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The Conference Board: Embedding DE&I Into the Fabric of Your Employee Experience


Over the last 18 months, the employee priority list has flipped on its head, bringing workplace inclusivity and belonging to the forefront. Employees want to feel valued and supported by their employers, and above all, they want to know that their company stands for something positive. This means delivering on promises made and maintaining their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. If not, organizations jeopardize the employee experience and risk losing their talent as a result.

In this session at The Conference Board’s Engaged @ Work event, Daggering Group Principal Katie Papazian and The Courage Collective’s Daniel Oppong, discussed how to engineer a holistic employee experience that brings diversity, equity, and inclusion to the forefront through a human-centered lens. Watch below to learn more:


This transcript was automatically generated with artificial intelligence. It’s in the queue to go through a review with human eyes!

00:00:08:14 – 00:00:29:07

Thank you. Good morning, everyone. Thank you. Well, it’s funny, you know, Daniel and I were sitting outside and we were talking and we’re saying, you know what? I don’t like conferences and we feel bad admitting that. But if anyone needs to get up, stretch, move around, please. Do we know it’s sometimes going to be hard to sit for too long, but we are very excited to be here.

00:00:29:08 – 00:00:49:01

If we can go to the first slide, will say our names. I am Katie Papazian from the Jagger wing group. This is my colleague Daniel Oppong from College Collective. We’ll talk about what each of our groups do in just a moment. But we’re really excited to be here today to talk about not just as an initiative, not just as a program, but how do you really embedded into the fabric of your organization.

00:00:49:01 – 00:01:21:08

We are at that moment in time where this is not about a moment in time. It is about every day. So we want to talk to you a little bit about that. But before we do just a little bit about Daggerwing Group and who we are, I always like to evoke the cinematic future Mean Girls. Sometimes when I talk about dagger wing group only because if you remember Amy Poehler’s character and how she talks about being a cool mom, I sort of feel like I’m talking about the cool moms of consulting firms when I talk about Dagger wing, because we really do do things differently and we do things differently by focusing on people

00:01:21:08 – 00:01:42:08

because we know that organizations don’t change, people do. And so we use psychology, we use human centered design, we use design thinking tactics. We use our collective business experience to be able to understand what will make change stick and how do we get it right the first time. Because we know so many organizations are tired of trying to change and failing over and over again.

00:01:42:09 – 00:02:05:13

So that’s where we focus. And we are lucky enough to partner with organizations like Daniel’s to do some work. Hello, folks. I’m Daniel Oppong, the founder of Courage Collective. And so we do diversity, equity and inclusion consulting work. I like to think that we take a strategic, holistic and human centered approach to DNI. Oftentimes, what we see in the market is people are only focused on very acute aspects.

00:02:06:00 – 00:02:28:07

So we need to hire more people or we need to do a cultural celebration. How do we broaden the aperture and understand how we integrate the eye fully into the employee experience? That’s the work that we do. And I think about work today and the way in which people want it to feel more human, not just transactional, but more relational, not just functional, but how do we actually connect?

00:02:28:08 – 00:02:55:10

You think about how much time we spend at work, like what would it look like and feel like to actually feel connected with your colleagues? This whole moniker of bringing your whole self to work, We know that that means different things to different people. And so the work that we do with the Courage Collective, we’re trying to understand that holistically and create cultures of belonging that are good for people because we are experiencing a global seismic shift in how people think and feel about work.

00:02:55:10 – 00:03:17:09

I’m curious, how do you feel about work now compared to how you felt about it maybe a couple of years ago? It’s different. Like it is so different. It’s brought on by a collection of macro shifts. Pick your poison, whichever one gives you the most nausea. Let’s say a global pandemic. What’s that brought the world to a collective pause in a way that few things in recent history have.

00:03:17:10 – 00:03:37:05

The murder of George Floyd, which catalyzed the racial reckoning. We think about layoff, the Zoom fatigue. Who thought it was a good idea to stack 72 meetings back to back to back to back to back. Like, do your best and try to keep up. I’m like, this is all since 2020. I’m like, Who planned this party and how did I get an invite?

00:03:37:07 – 00:03:58:12

Right? So we think about the ways in which this has changed, the way we feel about work. And employees are asking like, how do I show up authentically? All of these things are compounding factors that have impacted how we feel about work and organizations are asking our employees are asking their leaders, Hey, I need you to show up for me in ways that maybe weren’t common five years ago.

