Written by Mike McCloy, Senior Account Manager at Maximillion
Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) should be at the forefront of all company policies in 2023, with several Forbes articles dedicated to the topic in recent weeks. One of these articles broaches the essential topic of ensuring your DEI policies are authentic, rather than performative.
Statistics have revealed that an incredible 55% of job seekers have felt discriminated against during the hiring process, with only 54% of issues reported fully resolved. The failure of businesses to find a resolution suggests that DEI is still not taken as seriously as it should be – both inside and outside the office.
Corporate event management business Maximillion has resultantly provided advice on how to promote genuine inclusion and diversity, particularly in, but not limited to, corporate events. All of these can also be applied to the office, with Mike McCloy, the Senior Account Manager, adding the following:
“In 2023, we are seeing a marked drive towards businesses demonstrating their commitment to DEI policies. After the Great Resignation and other significant changes instigated by the Covid-19 pandemic, namely the shift to a widespread work-from-home model, workers are actively seeking out roles at businesses that align with their values.
Openness to diversity and inclusion allows you to access, capture and retain the best talent in the job market. It moreover helps staff to feel comfortable and willing to engage, meaning you can empower your business and staff simultaneously.“
7 Ways To Promote Inclusion At Corporate Events
1. Selecting Accessible Venues
“One of the first essential ways to promote accessibility at your corporate event is making sure all staff are capable of entering the building with ease. While this may seem obvious, some older buildings that host events may lack facilities that are not immediately evident.
From nearby drop-off points and public transport to accessible facilities, break-out rooms, and more, making a checklist of necessary amenities and double-checking if they are accessible is a great first step.”
2. Offering Varied Catering
“The larger your company, the more the diets of your staff will vary. From religious requirements regarding food to personal preferences and allergy requirements, there are many different diets to be aware of.
A great way to accommodate your staff is to require all attendees to fill out a dietary requirement form when RSVPing to the event. By keeping a few spares of each type of meal, i.e. halal, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free you can moreover accommodate any mistakes or accidents.”
3. Drinks Options For All
“Similarly to the dietary requirements of your staff, many people may choose to follow a sober lifestyle for religious or personal reasons. Offering a good blend of alcoholic and soft drinks alongside readily flowing water is a great way to ensure everyone has a great time.
If you are serving alcohol, always make sure to check beforehand that the venue has the appropriate licences in place. Alternatively, you can encourage staff to congregate at a local bar or venue afterwards, reducing liability.”
4. Promoting A Safe Environment
“All staff should feel welcome, happy and most importantly, safe when attending a corporate event. Safeguarding practices should be in place at any work event, regardless of the time of day, location or who is attending.
You should moreover remind staff – if there is an open bar – that they should be acting responsibly while interacting with colleagues. The top priority is always the comfort of your staff, with happy staff more likely to enjoy and benefit from a corporate event.”
5. Diverse Content & Language
“Material used at corporate events, whether training, awareness or speeches, should never fall under a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Instead, ensuring you use blended materials that appeal to all your attendees is important.
Representing all cultures and incorporating inclusive language into all speeches, content used and marketing is vital for a successful, positive event.”
6. Providing Multi-Faith Spaces
“While multi-faith and worship spaces are relatively new to architecture, ensuring your corporate venue of choice has one is an essential way to ensure diversity needs are met.
Whether individuals need to pray, reflect, meditate or find a quiet place, ensuring your venue can accommodate all requirements is a great way to prove you are an inclusive and excellent employer.”
7. Always Learning And Adapting
“No business will get it right 100% of the time, especially as DEI is a constantly evolving space. The best way to show a commitment to DEI is by constantly asking for feedback from all employees – and listening.
Recognising and learning from mistakes shows a willingness to improve the business and culture on an ongoing basis, promoting true inclusion that will have endless positive impacts on your business in the long run.”
Mike McCloy is the Senior Account Manager at Maximillion. He has extensive experience in planning and delivering both charity and corporate events.