How do you communicate your organization’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) strategy in an authentic way? Instead of using standard DEI statements, get to the heart and soul of your organization’s commitment to DEI. Provide a truthful account of where you are and where you want to be. You need to communicate at two levels within the organization: the organizational and at the personal, human level.
Here are some tips to communicate your DEI initiatives honestly and with full transparency:
1. Stay true to your brand values
Adhere to your brand guidelines. Let the look and feel convey consistency, truth and transparency. Messages must be clear and cohesive.
2. Be specific and intentional
Every message should have a clear purpose and identity. DEI information is raw, boring and incomprehensible with acronyms and hard words like implicit bias, micro-aggression etc. Keep messages simple, interesting and transparent and easily understood by the rank and file employee. Use graphics with caution- do not clutter it with fancy KPIs and other metrics. At the end of the day, this is a human endeavor and none of us will ever be perfect.
3. Bring people together
Clear DEI communications can bring people together, engage them and emphasize two-way communications. Think of question & answer sessions, coffee meetings, DEI huddles, book clubs and vulnerability sessions where you get the chance to expose your biases.
DEI communications must inform audiences about short and long-term goals and values of the company. Tie your message to company values, aspirations and where you want to be in meeting your DEI goals.
The best DEI communications happen when internal, external communications, public relations, marketing, human resources and the DEI department work together in developing and disseminating messaging around DEI. Different perspectives add value in creating clear, crisp and effective communications.
Here’s an interesting blog from Deloitte on this topic.