommends is asking a few key questions to level set within an organization. Why is there a need for diversity and inclusion in the organization at this time? What do you and others hope to accomplish? Then examine representation within the industry, within your community, and within your organization. Where are the biggest gaps and identify was to start closing those gaps?
Haigler also noted to “forget perfectionism” when getting started. The fear of doing it wrong should not prevent an organization from beginning. So, what are the keys to success in jump-starting DEI initiatives?
Listen to employees:
Surveys, focus groups, small gatherings or 1:1 discussions are excellent platforms to hear what employees are thinking in this first examination. Organizations can and should implement an open-door policy around inclusivity but opening channels for people to present opinions anonymously is also important. As an organization, Holloway notes, “it’s not about who gave you feedback, or how you got it, it’s about what you do with it to make progress.” So having different approaches and tools to gather that feedback is key in making sure an organization is meeting the needs of its people.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate:
Be transparent with employees. For every DEI goal set, be transparent around what the goal is and what metrics will be used to measure success. Share progress along the way.
Keep Momentum Going with Small Milestones:
DEI initiatives can and should have short-term and long-term goals. Keep organization motivated by celebrating small milestones along the way. Showing real progress and having accountability increases trust with employees.
It’s an Everyone Initiative:
DEI is not just an HR initiative. Ensuring employees at every level, starting with the C-Suite, have genuine buy-in for DEI is crucial for success. One easy way to do this is to invite more people to have a seat at the table. DEI is an everyone initiative and everyone should feel free to participate.
Check your bubble:
Holloway recommends conducting exercises to check-in on empathy. People truly committed to nurturing diversity in an organization should think about the demographics around where they live, where they go to school, where they worship, where they shop, where they get haircuts – is everyone in in the same demographic group? If so, they might be living in a bubble and may be missing the richness of diversity. Success in fostering diversity depends on everybody bringing their differences to work, not just a handful of people.
To watch to the full discussion on Becoming an All Inclusive Organization: click here.
About OOH United:
Pillars of Success: OOH UNITED pillars create an inclusive foundation for the out of home community. Each letter of the word UNITED represents a pillar used to build a strong, sound, safe, and harmonious plan for inclusion.
- U – Understand: Only by understanding how each individual contributes to a stronger OOH industry, is it possible for a culture of DEI to thrive.
- N – Nurture: Nurturing promotes the professional development of future leaders within the OOH industry.
- I – Involve: Involving individuals across the OOH industry improves overall understanding about DEI and encourages personal commitment and actions that are more inclusive.
- T – Transform: Transformation is the resulting outcome when individuals commit to DEI actions.
- E – Engage: Engagement through internal and external communications ensures the ongoing exchange of ideas and encourages collaboration.
- D – Develop: Development is accomplished through ongoing training, recruitment, and education.
Click here to access guidelines established by OOH UNITED to assist organizations with developing a diverse college student internship program.
Interested in additional resources for students? Click here to access the FOARE scholarships available for students entering the OOH industry.
Would you like to get involved? Click here to contact OAAA.