How to deliver the best diversity, equity, and inclusion communications

June 14th 2023 DE&I Employee Communications

Confession time! Do you worry that – despite all the effort that you’re putting into your diversity, equity, and inclusion communications – that your messages just aren’t landing? If you do, you’re not alone. DEI apathy is real. But there is an antidote. 

Here at Caburn Hope, we’re working with a client to develop a new framework for engaging all employees - from every demographic - with the diversity work going on across the business. This live project is proving to be very successful, and it can be applied to your business. Here’s our approach: 

Step one: Understand the barriers to engagement.

Multiple factors can impact engagement with DEI. Time constraints. Resistance to change. Disinterested managers. To overcome those barriers, it’s critical to understand which are the most relevant, and why. 

To do that, we used short-but-fun surveys to gain an initial overview of colleague sentiment around DEI. These were followed by deep-dive workshops that surfaced a rich picture of exactly why the business’s efforts were flagging. Armed with those insights, we went on to...

Step two: Align grassroots DEI activity with the company purpose.

Our survey and workshops found that the company had several Colleague Resource Groups (CRG). Each group was working to raise awareness of – and resources for – their own core demographic. 

The barrier for most employees was that this approach was tactical and compartmentalised, so it didn’t feel relevant to employees outside each CRG. To address this, we focused on:

  • Finding the connections between each CRG
  • Articulating how their work aligned to the company purpose.

From this we created clear messaging about why each CRG’s activities was driving the company’s core business values, goals, and priorities. This clarified why engaging with the grassroots DEI activity was beneficial for every employee. 

Step three: Connect all grassroots DEI activity across all available channels.

With the right messages crafted, we’re building a comms strategy to embed them. The focus is on bringing the CRGs together to work in partnership. Amplifying their impact. Streamlining their communication. 

All messaging will be measurable, eye-catching, and engaging, with a consistent visual identity, so that it’s easy to recognise. It will be energising and immersive: utilising the full range of communication channels and delivered through a mix of media – social posts, videos, podcasts.

We’ll be testing and adapting as we go along, refining our approach in response to feedback and learnings. Critically, the strategy is drawing on wider partnership opportunities across the business, adding DEI messaging to internal events and occasions: from town halls to celebrations – creating a steady drumbeat of engagement. 

The result? A strategy that is simple, compelling, and focused on mindset and behaviour. DEI apathy – gone! 

If you’d like to adopt this framework or would like our support to communicate DEI within your organisation, please contact Emilie. 

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