In our last blog, we introduced how organizations can decide whether DEI and overarching organizational values should be aligned – or if having a separate set of core values is beneficial.

We help organizations both establish DEI values or take existing company organizational values and define them from a DEI standpoint. What we’ve found is that there’s no single approach to deciding on core values since all organizations start off at different points in the DEI journey. If your organization opts to begin your strategy with two separate values, you can always transition some of your overarching core concepts to DEI values down the road. 

Since the decision really comes down to each organizations’ starting point and goals, we recommend undergoing strategy work to help you decide how to apply values to behavioral competencies. 

Here’s an example of what our strategy work looks like for a common business value like teamwork. If an organization already has teamwork in your core vision, we would begin by articulating that concept from a DEI perspective. Since the goal of teamwork is to create a more innovative or equitable workplace, you could apply a DEI lens to your pre-existing organizational concept by aiming to foster a culture of inclusion through collaboration. 

When articulating your values, defining your core concepts in clear and specific ways keeps everyone accountable and invites employees to take individual responsibility to incorporate that goal in the workplace. Values can be used to judge HOW employees engage and create an outcome, rather than just measuring the outcome.

After you’ve articulated how a value is expressed, you’ll want to utilize that value as a way to make workplace decisions. 

No matter what values your organization decides on, it’s essential that they hold weight in the workplace beyond just DEI trainings. It’s when values become embedded in company culture – and everyone takes ownership – that you’ll begin to see the bottom-line business benefits of an equitable workplace.

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