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6 Ways to Promote DEI at Work Using Diversity and Inclusion Gifts

IAEE Preferred Partner 4imprint shares ways in which organizations can implement an inclusive company culture to promote team building. Read on to learn how this increases productivity and employee retention.

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Reinforcing a diverse and inclusive culture is not only the right thing to do, but it’s also good for business. The majority (83%) of employers are implementing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives at work. And 60% report that inclusive, diverse businesses perform better. Diversity and inclusion gifts can help in your efforts to make your workplace a place of belonging for all.

Companies with DEI practices woven into their business model foster an atmosphere where everyone feels respected and included. It creates a workplace that reaches a wider audience and where team members can thrive and grow. Incorporating DEI practices at work can also increase empathy, which in-turn can improve team-building and employee retention. We share six ideas on how to promote DEI at work. Bonus – we offer diversity and inclusion promotional item ideas to support your efforts.

  1. Provide DEI training
  2. Celebrate multiculturalism
  3. Foster open dialogue
  4. Support charitable causes
  5. Create employee resource groups
  6. Recognize DEI-focused staff

1.     Provide DEI training

DEI training is crucial for creating a more inclusive and equitable workplace. In fact, companies spend $8 billion annually on DEI training.

Provide coaching and other resources to teach employees about awareness and understanding, how to foster a culture of belonging and ways to address unconscious biases.

Open the door to communication using conversation starter cards. Write a few questions on index cards, read them aloud, and break into small groups for discussion. Reassure the team that the space you’re in is a safe place for people to share experiences and ask questions. Thank team members for their participation by offering diversity and inclusion promotional items. Imprint stainless steel gel pens and beverage glasses with messages that encourage respect and appreciation for all.

Keep the conversation going by hanging custom posters that challenge stereotypes or spread positivity. And give each team member a chrome sticker that they can stick on their laptop or desk to keep DEI-awareness and advocacy top-of-mind.

2.     Celebrate multiculturalism

According to McKinsey, there is a link between executive team diversity and financial outperformance, and that link has gotten stronger over time. Honor multiculturalism as a way to remind your team that everyone brings unique experiences and ideas to the table.

Celebrate an array of different cultural holidays. Provide lunches and activities that reflect that culture’s traditions and foods. Give everyone a lunch time cutlery set imprinted with your company’s slogan in the celebrated culture’s primary language. A can glass imprinted with a cultural greeting is another fun way to promote a sense of appreciation.

Provide employees opportunities to learn about different cultures, customs and traditions to help promote empathy, respect and understanding. This can be accomplished through book clubs, inviting guest speakers or hosting a workshop. Hand out diversity and inclusion gifts to reinforce your staff’s learning. A magnetic bookmark set, imprinted with a list of must-read book titles or favorite ethnic recipes, can help jumpstart employees’ commitment to learn and try new things. A Crossland® heather jacket containing the name of your DEI workshop is a great diversity and inclusion corporate gift that helps promote awareness long after the event is over.

3.     Foster open dialogue

Encouraging open dialogue and communication around DEI topics is crucial for creating an inclusive workplace. Icebreaker games can help facilitate these conversations and ignite powerful discussions that can leave an impact long after the game is over.

Write or tape questions on the blocks of the tumbling tower stacking game. When someone draws a block, they read the question and answer it before placing it on top of the tower.

Or play the “key game” to help each team member get to know more about each other. Divide into small groups and ask each person to show a key on their keychain and discuss what it represents. A house key could represent where they live (past or present), a luggage key could remind them of places they’ve traveled, and a bike key could symbolize an activity they enjoy. The “key game” is a fun way to open everyone’s mind to individual backgrounds and experiences. Afterwards, everyone gets a push pop fidget wrist strap keychain to thank them for their participation.

4.     Support charitable causes

Supporting charitable causes that promote DEI demonstrates your company’s commitment to creating a more equitable world.

Allow team members to donate their time and expertise – in graphic design, computer programming, accounting, consulting or another area – to a charitable cause during company hours. Or invite a DEI-committed charity to talk to your organization so staff can learn how it aims to make the world a better place, and what they can do to help. Imprint a message of belonging on vacuum tumblers with hot and cold lidscrewneck T-shirts or full-color custom-shaped stickers to thank the guest organization and the attendees for their time. If you have extras, send them with the speakers so they can further spread awareness about who they are and what they do.

5.     Create employee resource groups

Employee resource groups (ERGs) are staff-led initiatives that are formally supported by the organization. These groups are especially helpful in creating a culture of belonging when the initiatives are DEI-focused.

Encourage staff to start a DEI ERG. Recruit members with diversity and inclusion giveaways that show appreciation for their willingness to participate. A wine and cheese set can be a great welcome gift when employees join the ERG. And roller ball fidget keychains or colorblock vests, imprinted with a special inclusive message, help make members feel like part of the team.

Host company-wide events or workshops that showcase ERG projects and initiatives. This can encourage dialogue and understanding among employees and encourage more people to join. Provide professional development opportunities and allocate resources to support ERG initiatives, like topical conferences, courses and webinars.

Increase diversity in leadership

Diverse leadership helps ensure different perspectives, experiences and backgrounds are represented in decision-making. According to survey data, 45% of companies say they have one or more initiatives in place to increase diversity in leadership (PDF). While this is wonderful, it also indicates there is even more opportunity to improve.

Create a committee that specifically focuses on increasing diverse leadership. Have members set clear goals to hold themselves accountable. When a goal is reached, celebrate the accomplishment and award members with a marbleized wood plaque. Every time they look at it, they’ll be reminded and encouraged to keep working toward their goals. Keep the momentum going by rewarding team leaders who promote DEI innovation within their teams. Light-up wireless earbuds are a great way to thank staff who generate new ideas to welcome diversity.

6.     Recognize DEI-focused staff

Recognize DEI-focused staff who encourage and inspire the whole team. When employees complete DEI training, give them a beautiful art glass award or backpack cooler chair. These tokens of acknowledgement reinforce the importance of DEI values and remind staff that active work is needed to create a more equitable workplace.

Remember to recognize and reward employees who reinforce your culture of belonging. Acknowledgements like an additional day of vacation or a clear bottle with flip-straw lid are great ways to say “I see and appreciate your efforts,” which helps reinforce a culture of inclusion and promote continued learning and growth.

Easily promote DEI

With ideas like addressing unconscious bias, supporting charitable causes and recognizing staff, you can easily create an even better workplace. And by incorporating diversity and inclusion gifts, you can reinforce the importance of the work your team is doing to achieve this worthy goal.

The views and opinions expressed by blog authors are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events®. Any content provided by our bloggers or authors are of their opinion. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. IAEE makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. IAEE will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information.

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