00:03:58:13 – 00:04:23:12

Absolutely. So what does that mean for us, the folks in the room who work in this space and our employee experience, etc.? And what we’ve seen working with our clients is that our beloved Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is almost just flipped right on its head. So how many of you know in your personal or professional lives someone who got called back into the office and either quit or really seriously considered quitting because they didn’t want to go?

00:04:23:13 – 00:04:47:10

I know I did. How unfathomable that a few years ago someone said, Oh, they’re making me go to the office, so I’m not going to take that job. Like that never happens. So the role is completely flipped on its head. And so we need to challenge the way we used to do things. Confirmation bias, that sort of feeling that the way you used to do things and the rules that used to apply is your enemy right now because you can’t.

00:04:47:10 – 00:05:07:03

We all have to think about how we’re going to do things differently. If we go to the next slide, you’ll see that this is really showing up in big ways. So job seekers, 67% of them ask a company about their DNA strategy as they’re in process of looking at the company. So if you think about that, they are paying attention.

00:05:07:04 – 00:05:41:01

They are asking. They want to know, quite frankly, what side of history are you on? What do you stand for as a company? And it’s not just what you’re saying, it’s what you’re doing. They’re really looking closely. 80% of people want to know about the strategy during the interview process. They’re asking, so people are paying attention. I had a coffee with a client last week and she told me she had just gotten back from her company’s major CPG brand, had just had their big senior leader conference and a very influential division president stood up on the stage and he invited his leadership team onto the stage to celebrate some great accomplishment.

00:05:41:02 – 00:06:10:09

All women. And it’s just like she looked at me and she said, What am I supposed to take from that? How am I supposed to be motivated by that? And also, like, really, are we still doing this? Like, this is enough so people are really paying attention. Also, employees are employers are feeling the pressure. This is probably not shocking to anyone, but since 2018, 658% or more discussions of diversity and inclusion in Fortune 500 earnings calls.

00:06:10:11 – 00:06:35:14

And it’s astronomical. And I think the takeaway from this also is this isn’t changing. We’re not going back and we shouldn’t go back. We can’t go back. So these topics are front and center. So with that in mind, it’s never been more important to embed equity, inclusion and belonging into the employee experience. And again, when I say broaden the aperture, we’re not just talking about recruiting and hiring, but that is a part of it.

00:06:36:00 – 00:07:00:09

We’re not just talking about the cultural celebration that is part of it. We’re talking about what actually cultivates an environment of belonging where people feel like they are seen, supported, valued, acknowledged, accepted, celebrated, where they have opportunities to grow and to really be successful. So we want to talk about today is how can you actually embed DNA into the employee experience?

00:07:00:09 – 00:07:23:13

Because in my point of view, they’re inextricable. Gone are the days where we abstract DNA and put it on the shelf or put it into these two specific buckets. It has to be inextricable with the employee experience because we’re thinking about creating cultures of belonging. So how do we weave those two ideas together? So we have five key insights for how you connect DNI through the employee experience.

00:07:23:14 – 00:07:42:03

So the first one is to put the human back into human resource is what we mean by that. There’s a quote that we use a lot in our work by Dr. Krystal Jones. She says There’s a big difference between the ideas. All are welcome here. And this was created with you in mind. There’s a big difference between the ideas.

00:07:42:03 – 00:08:02:12

All are welcome here and this was created with you in mind, the latter of which is what we’re aspiring to when we think about putting the human back in human resources. I think about how transactional work has gotten. But people want to feel known and seen and celebrated and valued. So we think about how we constructing the organizations, we have to invest in the whole person.

00:08:02:13 – 00:08:21:11

I’m thinking about the mental health and well-being of our employees. You saw that list that we showed of the things that have happened in 2020. Like people are feeling challenged by that. So how do we invest in the whole person? So thinking about mental health and wellbeing, we’re thinking about inclusive benefits packages, right? Things that are more holistic.

00:08:21:13 – 00:08:50:13

We’re thinking about prioritizing career passing. So in our work, one of the main things that we’ve seen when working with employers from a retention perspective, when employees don’t feel like they have a path forward, they are less inclined to be engaged and less inclined to say this disproportionally impacts folks from historically marginalized groups. We’re talking black folks, trans folks, people with disabilities, people from historically marginalized groups are like, Hey, where do I belong and how can I grow and progress in this environment?

