Supplying New Timber for Cultivating Workplace Cultures of Belonging

Every day I am fortunate to help clients from across the country cultivate workplace cultures of belonging. When getting started on a project, some clients initially request workplace trainings. Understandably, they believe that supporting staff through a short webinar training will lead to fast results, and lasting changes. Unfortunately, over 3 decades of research suggests that this singular approach simply does not work in isolation. Are workplace "cultural competency" trainings important? Absolutely! Are they effective? When customized and implemented with curriculum fidelity, of course. However, they simply cannot, and should not be viewed as a panacea to eliminate systemic barriers to cultivating diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces.

On the bright side, we live in the information era where strategies on how to overcome these barriers are just a click away. Specifically, executive, HR, and diversity professionals can easily access a wide-variety of reports, practices, and experiences through their own research. And yet, while there is an abundance of knowledge, many of us find a scarcity of time. This reality makes organizing and putting this knowledge into action difficult to manage. In order to overcome this particular pain point, I have created a holistic process called the TEAMS Method™ designed to deliver skills, offer mentorship, and hold leaders and organizations accountable to their diversity, equity, & inclusion (DEI) goals.

The TEAMS Method™ offers an organized and practical approach to creating inclusive workplaces. It supplies the timber needed to positively transform policies, culture, and systems supplementing the launch of a workplace unconscious bias training. Many of my clients have completed the process, and have realized meaningful and lasting results. To help more executive teams get started with putting their DEI ethos into action, I’m thrilled to offer an outline of this approach here. If you seek a greater understanding of a particular step, click on the highlighted title for more information:

1.     Tuning the Leadership Vision. The first step of this method involves helps senior executives, HR, and diversity professionals clarify their DEI vision. Together, we  develop a roadmap, and work towards implementing policy, culture, and systems changes. This work involves 1:1 executive & team coaching, along with facilitated strategic planning session with the leadership team to truly understand and clarify the organization's desired outcomes. 

2.     Engaging the Leadership Team. Working with the senior leadership team, we create a power map that identifies key managers & supervisors throughout the organization necessary to role model and introduce policy, culture, and system changes. These changes lead to the desired outcomes. Part of this work involves building organizational capacity to support a DEI advisory leadership council to engage key stakeholders.

3.     Assessing Workplace Climate. Once leadership buy-in is secured it is critical to assess the workplace climate and take stock of the current needs by establishing a baseline of how the organization is performing with respect to advancing its DEI ethos, and developing concrete benchmarks to measure progress towards realizing the organization's desired outcomes. 

4.     Managing the Implementation. In order to meet the established benchmarks, this step usually involves examining & redesigning existing policies, practices, systems of record, employee resource groups, and working with dedicated leaders charged with educating staff to achieve the necessary policy, culture, and systems changes required to advance the organization’s DEI strategic goals and objectives.

5.     Sustaining the Change.  The final step focuses on making sure the leadership vision of transforming the organization's culture sticks over the long-term. This involves investing staff resources and program dollars into ongoing training, professional development certifications, mentorship programs, and coaching to better respond to the organization's specific needs and to challenges as they arise.

Managing all stages of the TEAMS Method™ typically takes 6 months, and RPC works with clients in a wide range of industries. To make this information more accessible to a greater number of prospective clients, the firm offers inclusion coaching packages, organizational assessments, and free webinar offerings. In fact, we will host a live webinar on Thursday, December 1 at 2:00 pm Eastern and 11:00 am Pacific to teach the first stage of this process, Fine Tuning Your Diversity & Inclusion Vision.

The webinar specifically supports executive, HR, and diversity professionals interested in gaining skills, and receiving mentorship to design a clear diversity, equity, and inclusion vision statement. During the live event, participants have the opportunity to share their ideas and troubleshoot challenges that arise when it comes to crafting a clear vision intended to build a more welcoming workplaces. Participants who register before November 1, will save $50. Once registered, participants will receive a pre-work activity, and an optional coaching call following the training. Be sure to register here: http://www.rhodesperry.com/teamsregister

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Rhodes Perry

Rhodes Perry is a nationally recognized expert on LGBTQ and social justice public policy matters, with two decades of leadership experience innovating strategy management, policy and program solutions for corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. At his core, Rhodes is an entrepreneur, where he most recently established Rhodes Perry Consulting, LLC, a national diversity and inclusion consulting firm that uses an intersectional approach to collaborate with leaders on creating solutions in the practice areas of strategy management, issue advocacy, and stakeholder engagement. Previously, Rhodes founded the Office of LGBTQ Policy & Practice at the New York City Administration for Children’s Services, and prior to this assignment he served as the founding Director of Policy at PFLAG National where he led the policy strategy and advocacy efforts for the organization’s 350 chapters. He cut his teeth serving as a Program Examiner at the White House Office of Management & Budget, where he improved upon federal benefit programs designed to provide assistance to low-income communities. Rhodes earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Gender Studies from the University of Notre Dame, and obtained a Master of Public Administration from New York University.