Case Study

Diversity as an imperative

As an organization that strives to cultivate a diverse and inclusive environment, Kinetic Brands wanted to give senior leaders the skills needed to navigate diversity in the workplace and address equity concerns.

Overview

Hone has had the pleasure of running an ongoing program for Kinetic Brands since October 2021 – DEI Fundamentals – for a total thus far of 27 participants.

DEI Fundamentals:
Manage Bias in the Workplace
Address Microaggressions on Your Team
Create a Culture of Belonging
Embrace Diversity Through Inclusion

The Company

Hone provides diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training for senior managers of Kinetic Brands, a full-stack beauty incubator powered by unconventional thinkers skilled at building unconventional brands for unconventional people.

For this Case Study, we met with the project admin Cyd Morales, People Operations Manager, to review the company’s experience with Hone.

“Success is knowing that you need to constantly keep developing yourself. And I truly think that Hone really speaks to that. And it’s going to sound corny, but Hone really hones in on that.”

Cyd Morales, People Operations Manager

The challenge

As an organization that prides itself on giving opportunities from the ground up, Kinetic Brands has many new emerging leaders. The company strives to cultivate a diverse and inclusive environment where employees feel they can contribute without biases and have advocates to help them grow. They consider diversity a big part of their teams’ strategy.

They needed to give senior management the leadership skills to navigate diversity in the workplace, including how to manage difficult conversations and identify rising equity concerns. However, their aspirations for a ‘woke’ culture needed more than a rehearsed “copy and paste” script, so Cyd and the Kinetic Brands team sought a DEI training program that was as pioneering as their business approach.

To address the company’s need for DEI education, Cyd knew Kinetic Brands needed a training solution that could:

  1. Create a sense of community and camaraderie amongst management and staff.
  2. Deliver resonating DEI training that helped management become more culturally competent, self-aware, and empathetic.
  3. Provide engaging, user-friendly classes that could benefit the management team and other employees.

The solution

After reviewing multiple options, Kinetic Brands selected Hone’s DEI training program for three main reasons:

  1. It fit their criteria above,
  2. Hone offers small-group experiences and team building along with the curriculum,
  3. They could improve retention with continual access to the program’s material.

As the project admin and former teacher, Cyd recognized Hone’s passion for impactful education from the first meeting. “We're so totally aligned in what we think development looks like from an organizational perspective that I have been recommending Hone to other HR leaders and my higher education leaders as well.”

Cultivating Compassionate Champions

Hone and Kinetic Brands feel the same about bringing humanity into the workplace to create an empathetic and supportive environment. Managers are more than team leads. They can be trusted advocates for their direct reports and help them grow internally and externally. This philosophy fosters a culture of development and opportunity. “One of my biggest things is you need to treat people like people. People want to grow. People want to develop, and it's our job as leaders to help them get there. I think we're able to do that with Hone.” Kinetic Brands provided Hone to senior management. Cyd revealed plans to expand training to other employees and try additional programs.

Impactful Small Groups

For many reasons, small-group training worked best for Kinetic Brands, including helping management absorb and retain the information better. The groups encouraged participation and created a sense of belonging, comradery, and mutual support. Cyd said, “I don't even need to convince people. They're asking for it. That's where the tables have turned. It makes my job way easier.” Participants specifically enjoyed the team-building experience and the opportunity to interface with different coworkers. “I really think that [Hone] hit the nail on the head. There are so many companies that do the same thing. But everyone's so passionate about it that you cannot help but be like, “No, I'm staying with Hone.”

Tools to Succeed

One of the essential aspects for Cyd was the ability to review course materials continually. She was thrilled with the access to the curriculum when they needed it.
“It's very refreshing actually that [the information] is provided because, oftentimes, companies won't. It's like one and done, bye! But Hone really wants you to succeed.”

Conclusion

The team at Kinetic Brands really connected through Hone’s group sessions and DEI training program. But the group was not the only relationship strengthened. The passion for learning motivated several individuals to take additional classes, some related to their profession and others on topics of interest. “After that first class, they were like, ‘Can we do one on conflict management?’ When you're prescribing something to someone, it's a totally different effect than when they're asking for it.”

Contemporary Solutions

The convenience of Hone’s class recordings and administrative features stood out for Cyd. “I love how they send everything, like ‘Reminder, please review this before…’ Little things like that are so impactful, especially when everyone's so busy all the time. It's an all-in-one; Everything is there!”

Advancing Kinetic Brands

Kinetic Brands looks forward to their next cohort and escalating participation among non-managers. “I’ve already recommended this program because I truly believe in the mission.” Cyd recognized Hone’s value from the beginning and is leading fellow human resource administrators to the start of their path.