5 Essential Elements Of A Strategic DEI Action Plan

When it comes to formulating a strategic DEI plan, there are 5 essential elements to include. Remember, a DEI plan can't be created overnight – it requires careful planning and forethought to truly work. So let's explore the five essential elements of a compelling DEI plan. From developing clear goals to getting feedback, use this guide to create an impactful DEI strategy for your organization.

What Is A Strategic DEI Plan?

DEI plans are designed to promote meaningful change within a company using 3 benchmarks of success: diversity, equity and inclusion. Let's break them down.

Diversity: the quality of including people with a range of different lived experiences. These include race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, nationality, and more.

Equity: the presence of fairness, impartiality and fairness within the way a company operates.

Inclusion: the practice of providing equal access to opportunities and resources for all people, including those who might otherwise be excluded.

What Should Be Included In A Strategic DEI Plan?

While DEI plans will vary between companies, 5 elements are found in every successful plan. Including these elements can mean the difference between DEI success and failure.


SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, timely) goals are the key foundation to any strategic DEI plan. They inform why you’re creating the plan, how you're going to do it and who needs to be involved. Your goals should be informed by your company's values and by the results of your DEI assessment.

Once you have created your SMART goals, you will need to develop a plan of action to achieve them. This plan should be created in collaboration with key stakeholders and should be reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis. Additionally, you will need to track progress towards your goals and make adjustments as needed.

As you develop your DEI plan, ask yourself these questions:

Developing SMART goals are key to building the rest of your strategic DEI plan. By keeping your goals SMART, you can ensure that your plan is well-informed, achievable and impactful.

"Before" Data

Before building your plan, conduct a DEI assessment. This will help you to understand where your company is currently at with regards to diversity, equity and inclusion, and will inform your goals and objectives for the DEI training.

Before implementing any DEI training within your company, it is essential to first conduct a DEI assessment. There are many different metrics you can use to assess your company, but some of the most common include:

You can also survey employees anonymously to gauge their sentiments around diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. Both quantitative and qualitative data will be useful in shaping an accurate representation of your workplace before DEI training starts. Using this data will help you determine if your DEI plan is working successfully.

Training Tool

As you develop your DEI plan, it's important to choose a training tool that supports your overall strategy. There are many different options available, so it's important to select one that fits your needs best. Consider these factors:

Look for tools that have a science-backed methodology. Our training course has several features that encourage participants to stop, listen and learn rather than rush to the finish line.

Take your time researching DEI tools. You don't want to lose positive momentum by abandoning a tool in the middle of training. To be invested, teams need to feel your full support. We'll dive into that next.

Leadership Buy-in

For a strategic DEI plan to launch, there has to be full leadership buy-in. This means that DEI must be a priority for the company and its leaders, not just an HR initiative. DEI training is a true investment of company resources. It's a big ask of employees to have additional training like this so make it worth their time.

Without buy-in from leadership, your chances of success dramatically decrease. That's why it's so important to find a stakeholder who's partial to your cause. If you need to pitch your DEI plan to leadership, be sure to use metrics from your assessment to emphasize why things need to change.

You can also ask leadership for feedback on your ideas and even consider using anonymous employee surveys as part of your argument. By taking these steps, you're more likely to get the support you need from leadership to make your DEI initiative a success.

Avenue For Feedback

Organizations must be transparent about their DEI goals and objectives. Employees need to know what the plan is and how it will be implemented. They also need to know how they can get involved and what their role is in making the company more diverse, equitable and inclusive.

DEI plans should be tailored to the employees who will participate in the training. So there must be opportunities for employees to ask questions and provide feedback.

This can be done through regular meetings, surveys or an open-door policy. Feedback is essential for organizational success as it allows employees to share their opinions and suggestions on how to improve the company.

Be empathetic. Asking questions and providing feedback can be difficult for some employees, as they might fear retaliation or negative consequences. That's why companies need to create a safe and open environment where employees feel comfortable speaking up. Anonymity may be key to getting real answers. And that's okay.

Why Is A Strategic DEI Plan Important?

A diverse and inclusive workplace is welcoming and respectful of all employees. This type of workplace fosters a sense of belonging and inclusion for all employees, which can lead to higher levels of engagement and satisfaction.

There are many benefits of having a diverse and inclusive workplace, such as improved decision-making, increased creativity, and better customer service. But perhaps the most important reason to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace is simply because it's the right thing to do.

How To Get Started With DEI Training

You can start by looking for programs that are offered by your company or by outside organizations. You can also look for online courses or books that cover the topic. We always suggest speaking with a DEI expert who can answer questions.

Start Your DEI Journey Today

CT3 makes positive workplace behavior training possible. With engaging and accessible modules, teams who use CT3 focus on active learning, not passive attendance. CT3 is transformation through training. Take the first step for your team today.

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