00:08:50:13 – 00:09:17:02

So these are the things that we have to think about when we say put the human back into human resources. Truth number two or key insight. Number two is don’t have a short sighted perspective on DNI. Now, I’m sure all of you worked at organizations in the wake of 2020, the murder of George Floyd that came out very vigorously with a statement or maybe somewhere in between, like maybe said something, maybe you didn’t.

00:09:17:03 – 00:09:47:05

But a lot of companies were really galvanized by that moment. Call it a cultural flashpoint where a lot of people woke up and paid attention. But when we fast forward to now, most companies haven’t kept that same energy, let’s be honest. So what we’ve observed is probably three primary buckets that companies fit in. So, number one, the companies that were very earnest because they were transformed by the experience of 2020, we really need to reevaluate our people practices so that would be this side of the spectrum.

00:09:47:05 – 00:10:11:05

Then you have the other side companies. You haven’t really done anything or haven’t really engaged at all, and then you have this middle group who are largely doing the same things they were doing, but somehow hoping that it will create different results. So they are still doing the unconscious bias training and then the cultural celebrations and what I fear the most specifically with this group is the growing apathy, the apathy around.

00:10:11:07 – 00:10:34:11

We’re trying to do these things, but it’s not actually driving change and transformation. Very short sighted perspective. When we think about the work that is effective, you have to have a big picture view on what it looks like and embed it fully into your people practices. So must go beyond culture, celebrations, recruiting and training. All of those things have value, don’t get me wrong, but that is the tip of the iceberg.

00:10:34:11 – 00:10:55:14

Not where the story ends. And if you’re wanting to embed this into your culture holistically, you have to be able to think about it more broadly. Make investments in your people throughout the employee journey. So one of the things that we do at the Courage Collective on working with organizations we audit and we think about it through the lens of the employee journeys is the pre-employment during employment and post employment.

00:10:55:14 – 00:11:15:12

So pre-employment would be if I go to your website, I’m already having an experience with your company based upon who I see on the page. The language that I read, The way that people talk about your company, do your benefits look inclusive? Do I see myself in your story before I even come to the company and apply for a job?

00:11:15:13 – 00:11:34:13

Then while I’m at the company, we’re thinking about things like, is there mentoring? Do I have a coach that I can work with? Am I feeling invested and do I have a growth path right and then post employment? If I go to your Glassdoor, what is the story that’s going to be told about your company? You know, people will tell the truth when they’re leaving right?

00:11:35:00 – 00:11:53:02

So what is the story that’s going to be told about your company? Are you gathering the employee experience data and are you using that to inform your recruiting strategy? So again, it has to be holistic, not just acute. And then the last thing I’d say on this one is that it takes time, it takes time, it takes resources.

00:11:53:02 – 00:12:15:06

And so a really big push in 2020 isn’t enough to sustain lasting change. Exactly. Another a truth that we’ve come to realize, especially, I would say in the last call it six months where we’ve been getting into gatherings like this again, Is that inclusive ways of working? There were some real advantages to the pandemic. When it came to inclusion.

00:12:15:07 – 00:12:37:13

There was no head of the table at a Zoom call, right? There is no microaggressions are much less. There is just a lot more room for people to be themselves. I was thinking the other night about how in the presidential election of 2016, so many companies the next day put that sort of safe space in your office and a lot of people make fun of that and oh my God, that’s so crazy.

00:12:37:13 – 00:13:02:12

Whatever. Who needs that? But really, some ways the pandemic was almost like that. It gave you an opportunity to turn off. How many Zoom calls were you on where you said, Hey, I need a minute? So so what Daniel saying about mental health or there was an article that was published in The Washington Post about how black women were often choosing not to go back to the office because they didn’t want to be subjected to the microaggressions that you can just have as you’re walking down the hall or you’re chatting with a colleague.

00:13:02:12 – 00:13:26:00

And one woman said something that really stood out to me, which was, I don’t have to be the happy black woman when I’m at home. You know, if I get angry, it’s okay because I don’t have to be confronted by the stereotype of me. And that really stood out to me. So I think there are really important lessons about inclusive ways of working from the pandemic, from what we’ve been through, that everything that Daniels talks about for the last two years and bring in to the office.

