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Creating Successful Leaders

Category Archives: Goals

For the past few years, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has been a hot topic in the workplace. Companies have pledged billions of dollars to DEI initiatives (although they haven’t necessarily followed through with those pledges), have hired DEI directors and consultants, and have declared their support of DEI efforts. While these intentions are good, not all of this work has been effective or impactful. It’s easy to talk about doing something, and far more difficult to follow through in a meaningful way. When it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion, it’s not enough to make surface level changes; this work requires collaboration, strategy, data, and the will to take meaningful actions. Here are 5 actions you, as a leader, can take:

1. Create a Diversity and Inclusion Council

Creating a diversity and inclusion council is a great way to involve a variety of employees at different levels of the company in the work of promoting diversity and inclusion. This council can help develop and implement diversity and inclusion initiatives throughout the company, and help ensure that different perspectives are represented. Remember: make an effort to invite a wide variety of people to serve on this council. It can be counterproductive for a fairly homogenous group to make decisions that will affect others with very different backgrounds and experiences.

2. Collect Data

If you don’t have data about diversity metrics, how will you know when and if your DEI initiatives are working? This data could be quantitative (stats about demographics, numbers related to hiring practices, promotion rates, etc.) or qualitative (responses to surveys, complaints or negative feedback, testimonials from either private meetings or forums, etc.). Collecting diversity metrics can be a powerful way to identify areas where the company is excelling and where improvements can be made. Once the data is collected, use it to inform strategies and initiatives aimed at promoting diversity and inclusion.

3. Embed DEI Principles into Performance Goals

Incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion principles into performance goals can help ensure that these values are front and center in the work that employees do every day. When employees see that DEI work is valued and rewarded, they are more likely to take it seriously and make it a priority in their own work.

4. Review and Update Policies

Policies that are not inclusive can have a negative impact on diverse employees. Reviewing and updating policies to ensure they are inclusive is a crucial step in promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace. This includes policies around hiring, promotion, performance evaluations, and workplace accommodations.

5. Foster a Culture of Inclusion

Creating a culture of inclusion requires effort from everyone in the company. Leaders can set the tone by modeling inclusive behavior and encouraging others to do the same. This includes listening to diverse perspectives, actively seeking feedback, and ensuring everyone feels valued and respected. It also means creating opportunities for employees from diverse backgrounds to participate in decision-making and leadership roles.

While it’s beneficial to conduct diversity and inclusion training, don’t stop there! And don’t make this a one-time endeavor. DEI work must be ongoing and embraced by people at all levels of the company, from the leadership to support staff.

Incorporating meaningful diversity and inclusion actions in the workplace is necessary for creating a more equitable and welcoming environment for all employees. It requires a strategic and collaborative effort from everyone in the company—all voices and contributions make a difference. While these five actions are a good starting point, they should not be the end goal. Companies must continue to prioritize diversity and inclusion and be open to ongoing adaptation and improvement. True progress requires ongoing effort and a willingness to adapt and improve.



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Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

As we tiptoe into summer in the Upper Midwest, it can become increasingly difficult to concentrate. Who wants to be stuck inside staring at a screen when the weather is mild and sunny? Who wants to enter information into a spreadsheet when you could be riding your bike, barbequing with your family, or simply taking a walk in the fresh air? The procrastination bug can bite hard when you’re resistant to the tasks in front of you! To help beat summertime procrastination, try any or all of the following 6 tips:

1. Take a midday break

Taking a midday break is a great way to recharge your brain and get moving. Take a 30-minute break to go for a walk, ride your bike, or simply sit outside with a good book or cup of tea and enjoy the sunshine. Getting outside can boost your mood and energy, making it easier to focus when you return to work.

2. Work during off-hours

If you’re finding it difficult to concentrate during the day, try working during off-hours. Wake up early and work before the sun rises, or work in the evening when you’re not as tempted to go outside. This way, you can take advantage of the sunshine during the day (at least for a few hours) without feeling guilty for not working.

3. Break tasks into smaller pieces

Breaking tasks into smaller pieces can help make them feel more manageable. Instead of trying to finish a big project in one day, break it into smaller tasks that you can complete over a few days. This way, you’ll feel more accomplished and less overwhelmed.

