10 Virtual Diversity & Inclusion Activities for the Workplace

Check out these 10 ways to celebrate diversity and inclusion authentically in the workplace.

10 Virtual Diversity & Inclusion Activities for the Workplace

In the modern workplace, diversity, and inclusion have emerged as pivotal elements of a thriving office culture, driving innovation, creativity, and productivity. A diverse workforce’s pool of talents, experiences, and perspectives is invaluable for any company that seeks to thrive in a dynamic and competitive business environment. When employees from different backgrounds and cultures collaborate, they bring unique perspectives that can lead to more effective problem-solving. Additionally, inclusion ensures that these diverse voices are heard and valued, leading to a more engaged and committed workforce.

The Goal of Inclusion Activities in the Workplace

Encouraging open communication and understanding helps build a harmonious workplace. Establishing a safe space for employees assures individuals from all backgrounds that their voices matter and that they are respected as individuals. This acknowledgment motivates them to better contribute to organizational goals.

Work on actively breaking down stereotypes. Employees come from many backgrounds, and everyone is subject to unconscious bias. By facilitating social interaction and collaboration through team-building exercises, employees have the opportunity to learn more about each other, challenging their existing preconceptions.

Foster collaboration among team members to build relationships that make work more effective and enjoyable. Differing perspectives also improve problem-solving within a team, and can result in innovative solutions that may never otherwise be created.

Acknowledge and celebrate cultural differences for the vibrancy that they bring to your team. Inclusion activities aren’t a ‘one-and-done’ thing. Take the time to acknowledge and celebrate the diversity within your workforce all year long, every year, sending the message that you value and appreciate your employees.

10 Diversity & Inclusion Activities to Try

1. Play DEI-Inspired Games

Playing games that are centered around diversity, equity, and inclusion is a great way to engage employees on DEI topics without making the process too formal. Games can highlight the different experiences of people from various groups, but they can also emphasize the similarities across your whole team.

2. Host a Virtual Cooking Class

Organize a virtual cooking session where employees can share recipes from their cultures and cook together. If you don’t have strong cooks on your team who want to lead the way, there are plenty of virtual cooking experiences organized by storytellers who can create an engaging experience using food as a gateway to cultural exploration. It’s not just about the food; it’s about the stories, history, and traditions that come with these recipes.

3. Invite a Guest Speaker

Inviting experts or motivational speakers who specialize in diversity and inclusion can offer invaluable insights. These speakers can share real-life stories that can inspire employees to embrace diversity in the workplace. If you have members of your team who are willing to speak, even better! Just remember not to pressure anyone into stepping into the spotlight just because they are a member of an identity group you want to feature.

4. Start a Team Book Club

Create a book club that focuses on literature from different cultures or on the themes of diversity and inclusion. Reading books from diverse authors can be an eye-opening experience that allows employees to gain insights into different cultures and life experiences. Consider taking suggestions from your team for books to read—it will increase interest in the club!

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5. Community Volunteer Programs

Encourage employees to serve those in need of help. This not only fosters teamwork but gives them exposure to different cultures and backgrounds. By serving together, employees can connect on a deeper level and build empathy. Offer paid time for these activities or organize them yourself during work hours.

6. Create a DEI Calendar of Events

Develop a calendar that highlights various cultural events, holidays, and observances—and make sure you’re actually observing them! Celebrating what matters to your employees sends a message of inclusivity to them and also provides an opportunity for others to learn more about other cultures.

7. Organize a Team Happy Hour

 Have a themed happy hour where team members can share something about their culture or background. This can include traditional attire, music, or food. It’s a relaxed way for employees to learn about one another. You can find virtual experiences for cocktails, too (just make sure to include options for sober members of your team)!

8. Encourage Discussions of Different Viewpoints

Create forums for employees to discuss diverse topics, including those related to culture, identity, and experiences. Hire a facilitator and set clear ground rules to ensure that these discussions are respectful and inclusive.

9. Form a Diversity Committee

Establish a committee responsible for implementing and overseeing diversity and inclusion initiatives within the company. This committee should represent the diversity within the company and should have the authority and resources to make a difference through its DEI initiatives.

10. Explore Cultural Art Museums

Organize visits to local cultural art museums. These visits can be an enlightening experience, exposing employees to the history, art, and culture of different communities. 

Fostering an Inclusive Environment for In-Person & Remote Teams

Q: Why are diversity & inclusion activities important for teams?

A: Diversity and inclusion activities are essential in building a cohesive team that appreciates and values each member’s uniqueness. These activities are some of the best ways to foster understanding, collaboration, and mutual respect, leading to higher productivity and innovation.

Q: What are important holidays to celebrate DEI efforts?

A: Celebrate cultural holidays such as Diwali, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, and recognize months like Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, Pride Month, and Women’s History Month. They demonstrate the company’s commitment to recognizing and valuing diversity.

Q: How can you team building diversity events fun?

A: Ensure diversity events are interactive and engaging. Incorporate elements of various cultures, include games, and ensure everyone has an opportunity to contribute. A sense of fun combined with educational elements can make diversity events memorable and impactful.

Diversity and inclusion are more than just buzzwords; they are key to creating a thriving workplace. Companies that embrace diversity and inclusion are better positioned to attract and retain top talent and drive innovation through diverse perspectives. Through thoughtfully designed activities, companies can foster an environment where diversity is celebrated as a strength. In a world that is increasingly interconnected, this isn’t just the right thing to do; it is a business imperative.

Planning a team-building event?

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