00:13:26:01 – 00:13:44:12

So some of those things we’ve learned, like I said, microaggressions not as present in virtual settings, good elements of virtual working can be maintained. And I think some of what that looks like is applying some of those things that you made during the pandemic to your in-person gathering. So how do you open up different channels for people to contribute?

00:13:44:13 – 00:14:16:05

How do you make space for people who need to take a minute, need to take a mental health break, whatever it is, How can we break all of that stuff into our coming back together? I had I was working with a client on a senior leader high potential development program, and we brought 22 of their most talented you know, we think you’re your C-suite potential folks to an offsite and as part of this offsite their way to give a presentation and I could not believe it but again I don’t need to be harping on men in this presentation.

00:14:16:05 – 00:14:40:03

But again, no women spoke. And I just thought like this we have to figure out how to bring some of these inclusive ways of working back into our every day as we come back into the way we start to get a little bit more back to normal and do more of this in-person work. So something to think about is how to open up those different channels and open up that space and make that opportunity for more to speak.

00:14:40:04 – 00:15:00:13

And finally, this isn’t just a nice to have. We all know the research about diverse teams being more productive, creating better product, all of that. We all know that there is that strong business case, but it’s a competitive advantage. So I think we used that stat at the beginning that 80% of employer in job seekers ask about a data and strategy during the interview process.

00:15:00:14 – 00:15:18:12

This extends everywhere. I love the presentation we just had about that sort of consumer focused and employee focus. I have a client who always says, you know, we’re so consumer focused, we know what the client, we know what the consumer wants for her birthday. But do they know what the employee wants for her birthday? Because that almost feels more important to me.

00:15:18:12 – 00:15:41:14

So I think investing in that competitive investing in that because it is a competitive edge to retaining your people, to growing your people, to developing your people. So things that you need to know employers have to listen and take action, as Daniel was saying about that, longer term, less short sighted strategy. It’s not enough to just listen. It’s not a just to make a three point action plan about everything you can do to build more inclusion, you have to act.

00:15:42:00 – 00:16:02:04

People are tired of being listened to and having action that result. So listening and taking action, keeping the energy up and knowing that consumers are really spending and putting their money where their values are aligned. We’ve seen this in the marketplace. We’ve seen this with what people are doing around ESG. The same is true of employees. People are really putting their energy where that value is aligned.

00:16:02:04 – 00:16:20:06

And I think a lot of that is up to not only us, the folks in this room who work in this space, but to everyone. This is an accountability for everyone, which Daniel’s going to talk about in a moment. It’s the truth. Number five is that dni is everyone’s responsibility. It doesn’t just live in h.r. It doesn’t just live with chief diversity officer.

00:16:20:06 – 00:16:45:12

There’s interesting data that showed that over the last six years, chief officer roles have increased by, i think, 107%. But I would be curious how many of those people actually are still in the roles or feel actually well set up to succeed. So one of the big burnout and turnover trends we’ve seen is specifically with people who are appointed to lead DNI work in the wake of 2020.

00:16:45:13 – 00:17:10:08

What’s the limitation there? Often they were put into positions where they didn’t have resources, they didn’t have leadership and executive buy in. There wasn’t the whole infrastructure set up for them to be successful. And then we’re like, Why aren’t you being successful? Because the resources weren’t in place to empower folks to do that. So when we think about the work of diversity, equity and inclusion, part of the point of view is that it’s everyone’s work, it’s everyone’s job.

00:17:10:08 – 00:17:31:13

And so for you, it could be just the way that you’re managing your people and your employees. Are you creating an inclusive space, a place of belonging with your direct reports that is part of your opportunity and responsibility. But then we can broaden and think about big picture. What is the overarching DNI strategy recruiting, Isn’t it being DNI strategy, recruiting alone?

00:17:31:14 – 00:18:00:09

It can be part of it. We have to think about it bigger than that. And it’s everyone’s responsibility. I think about the ways in which people want work to feel more human. And for you all, as heads of are our rose, you have really important role in connecting with the human experience. I think one of the downsides those I’ve seen a lot of leaders abdicate responsibility for the emotional are people experience to the head of h.r.

