Become a Designated Inclusive Workforce Employer (I-WE)
Why become designated? Maybe you are struggling to find employees. Maybe you need help putting the pieces together to diversify your organization. Let us help you recruit and retain employees with a variety of backgrounds, abilities, skills, and experiences with the Inclusive Workforce Designation.
I-WE Designation At-a-Glance
Central Minnesota employers must:
- Express a commitment to an inclusive workplace in their stated values, mission or policies.
- Assess how diversity, equity and inclusion influence their work and culture.
- Provide diversity, equity and inclusion education for staff and leadership.
- Allocate resources to support and sustain an inclusive and equitable workplace.
Inclusive Workforce employers:
Interested in becoming designated? Submit an Interest Application.
Be recognized as an employer of choice with a designation as an Inclusive Workforce Employer. Become a part of a forward-thinking group, committed to helping your business and community grow! The first step is to submit an interest application. Upon receiving your completed application, an I-WE member will reach out to you to schedule a consultation.
Steps to Complete I-We Designation
After your consultation with an I-WE member, you can get started on the steps to completing the designation.
Step 1: Express your commitment to an Inclusive Workplace
Constructing a strong CEO or organizational statement is a great start. Sharing the vision and commitment your organization has toward creating an inclusive workplace is the first step to making it a reality. The CEO or organizational statement can influence inclusiveness and lays the foundation for the culture of the business. This statement should articulate and imbed the company values and act as a clear reminder of why the organization exists. Including action statements is also an integral part of the process.
Step 2: Assess your organization
The next step in the I-WE process is to complete an assessment of the organization. An assessment will provide a baseline to help understand where the organization is currently at in regard to cultural and equity competence. It helps to determine gaps and generate ideas for next steps and action plans to sustain or improve cultural competency. There are multiple assessments available, and the choice of assessment is up to you.
Sample Organizational Assessments and Survey Questions:
- New Hampshire Equity Collective Assessment (PDF)
This assessment includes a framework for a Culturally Effective Organization – a roadmap that enables, cultivates, and supports the delivery of high-quality services for all people.
- NACE Diversity and Inclusion Assessment (PDF)
Assessment to identify DEI benchmarks and develop a plan.
- Inclusive Dubuque’s Self-Assessment (PDF)
This assessment presents four action areas of policies and practices used by organizations to advance DEI.
- Sample Employee Survey Questions (PDF)
Step 3: Complete Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training
Once your organizational assessment is complete and a plan of action is in place, it will be important to provide training on these topics. Incorporating training outcomes and knowledge gains into the company culture and everyday work is imperative. Embrace the information! Click below for training resources or to view a CMJTS Employer training event.
Websites offering diversity training:
I-WE employer training event recordings:
- Being an Inclusive Workforce Employer event March 3, 2022 – YouTube
(DEI overview – How to engage the Somali population)
- Central MN Inclusive Workforce Employer presentation – YouTube
(Immigration Work Visas – How to engage the Hispanic population)
- Inclusive Workforce Employer Training Event – YouTube
(How to engage second-chance individuals)
Step 4: Sustain Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Practices
Sustaining the efforts of your DEI is another important step in the process. Allocating resources, providing ongoing training, participating in Welcome America events, and referencing the local employer action guide are just a few ideas to sustain the DEI progress your organization has made. Continued growth in this area will provide an opportunity for a diverse workforce in a tight labor market. A diverse workforce tends to be more innovative and can improve the company’s financial outlook.
- DEI Guide for Central MN (PDF)
Detailed guide offering suggestions from non-biased hiring to retention and local DEI resources.
Building your DEI team (PDF)
A flowchart of how to design your team in 5 steps.
Handbook on Inclusion (PDF)
Developed by SHIFT CULTURE this guide is designed to support cultural networks and organizations in navigating the topic of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
DEI Checklist (PDF)
This checklist to identify gaps at your organization and inform action for DEI through organizational policies and practices.
Inclusive Language Guide (PDF)
Language holds the power to unite or divide us, and to make your audience feel accepted or rejected. This guide provides up-to-date terminology and recommendations.
Step 5: Final Step in I-WE Designation
The Community Inclusion Council known as (CIC), a group of local experts in the DEI field, will be with you every step of the way and provide virtual or in-person consultations to navigate the process and provide ongoing support. The CIC will review all applications and submit recommendations for approval to the Region 3 Leadership and Planning Board (a committee of Local Elected officials, Local Workforce Development Board members, and the Executive Directors of LWDA 5 and 17). Once the designation has been approved, a promotional kit will be sent to you.