This summer the Triangle staff all came together in our big front conference room for the company’s annual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) training. With several years of focus on internal organizational culture and creating a shared foundation under our “organizational belt”, the team came prepared to spend the day looking externally for a change. Our goal for this training was to deepen our knowledge about incorporating DEI into our work with community partners, stakeholders and clients. Through discussion, break-out groups and real-world scenario role play, staff spent the day increasing their toolkits for furthering equity and inclusion communication in our work. The training also provided the team with a chance to reflect back on the company’s DEI journey over the past several years.
As an almost 40-year old organization, Triangle has always endeavored to take an equitable and inclusive approach to building our business and working within the community. But in the winter of 2016 we made the decision to formalize our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and embark on a year-long full-scale assessment of the company. Our first important step was to bring in an outside consultant to assess our workplace culture and practices and help identify areas of improvement. Our consultant spent the next full year conducting all-staff trainings, reviewing policies and procedures and interviewed every staff member in the organization. Together the consultant and Triangle’s leadership team then identified themes that arose from the feedback. The company then came back together for a day-long strategic planning session to discuss these themes and create a two year diversity, equity and inclusion action plan.
Fast-forward to the summer of 2018 and Triangle is well underway in its DEI journey! Established one year ago, Triangle’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee now works with the leadership team to move the DEI needle and maintain forward momentum in completing the company’s action plan. Other tangible outcomes in the past two years have included in-depth review of the company policy handbook to identify and address diversity and equity obstacles, reviewing and revising job descriptions, improving onboarding practices and promotional pathways, increasing consistency in supervisor training and support for staff and developing a sub-committee to build partnerships with community-based organizations.
This spring Triangle also took the opportunity to tap more into the knowledge of our wider community. Several different staff members sought opportunities to share at various regional conferences about our DEI challenges and successes to-date, learn more about other organization approaches and encourage other small businesses to embark on their own DEI journeys.
Triangle looks forward to continuing our DEI journey and to fulfilling our mission to get people talking and listening to one another and to foster informed decision-making.