00:18:00:10 – 00:18:22:07

But think about if that were distributed, think about if it were distributed to where everyone felt a sense of responsibility for the way that people feel at work, that would just change the game significantly, right? So we think about your role is empowering and empathizing with people’s experience. As I mentioned, DNI leaders are experiencing high levels of burnout exhausted.

00:18:22:09 – 00:18:42:13

And so when you think about how you can support and partner, is there an ecosystem that exists around your DNI leaders to make sure that the work can actually be sustained? How do you see your role in that story? What are your responsibilities? And I think every employee and company leader must play their role in making sure that is part of the culture.

00:18:42:14 – 00:19:08:03

Absolutely. So to sum up these five things that we’ve learned about today and talks about today, one, and putting the human back at human resources, how do we ask those questions about are we seeing the whole person truly, are we adding that human element back into all of our processes to not having the short sighted perspective on DNI, as Daniel talked about what we see a Daggerwing Group, and when we partner with Daniel, we see DNI strategies are changed, strategies, we are changing the organization.

00:19:08:03 – 00:19:25:13

And those of us who work in change management know that is not a one time thing. That is an ongoing process. So how do we keep that longer term focus on DNI three Prioritizing inclusive ways of working again, thinking about those lessons. So what are those things that worked during the pandemic that we can bring in-house as we come back to the office?

00:19:26:00 – 00:19:51:00

Remembering inclusive cultures are a competitive advantage not just for consumers, but also for employees in so many different ways when it comes to attraction and retention. And to Daniel’s last point, there is everyone’s responsibility is a leader’s job to have an inclusive team to focus on having inclusive team. And I know that’s hard to do, but it is absolutely critical to really embedding DNI into the fabric of your organization.

00:19:51:01 – 00:20:25:04

So with that, I think one of your questions. Yeah, some questions we have a little bit of time. We did a good job with silence. Riveting. Yes, ma’am. That dealership needs what about like there’s this other five? Yeah, you can start. Okay. Oh, yes. Thank you. So she asked a very good question, which was, you know, we know we need leaders to own it.

00:20:25:04 – 00:20:40:07

What do we do when leaders resist? And I think it’s a little bit like what we do when any leaders resist anything and we know leaders are going to want to do. We have to understand, again, looking at them as whole people, what do they need? What do they want? What’s going to impact them? What’s important to them?

00:20:40:08 – 00:20:55:12

Sometimes I talk about this inside mean sometimes I talk about leaders. I talk about talk about putting carrots and brownies. You know, when you like. I don’t have children, but I know some people who have children will put like a carrot and a brownie recipe so their kids are eating vegetables. So sometimes I think about that with leaders.

00:20:55:12 – 00:21:19:13

Sometimes they’re stuff that they don’t think is important they don’t want to do. But, you know, it needs to be important because they have business results. They need to deliver. So I think helping them see the business advantage and why it’s worth their time to be able to provide that more inclusive environment for their team for the all the reasons that it is beneficial, I think, is how I would maybe approach some of that resistance of know getting getting out what their motivations are.

00:21:20:00 – 00:21:42:12

And you have an add. Yeah, I would I would start with the why. So there’s a quote that I love and it goes something like in times of change, the learners will inherit the earth while the learners by themselves beautifully prepared for a world that no longer exists. If we think about the ways in which the world is changing and think about Gen Z specifically like voting with their feet, like where am I going to spend my energy and where do I want to work?

00:21:42:13 – 00:22:06:07

And so we think about the shifting demographics of the world. Resistance today could be tomorrow’s problem. So we have to think about who sees themself in your story as your company evolves and as the values and the needs of employees change. Think about an intergenerational workforce. I think about what, five generations in the workforce now. And so we think about how is that going to impact just the overall trajectory of organizational success.

00:22:06:07 – 00:22:25:13

And so I would start with the why, and I’d also just speak to the macro trends of like the world is changing so far, still operating in the same way that we did. We’re going to find ourselves largely either irrelevant or with employees who are pretty disengaged from what we’re trying to do. So that’s what I would suggest to us.

