Inclusion and Diversity is a much larger movement within a company than just its communications. Ideally, D&I is woven throughout the entire employee experience, from recruiting to benefits to leadership development and more. The touch points for communicating the company’s commitment to diversity are many, and the process is a long one. Although there’s no instant fix to diversity and inclusion, internal communications can provide some immediacy and visibility for the steps along the way.
Here are a few ways internal communications teams can help promote inclusion in your company:
Whether you’re using original photography of actual employees (preferred) or stock images, be mindful of the faces you’re including. Try to show a diverse range of people that represent not just different skin tones but also different ages and body types. If you’re a global organization, be cognizant of the geographical differences in employees, from how they dress to how they practice their faith.
One of the best ways to promote inclusion is to build human connections with people who represent various diverse groups. This can be as simple as telling the life story of different individual employees for each diversity month. For February, which is African-American History Month, interview Black employees or ask them to write their own story. For PRIDE month in June, give an LGBTQ+ employee the floor. And in October, for National Disability Awareness Employment Awareness Month, spotlight a disabled employee. Ask them questions about their childhood, the hurdles they’ve overcome, what they love about their heritage or history and the things they wish other people understood. (If you’re looking for a listing of monthly themes, try the Library of Congress calendar.)
If you’re a global company, you might find other diversity themes celebrated in different months, but really, the calendar is less important than simply letting employees get to know one of their colleagues more completely. Your company could celebrate any type of diversity in any month without tying it to a specific commemorative month or day.
If your company has active ERGs, that can be a rich source of content around inclusion. Look to them for article ideas or news to share in your existing internal communications channels. You might want to cultivate relationships with the leaders of each ERG so that it’s natural for them to share interesting developments with you. If the women’s ERG sponsors a speaker on unconscious bias, if the LGBTQ+ group is supporting a non-profit for transgender teens, if the Asian professional network is hosting a webinar on counteracting AAPI hate, that’s all great content that demonstrates employee engagement and very likely exemplifies one or more of your corporate values.
Creating a culture of diversity and inclusion takes time, but we can help its progress along by keeping it a part of the corporate conversation. For questions to help gauge how far down the road your company is so far, you might like this Best Practices one-pager.
Interested in more ways to use your internal communications to support I&D in your company? Tribe can help.