Policies, Practices and Procedures That Reflect Your Culture of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

by Katee Van Horn

I am often asked by organizations, “Where do we start?” when they want to integrate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion into their company culture. There are a lot of places to start on your journey and reviewing your policies, practices and procedures (PPP) is a great one.

Think about your employees first.

The employee experience and being able to retain top talent should always be front of mind for everyone on the team. 

Start with Recruiting

A few ways to think about their experience include:

  • Review your job postings and recruiting materials to make sure they are inclusive. Eliminate gendered pronouns, determine if you truly need that degree for the role, spell out acronyms, and be realistic in your description. 
  • Think about where (job boards, industry groups) you can post the open role to increase visibility for folks in underrepresented groups. Are their specific job boards for your industry that support underrepresented people?
  • During the interview process, be thoughtful with your questions. Even if it is a legal question to ask, you might want to consider if it is right to ask. 
  • Make sure everyone in the interview understands that bias exists and can impact how they interview candidates. Their awareness going into the process will help improve their interactions and decision making.


Once the employee is hired, benefits become important. Does your benefits package take the needs of your team into consideration? Your benefits should support the folks on the team and folks you want to add to the team. Adoption assistance, IVF, surrogacy, flexible schedules, remote work arrangements and retirement resources are a few examples of benefits to consider.


When determining what holidays you will honor as an organization, consider the holidays that are overlooked. The last couple of years, there has been a lot of discussion about Juneteenth as a company holiday. I would encourage you to strongly consider adding Juneteenth, to celebrate the contributions of your Black employees. Floating holidays are another way to be more inclusive. Employees can use floating holidays at their discretion. If you want a bit more information on how floating holidays work, there is information at www.insperity.com/blog/floating-holiday.

Performance Reviews & Promotions

Performance evaluations and promotions can be full of bias. Putting a DEI lens on your approach can help leaders block bias and make good decisions. Their performance evaluation should be based on the employee’s performance and how they are living the values of the organization. Nothing else.


Developing your employees and thinking about their path within the organization is a retention lever. Even if you are a smaller team determining cross-training opportunities with other roles, thinking how you develop their different skill sets will make the employee feel valued. 

Other Policies, Practices and Procedures

Shifting to PPPs focused on running your nonprofit, review the questions below. 

  • Do your board members reflect the broader community you serve?
  • Do you use an RFP process, and have you included language and tracking for organizations led by underrepresented groups?
  • Have your volunteers been trained on what your mission, vision and values are and how you would like them to represent your organization?
  • Do your programs reflect the communities you serve, and do they accomplish what you say they will? Setting metrics and goals before beginning any new program will help you to measure the value.
  • Are you reviewing the funding coming into your organization to make sure it is from funders whose values align to your organization?

There are more questions and more considerations to make when you are starting your DEI journey; these are just a few to get you started. In the coming months, we will be sharing more tips and ideas to help you make Diversity, Equity and Inclusion a part of your nonprofit.

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