00:22:26:00 – 00:22:53:01

The couple. Yeah, Yeah. Thank you, Daniel, for taking this question. One of the issues that you brought up was how after George Floyd, some of these programs, trainings, etc. flared up and then died down again. And I think one of the reasons for that is because how dismissed they can be, Oh, we’re doing this because. BLANK Right. And so I was wondering if you had any ideas about how you framed the ongoing diversity, inclusion and equity training that was successful that maybe some of us could adopt.

00:22:53:02 – 00:23:18:11

Yeah, love that question. So the first thing I would say is what I observed. Part of the even the reason I started this business was because I saw a very acute focus on unconscious bias training, which is largely centered on the idea of what we don’t want. So then my question becomes, well, what do we want? So if the whole purpose of DNI is to say like, this is what not to do, that’s a pretty anticlimactic end in my So what do we want to do?

00:23:18:11 – 00:23:33:02

What do we want to create? What do we want to see? And so for us, the way that we think about it is we come in and usually transparently we don’t do one and dones because I don’t believe that they work. So the company reaches out to me and says, Hey, we can do a talk for Black History Month or do a one time training.

00:23:33:02 – 00:23:48:03

I’m like, are not really aligned with what I see. That creates transformation, so I won’t do it. So that’s number one. You have to be able to kind of hold your ground on what you think actually drives change and creates a better culture. So that’s the first piece. And then I think about the question, what do we want to create?

00:23:48:03 – 00:24:08:14

And so part of how we frame it, we think about things like culture of belonging. We think about things like inclusive ways of working. We think about things like embedding it all the way through the employee journey. And I think part of the reason we’ve gotten personally dissatisfied with unconscious bias because it’s pretty acute, how do we make it more sustainable and think about the culture that we want to create.

00:24:09:01 – 00:24:33:04

So that’s the conversation that I would want to have more broadly. It’s like it’s not just the point in time. What are the theories or collection of ideas that we need to weave together to create something more meaningful? So that’s where I would take it. And if I could, maybe just another add to that is I’ve been working with a lot of my clients recently on their you know, their leadership competencies, their leadership capabilities, whatever it might be, and they’re putting inclusive ways of working, inclusive management.

00:24:33:04 – 00:24:57:10

People focus, you know, name it what you will. They’re putting that into their requirements and their expectations of leaders. So really, again, embedding it into that system. I think to Daniel’s point as well of like, how do you sustain it? You can sustain it by continually expecting your people to show up with that sort of inclusive mindset and not just making it a one off, you know, unconscious bias training or whatever it is just want to build on.

00:24:57:10 – 00:25:25:11

Your point is you got to teach people, I would think. Right? So it’s one thing for an organization to have an expectation. Tell me how to fulfill that as a leader and then hold me accountable for that. Exactly. So just take it all the way down. Yes. Yeah, exactly. I think that that employee journey that Daniel was talking about, when you get them in that middle stage of development and growth and you’re helping them move up in your organization, that has to be part of it.

00:25:25:11 – 00:25:48:13

It can’t just be, okay, now you’re a leader. Now you got to just go do it right. There needs to be a journey along the way. There could be one or two more questions and then we’ll go. I’m right right here. I wanted to know. I had a question more on the the discussion around hiring like a dedicated person.

00:25:48:14 – 00:26:09:14

So, you know, we’re going through these discussions right now of, you know, do we hire a dedicated person or does it stay where it is? I guess my what I wonder what your thoughts are on the benefits of hiring a dedicated person, because maybe it implies that it’s not everyone’s job, it’s just their job. They have to tell us what to do versus training everyone does.

00:26:10:03 – 00:26:29:01

Does it lose sight or importance if we don’t have a dedicated person? So I’d be curious on your thoughts on that. Yeah, I think the short first is it’s both and right. So I think we live in a society where we try to make things very either or and it’s both. And so one thing we saw was hiring chief DNA officers.

00:26:29:02 – 00:26:52:12

The other trend was creating a DNI committee, both of which weren’t resourced appropriately. Right. And so it wasn’t even like they had a group of people who were working on it. And then you had a singular person who was working on it. Both were lacking resources, but both were lacking leadership support and bias. So the bigger picture, to me, it’s like I really I mean, if you have a chief DNI are so great because they can lead the strategy, I’ve seen that really, really effective.

