Diversity And Inclusion Exercises: Top 11 To Implement
Diversity and inclusion exercises refer to the practice of involving people belonging to various races, genders, ethnicities, social classes, and different cultural backgrounds and incorporating them equally in the workplace.
People have the opportunity to fulfill their individual and combined potential, have access to opportunities and resources, and can contribute their perspectives and talents to improve their organization.
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The Need for Diversity and Inclusion
- To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of employees for better productivity
- To nurture employees to be more creative and innovative in their activities
- To assist in employee retention by organizing multicultural events
- To provide a collaborative environment among the employees
Importance of Conducting Diversity and Inclusion Programs
Diversity and inclusion programs can impact and benefit employees in numerous ways such as:
- Ensuring honest and transparent communications among peers
- Influencing decision-making among employees in work associations
- Respecting peers and assisting them whenever necessary
- Feeling satisfied with the level of autonomy they have at work
- Having a sense of gratitude that their manager cares about their opinions
11 Exercises for Diversity and Inclusion Programs
Here are a few ideas on what exercises you can implement in improving diversity and inclusion.
Icebreaker activities are intended as warm-up activities for new entrants to facilitate forming into groups and assembling as a team in order to develop teamwork and coordination.
Commonly used to begin a meeting, these exercises are initiated to get entrants to know each other better and are usually presented in game formats.
2. Games and Activities
Games and activities are regularly held in companies during meetings to provide diversity inclusion and develop employees to get along as a team, focusing on easing stress and taking a break.
There are various types of games available, some to provide physical activity, others to enable social interaction and mental exercise.
These games help in:
- Learning to take turns
- Accepting failure
- Aspiring to be a leader
- Making decisions
- Accepting boundary limits
- Respecting others
- Observing rules
- Improving skills
- Cooperating with others
- Developing good sportsmanship conduct
3. Briefing about Diversity
The first vital part of diversity and inclusion is to promote these programs by communicating and briefing about them. Team managers and senior associates of the management can arrange monthly seating to discuss and design the different diversity acts.
This can ensure the spread of historical and cultural knowledge amongst coworkers, thereby increasing interpersonal understanding at the same time
4. Flower Petals
This type of group division recreational activity encourages creative ideas amongst employees by splitting them into groups and enabling the company's growth through teamwork.
The steps that are required to be followed for this exercise are given below:
- A large art paper and some colorful markers are provided to each group comprising 5-10 candidates
- Each group needs to draw a giant flower composed of a round center and an equal number of petals to indicate the number of participants in their group.
- Sufficient time is allotted for each group to engage in discussions. Each group participant needs to fill up the petals to showcase something unique about themselves- anything that makes them stand out from others.
- Every group has to fill up the center of the flower with something similar among all the participants.
- After completion, each team has to share the flowers with the rest of the groups to discuss the similarities and differences.
5. Snapshot Board
This is the right type of activity that can instill emotional attachment with the company and broaden the scope of social interaction.
Since new entrants may find it difficult to express their life events and journeys through words, photos can come in handy for a fruitful conversation. Each employee needs to display their memories and monumental life events in the professional space allotted to them. This board full of mementos can ignite the right spark of communication and speak volumes about the different aspects of everyone's experiences.
This can ultimately help build mutual respect and dignity at the workplace by helping coworkers see the perspective of others and embrace them.
6. Happy Hours
Organizations and companies can opt to promote diversity, equity & inclusion activities by initiating office happy hours. This can be developed as a perfect networking opportunity when implemented with a definite plan and a purpose.
Employees and fellow associates can know each other personally, and this experience can prove to be a great get-together. Company officials and senior managers can order refreshments. Everyone can feel free to engage in exciting, beautiful, and shocking conversations on various random topics and personal life experiences.
7. Story Links
With technology continually developing, it opens the door to new possible social media and networking ways. This is where diversity & inclusion can be promoted by using internal communication tools.
It is possible to create a web of inclusions in the form of stories or real-life incidents and post them on the online employee community platform of the company. Employees within the company can access these links and join the conversation by adding their views on specific topics.
For example, if one candidate has written "My favorite hobby is basketball", then another candidate can join the conversation by adding, "I also loved to play basketball during my schooling period," and so on. This is one way to make friends among candidates through the internet.
8. Dish-to-pass Potluck
There is one sure way to enable diversity and inclusion. Everybody, no matter their beliefs or experiences can ever say no to food. Food can act as a valuable source to connect employees. Companies can organize a fun potluck lunch party where employees need to bring in dishes from or inspired by their culture and heritage.
Art can ensure creativity and problem-solving abilities to engage in decision-making among employees. Employees can participate in this activity by creating collages using artforms prepared by each person and trying to find out a connection. Visual storytelling can generate awareness and leadership skills.
10. Privilege Walks
These activities can ensure to showcase one's genuinity and uniqueness.
Steps to proceed with privilege walks:
- Divide the candidates into multiple groups randomly
- Choose a vast free space and ask the group members to stand in a queue.
- Readout a series of 25-30 statements to them
- Instruct everyone to take one step forward or backward when a particular statement applies to them.
If you like western dance, take a step forward.
If you prefer Chinese food, take a step forward.
If you possess your own vehicle, take a step forward.
If you have been a victim of sexual harassment at the workplace, take a step back.
Once all the statements have been read aloud, ask the group member to look around and see where other people are in the room.
Finally have a deep discussion regarding their experiences.
11. Virtual Book Clubs
Diversity and inclusion activities can also be conducted virtually. Organizations can create a virtual environment where team members feel supported and safe to share experiences and encourage listening and discussion.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) consultants can combine with large organizations to guide and conduct these activities. Book clubs can be held in weekly virtual meetings to share books that talk about inclusion.
Diversity and inclusion activities are essential for every company to flourish and succeed in the long run. Practicing diversity can help innovate better strategies to operate according to market needs and ensure profitability.