4 DEI Resolutions for a More Inclusive Workplace in the New Year

December 28, 2023
multi-colored balloons connected by ribbons and held by a hand.

For many businesses, the new year is more than a symbolic clean slate or a fresh start. It’s a time when meaningful planning takes plan—an opportunity to influence the year ahead. One critical area that currently requires a little (or more than a little!) influence is DEI-centered policies and initiatives.

With major organizations slashing their DEI budgets and DEI practitioners suffering from widespread “diversity fatigue,” the coming year is more important than ever. It is up to chief diversity officers, HR professionals, DEI consultants, and anyone with a stake in creating a more equitable and inviting workplace to get involved in the conversation to ensure DEI-focused work is an important piece of this year’s plan.

To help further crucial DEI work, I suggest taking the following 4 “DEI resolutions” into consideration, but be sure to adapt them to fit your company’s unique needs and circumstances. No matter your role, a well-reasoned and researched suggestion can carry a lot of weight.

Overhaul Hiring Practices

One of the easiest and most concrete places to start is a perennial favorite: overhauling outdated hiring systems and practices. Unfortunately, hiring practices are still biased today, often favoring white men over other candidates with equal (or sometimes more) experience. The problems could stem from biased job descriptions, discriminatory selection systems, unfair interviewing processes, or more. (Read my past article on equitable recruitment for more.)

Your resolution: Form a committee to examine your current hiring practices and create strategies based on your observations and data to revamp the current system.

Collect Data

It is impossible to make meaningful DEI changes if you haven’t taken the time to truly dig in and gauge how your company is doing. Start measuring several different aspects of the organization such as employee demographics, representation in leadership, pay equity, employee satisfaction and engagement among different groups, promotion rates for different groups, etc. Collecting this data will provide a clear picture of where your company stands, and it will also help you identify any areas of improvement to tackle in the future.

Your resolution: Create a comprehensive plan for collecting and analyzing data on various DEI metrics within your organization.

Implement Training and Education Programs

Education and training are powerful tools for creating awareness and fostering inclusivity within the workplace. This can include workshops, seminars, lunch-and-learns, and more. Keep in mind, not all training programs are created equally. If you decide to hire an outside organization or individual to conduct training, make sure 1) they have a proven track record and 2) are addressing areas that are current and relevant to your organization.

One powerful way to familiarize employees with important DEI topics is to send them to an immersive, multi-day program, such as the Inclusive Leaders Summit (March 5-6, 2024). Such programs go beyond the basics and can help clarify the importance of DEI work. (They’re also fun!)

Your resolution: Develop a robust training and education program that addresses the specific needs of your organization and provides opportunities for employees to learn and grow in their understanding of DEI.

Foster Better Communication

If employees do not have a clear way to communicate their frustrations, ideas, grievances, or triumphs, how will the leadership team know what is going well and what is failing? It is important to not only establish an open line of communication for both personal and anonymous feedback, but also to create a culture that encourages and values open dialogue. This can be done through various means such as regular team meetings, town hall sessions, suggestion boxes, and anonymous surveys.

Additionally, consider implementing employee resource groups (ERGs) or affinity groups that provide a space for employees with similar backgrounds or interests to connect and share their experiences. These groups can help foster a sense of belonging and create a supportive network within the organization.

Your resolution: Implement strategies to improve communication channels and create a culture of open dialogue.


These four DEI resolutions are logical starting points for creating a workplace that values diversity, equity, and inclusion. Other “resolutions” for the year ahead could include reviewing and revising company policies to ensure they promote inclusivity, establishing mentorship or sponsorship programs to support the career development of underrepresented employees, partnering with external organizations or nonprofits that focus on DEI initiatives, and regularly assessing and revising diversity and inclusion goals based on progress and feedback. Remember, the key is to tailor these resolutions to your company's specific needs and circumstances. By prioritizing DEI-focused work, you can contribute to creating a more equitable and inviting workplace for all.

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