Diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces convey power-sharing, with everyone innately supporting and supported, regardless of their ethnicity, background, or gender. Highly inclusive companies outperform competitors by attracting and retaining qualified talent as well as fostering creativity and innovation. However, inculcating the principles of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) into the way a business functions and bringing everyone on the same page is no easy task—especially when people are unaware of the impacts of their actions. To this end, businesses need to understand that DEI initiatives are more than policies, programs, and headcounts; it’s about guiding team members and leaders through a journey.
Regarding what Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion mean, “We like to use a train analogy,” explains Yien Wang Folino, Managing Principal, Truclusion. “Diversity is about who gets on the train. This depends on whether they want to get aboard and/or whether they are allowed to get on board. Equity is lowering the challenges each person faces when boarding and staying on the train. Inclusion is when each train passenger feels a sense of belonging, and what makes them unique is valued by everyone else on board.”
As a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion consulting firm, Truclusion helps its clients establish diverse and inclusive work cultures. They use human-centered strategies to address client challenges. The firm consists of experienced consultants, facilitators, and researchers from different ethnic and professional backgrounds who understand all the critical aspects of DEI. “We believe in leading by example, and our diverse workforce—including Asians, African-Americans, and people from the LGBTQ community—is proof of that,” says Folino.
In an interview with Manage HR, Folino shares insights into the company and their approach.
What are the trends and challenges you are currently observing in the marketplace, and how do you help clients address them?
Today, many organizations willingly accept or prepare for growth when it comes to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. However, many clients who approach us often do not know how to initiate their diversity and inclusion journey and how to convey or present their ideas and goals to everyone in the organization. In some cases, individuals are not ready to recognize that marginalization or discrimination happens in their environment. In other cases, some people are aware of disparity but go along for fear of being judged. We meet individuals where they are and help them evolve through a variety of interventions facilitated by our diverse team of consultants. We value every perspective and experience, and customize our training based on the unique individuals present in the room. Everyone we work with is coming from a different place and heading toward a unique destination. Our job is to support them on that journey.
Could you elaborate on the process that you follow to deliver your services?
We customize our training based on the unique individuals present in the room and their personal perspectives and experiences
It begins with an 11-step assessment process to analyze where an organization or an individual is on their diversity and inclusion journey. Most people accept that a problem exists but think they are not a part of it. With self-discovery exercises, we help them understand where exactly the bottleneck lies and how they might be contributing to it. Once that reality is acknowledged, we work with individuals to help them understand others’ perspectives and identify steps they can take to progress on their own personal inclusion journey. Organizationally, we facilitate conversations between individuals to help get everyone in the work environment on pathways that allow them to productively work together toward common goals.
Tell us about all the different services that Truclusion offers.
We support every step of the diversity, equity, and inclusion process, from strategic planning, assessing risks and organizational readiness, designing policies and curriculums to establishing diversity and inclusion responsibilities at all levels, and measuring progress. In addition, we offer leadership coaching to help leaders make meetings and programs inclusive and bring each member’s perspective forward in a valued way. We customize every workshop and training to offer clients relevant, practical, effective, and interactive exercises. We also facilitate conversations—during a conflict, before or after issues arise—to help clients move ahead via an open and safe dialogue.
What are the factors that differentiate you from others in the marketplace?
For every client, we assign a lead consultant or project lead who is always ready to resolve all of their queries. All of our facilitators focus on continually enhancing their skills by exposing themselves to different schools of thought and completing various certification courses. We are not an off-the-shelf, one-size fits all DEI firm. Rather, our team is nimble, designing unique training programs and facilitating custom-tailored workshops for each-and-every client.
Also, our research has shown that days-long seminars and workshops occurring once or twice a year are not optimally effective in involving an organization’s staff in the journey of self-discovery and becoming better individually and organizationally. That’s why we offer shorter— but more frequent and extraordinarily efficient—sessions to our clients.
Could you give us a customer success story?
For a client in Seattle, we helped with policy advocacy and procedure change. After one and a half years of coaching, every group from the organization could proceed in the same direction to meet a common goal. We even conducted assessments of their five individual groups based on their job profiles and discovered that their teams had become more cohesive. In another case, working with a client in San Francisco, by making their workplace more inclusive, the company dramatically increased their productivity. The client achieved their growth goals within two to three months, which they previously predicted to be fulfilled by 12 to 18 months.
What does the future hold for Truclusion?
It is the beginning of the journey for us. We are continually onboarding organizations to help them unlock the potential of a diverse and inclusive workplace. Also, our existing clients keep coming back to us to utilize our services and seek additional guidance. We are continually growing and learning with the changing workplace environment as we move forward in our diversity and inclusion journey.