4. Set a timer

Setting a timer can help you stay focused and avoid distractions. Set a timer for 25 minutes and work on a task without any interruptions. Once the timer goes off, take a 5-minute break to stretch, grab a snack, or check your phone. Repeat this process until you finish the task. Remember, there’s really no such thing as multitasking! Focusing on one project at a time is a better use of your time AND produces better results.

5. Create a summer schedule

Creating a schedule can help you stay on track and make time for both work and play. Set aside specific times each day for work, exercise, and leisure activities. This way, you’ll have a clear idea of what you need to do each day and won’t feel guilty when you take time off to enjoy the summer weather.

6. Find an accountability partner

Having an accountability partner can help you stay motivated and on track. Find someone who shares your goals or is working on a similar project and check in with each other regularly. This way, you can hold each other accountable and offer support and encouragement along the way.

By trying these 6 tips, you can beat summertime procrastination and make the most of your summer. Remember, it’s important to take breaks, stay motivated, and enjoy the sunshine while it lasts. Happy (almost) summer!


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Photo by Danist Soh on Unsplash

Earth Day has come and gone, but sustainability is important all year long, both in and out of the workplace. It’s not too difficult to live an eco-friendly lifestyle at home—buying organic or locally-grown foods, recycling, reducing your energy usage, walking or cycling to nearby places instead of driving. However, it may be a little trickier to apply sustainability efforts to the workplace. You might have to get many people on board with your initiatives, or you might have to make major changes. However, there are steps you can take. Here are seven ideas for promoting sustainability and creating eco-friendly changes in the workplace:

Implement a composting and recycling program

Businesses can reduce waste and their carbon footprint by implementing a composting and recycling program. Composting food waste and plant matter can reduce greenhouse gases in landfills, while recycling can reduce the need for new products to be created, and save energy and natural resources. Educate employees on what can and cannot be composted or recycled, and provide bins and containers in convenient locations around the workplace. Make sure to have a system for regular pick-up and disposal of compost and recycling to keep the workplace clean and free of clutter.

Promote Energy-Saving Practices

Energy-saving practices can reduce the amount of energy used by businesses, and in turn, reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Businesses could consider swapping to energy-saving light bulbs and unplugging electronics (and even chargers) when not in use. Make sure you also encourage employees to turn off their workstations when they are not in use. Consider scheduling maintenance checks for HVAC systems and other appliances to make sure they are running smoothly and efficiently. Or, if your company is willing to upgrade its space, consider advocating for motion sensors or timers for certain lights.

Reduce Paper Usage

While using paper is sometimes necessary, excessive usage is wasteful and can add up quickly! Encourage employees to avoid printing when possible and instead rely on digital copies. When printing is required, use double-sided printing or print on recycled paper. Promote emailing instead of sending physical mail, and encourage employees to recycle paper when they’re done using it.

Encourage Alternative Transportation

Encouraging employees to carpool, walk, bike, or take a commuter train/bus to work can greatly reduce the carbon footprint of your organization. Consider offering incentives such as preferred parking spots, rewards, or recognition programs to promote alternative transportation. Encourage video conferencing and virtual meetings when possible to save on travel costs and to reduce energy usage.

Go Green with Office Supplies

Businesses can take steps to use eco-friendly materials in the office, such as energy-efficient light bulbs, recycled office supplies, and plastic alternatives (bamboo is often a great affordable option). Employees might also take individual actions, such as using products like refillable pens, reusable water bottles, and recycled paper products.

Create a Green Team

Get a group of volunteers together to form a green team. This team can help educate fellow employees, lead sustainability efforts, and host special eco-friendly events in the workplace. Having a green team is a fun way to encourage everyone to participate in sustainable practices.

Offer Telecommuting Options

Consider offering telecommuting options for employees, as it can greatly reduce carbon emissions and save energy (not to mention commuting time!). This can also be a great way to improve work-life balance for your team.

Make sustainability a part of your company culture. Encourage and reward employees who make efforts to be eco-friendly, and consider incorporating sustainable practices into your company’s mission statement. By making sustainability a priority, you can create a positive impact on the environment and inspire others to do the same. Remember, small changes can make a big difference, so start by implementing one or two of these ideas and continue building from there. With a little effort and creativity, your business can work towards a greener future.


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