00:26:52:12 – 00:27:16:00

One of our partners that we work with, they have a whole group of chief DNI officers that drive the work across the company. Really effective. But why? Because they have support, they have resources, they have executive buy in and they have very clear goals that they’re trying to accomplish. They have very clear commitments, embedding it all the way into their ways of working, even the ways that they work with their clients.

00:27:16:01 – 00:27:34:00

So it’s like a whole spectrum. It’s not a matter of if it’s one or many. It’s the paradigm in which we are going to set you up to be successful by investing the necessary resources to make sure that it can be sustained. And I think whether it’s one person, one person can have some effect, but if they don’t have resources and support, they’re not going to be effective.

00:27:34:03 – 00:27:58:09

Same with tech. So that’s more my perspective and I think looking at how you can bring it together to make it more meaningful and impactful, that that’s the goal. Getting anything. You know, I think that what. All right, one more. We have 2 minutes. Any takers? So this goes a little bit back to again getting the leaders buy in.

00:27:58:09 – 00:28:23:05

But when you’re at the point like I feel like we’ve got that buy in at the corporate level or leadership team is bought and we have all the counsel, the individual person, all of these things and it’s great. But I feel like with the span of our employee population, we get these little pockets of cultures on off sites outside of that corporate structure, and that’s our day to day worker.

00:28:23:05 – 00:28:45:00

And they are changing the experience for people. How do you how do you balance from not wanting to alienate anyone but getting them? You know, they’re just really holding back and we’re hearing the feedback from them and they make up a large population, or do we just ignore them and let them fall away eventually? Or what do we do to get that population engaged?

00:28:45:01 – 00:29:06:06

You want to take it first? Do you seem eager to say, No, I can’t. I mean, it’s interesting because this is actually something. So Daniel and I have partnered with a particular client on some listening sessions, and that’s one thing they bring up. They’re a global company and what the reality is for, let’s say the the pride NRG in the US is very different than the pride in Europe is very different than the prior G in Asia.

00:29:06:08 – 00:29:30:08

And so how do you sort of keep everyone engaged and everyone aligned? And I think to some extent it is that that strategy of listening, I don’t think they can be ignored, certainly. But I understand the struggles because the situation is so different. I think one thing that we’ve done is just helps that company see that there are those differences and acknowledge them as part of their holistic strategy so they understand that this isn’t going to be a one size fits all solution.

00:29:30:08 – 00:29:47:02

It is adaptable and it has to be adaptable. But I don’t know. You probably work more with folks who are dealing with that sort of span. Yeah, I think the question I would ask is what does it mean to feel good at work and to enjoy being at work? Who doesn’t want that? Like, I want to go to a job that I hate knowing that right?

00:29:47:06 – 00:30:08:02

And so that means different things to different people. And so kind of understanding the demographic makeup and the composition, if the theme is a culture of belonging that we’re trying to create, how do we orchestrate that? That is the ideal goal. And for someone who might be, you know, like a frontline worker or maybe someone who’s in the C-suite, regardless of your position, that is still something that we would want to experience.

00:30:08:03 – 00:30:25:02

So then I would lean in with curiosity and say like, okay, what does that mean to this demographic that’s in the Midwest? And mostly such and such a demographic? They still want to belong at work too. So how do we create an environment where they can belong as well? I don’t think it has to be a zero sum.

00:30:25:02 – 00:31:19:05

It doesn’t have to be alienating or mutually exclusive. We’re thinking about the picture holistically, so that would be my initial suggestion. All right. Thank you all so much for your time and your engagement traditions. You and Daniel.

Daniel Oppong is the Founder of The Courage Collective, a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consultancy that takes a strategic, holistic and human centered approach to DEI work. He is also the Founder of Boundless, a platform designed to create access for underrepresented identity groups – specifically Black & Brown folks – pursuing career opportunities in Marketing, Consulting and Tech. His professional background includes work in Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital, Tech, Education, Consulting and the Nonprofit Sector. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Education, and Master's degree in Organizational Leadership.
Katie is a former Principal at Daggerwing Group. Her expertise ranges from communications strategy, planning and execution; training and leadership development design and facilitation; workshop design and facilitation; organizational culture analysis and change; and stakeholder mapping and analysis. Her favorite projects, however, are her quest to fill up her passport with as many new stamps as possible, making her cat Peanut an Instagram celebrity, and crafting the perfect Spotify playlist.