10 step JEDI journey
Regardless of the size, structure, or culture of your company, there are some basic steps to take to successfully embed justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (J.E.D.I) principles into the fabric of a company. Below are guiding steps that allow you and your team to create the J.E.D.I journey that works best for you.
1 Engage leadership
Research shows that without the buy-in of senior leadership, J.E.D.I work will have considerably less likelihood of long-term success. While all people in your company should be contributing to incorporating J.E.D.I principles, those who manage the budgets, sign off on strategic direction, and make big decisions need to be bought into its importance.
To authentically lead the work, leadership should understand this work at a deep level, especially the CEO. The more leadership does the deep personal work and understands how to create a culture of vulnerability and transparency, the better they can model this in an authentic way. It's important to understand how to create space for courageous conversations and how to navigate and support the messiness of this work.
DON’T SKIP THESE STEPS
2 Design supportive infrastructure & create a J.E.D.I committee
For the work to be sustainable, your company needs strong infrastructure. This includes systems, practices, and resources that will support the change your organization will be experiencing. This may include: ways to gather input from your constituents, ability to track staff demographic data accurately and ethically, resources for continuing education, and ideally an HR person dedicated to people and culture (and not just compliance).
To guide the work, you should create a cross-company J.E.D.I committee consisting of employees across hierarchies and identities who opt in to help guide this work. Many companies opt to have a senior leader co-chair the committee with another employee. The committee will be responsible for creating the J.E.D.I strategy for your company, working through the steps of the J.E.D.I Journey.
3 Establish a shared understanding of J.E.D.I
All employees need to have a basic understanding of what J.E.D.I means and why it is important to your company and its mission. You can deliver this information to employees through workshops, webinars, or during on-boarding for new employees.
At the very minimum, the cross-company J.E.D.I committee you created should watch our introductory webinar series including:
GET REALLY CLEAR
4 Craft your J.E.D.I statement
Leadership and key influencers within your company should collaboratively craft a J.E.D.I statement to articulate how your company specifically can contribute to a more equitable and just world. This serves as a guiding document to give staff clear guidance and communicate to customers, community partners, suppliers, distributors, and the public what they can expect from you. Crafting a J.E.D.I Statement with all team members may be challenging, so the committee should lead the effort with input and buy-in on the draft statement from the company.
To help you create yours, we have a webinar called "Building a J.E.D.I Statement" that walks you through the process.
5 Identify your commitments
We focus on three main commitment areas: Culture, Consumer and Communities.
We commit to fostering a company CULTURE where the voices, needs and experiences of those who have been marginalized are centered.
We commit to reaching a broader CONSUMER base through innovations in product development, branding and marketing, and accessibility
We commit to supporting the COMMUNITIES who are the backbone of our industry to thrive
Make a Commitment
Once you’ve identified your Culture, Consumer, and Communities commitments, make your commitment known by filling out the commitment form
Within each commitment area you’ll find examples of specific J.E.D.I commitments you can make, along with strategies to bring those commitments to fruition. To ensure your commitments are holistic, we suggest selecting at least one commitment from each of the three focus areas. Be sure that your commitments are in line with your J.E.D.I statement.
Engage staff, including getting feedback from outside your committee, when identifying commitments; the more staff you involve in identifying commitments, the more likely they are to be successful.
Once you've determined your commitments, submit them through our online form and we'll add your logo to our website!
START TAKING ACTION
6 Develop your action plan
Now that you have a clear statement and have identified commitments, create an action plan to begin doing the actual work! Your action plan is your detailed roadmap for implementing your commitments with specific strategies, leads, budgets, and timelines. Tie your J.E.D.I action plan into your annual strategic plan.
7 Create key performance indicators (KPIs)
Key performance indicators show you how your company is progressing toward its J.E.D.I commitments. KPIs will be quantitative and qualitative depending on the commitment and what is being measured. Consider how to incorporate your J.E.D.I KPIs into your organizational and individual performance reviews.
GET THE WHOLE COMPANY INVOLVED
8 Get expert & community support
As you clarify your action plan, seek support from our vetted network of solutions partners who have made J.E.D.I work their life's work. Additionally, get involved with J.E.D.I Collaborative programs! There are many ways to be a part of our community to help you start, sustain and grow your commitment to this journey.
9 Inspire & engage your whole team
Celebrate progress along the way, encourage learning, and continue to remind leadership and team members why J.E.D.I is so important. Remind everyone how J.E.D.I commitments will be reflected in their individual performance reviews. Consider forming subcommittees for each of your commitments and allow people to opt into working on a subcommittee. Offer continued education opportunities for team members.
10. Review, renew & be flexible
Though goals and plans are necessary to do J.E.D.I work, you need some flexibility to change course as new needs arise. You will most likely need to re-evaluate and tweak your plan as you gain more knowledge or perhaps as your team shares new brilliant ideas. Be agile enough to be able to learn from mistakes and support individuals or department wide J.E.D.I related innovation.
Some considerations while engaging in this work:
- This work can feel messy and personal. Everyone will make mistakes. The key is a supportive environment that allows space for hard conversations without judgement attached.
- Remember the work is iterative rather than linear; there are many right places to start this work. Don’t let not knowing where to start hinder you from starting at all.
- Do not let lack of knowledge or skills hinder your J.E.D.I efforts; remember that you will be learning in this journey and may need outside help. Budget your time and money for this support.
- Create a culture of inclusivity, belonging and openness – this is vital. People need to feel safe for this to work to have a lasting positive impact. Due to the nature of the work, this type of culture is critical for the work to build, thrive and stick.
- Be in it for the long haul – know that you cannot do everything all at once and that the work will never end. This is about continuous progress vs. perfection.