Diversity & Inclusion in Employer Branding

Five Tips

 

Integrating
Diversity & Inclusion
into your employer branding

In collaboration with:
Fresh Forward,
a creative consultancy agency.

Brand:
I can’t tell…
But it’s one of the biggest international beverage brands.

Deliverables:
– Assisting the 2-day workshop
– Presentation & information design

 

It is the hottest topic in business: Diversity & Inclusion. More and more companies are waking up to the fact that diversity & inclusion in the workplace is key for employees, applicants, and stakeholders; especially in their consideration for staying with or joining a company. I would rather not call Diversity & Inclusion a trend as I hope this will be rooted in any business mission moving forward.

 

 

Diversity becomes inclusion
when you step outside of your bubble 

We have entered an era of internationalization with expats moving all over the world and remote workers joining different companies without ever setting foot at their headquarters. At the same time, polarisation is increasing as people seem to fail to understand and respect each other’s needs. 

It is quite logical if you think about it. You have a 40-hour work week with massive deadlines and always a full agenda, where would you find the time to meet people outside of your bubble

Only then you would get a better understanding of the changes that are happening around you. Instead, you choose for diving in your work to finish that to-do list and head back right into your bubble after work to relax. 

Many companies are now aiming for an inclusive work floor where diversity is being celebrated in order to improve the health and performance of their employees and to increase the interests of applicants to join the team.

A strong diversity & inclusion approach
By Libby Van der Ploeg

Recently, I was invited by Fresh Forward to join two workshops they had organized for one of the biggest corporations in the world. The company had asked Fresh Forward to guide them in the right direction for a strong diversity & inclusion approach. My role as a Fresh Thinker (a term Fresh Forward introduced me to and which I carry it with pride 😉 ) was to introduce the team to my point of view as a marketer, focussing on the target audience, and as someone with a bi-cultural background, share my take on diversity and inclusion. 

The 12-hour workshops were intense, productive & eye-opening for everyone. Fresh Forward did a very good job of creating a balance between inspiring the team, empowering them to come up with new ideas and guiding them in the right direction.

The five tips that will help you in creating a strong diversity & inclusion approach.

1  Don’t forget where you’re coming from 

Start with digging deep, going back to your roots. Most of the companies, the good ones, start with the right intentions and may lose them out of their sight along the way. What really unites everyone is really going back to why the company started, its mission and vision and the things you all have achieved together. This sets everyone in the right mood and points them in the right direction. 

At the same time, look around you and pay attention to the state of mind of the world you are living in. Which way are the needs of your target audience shifting to and how can you make sure you stay relevant in our ever-changing world.

2  Celebrate the similarities & discuss the difference

It is easy to underestimate the existing diversity and stay within your bubble of thoughts and perspectives. It is crucial to make and invest time in educating yourself and your employees in about diversity & inclusion. About the different layers and the challenges. Only this way you will open a stage for everyone to be able to see and celebrate their similarities despite their differences. 

Knowledge is key. If you know how diverse your (potential) employees are, you will be able to better understand them and really get the most out of their talents. By becoming a role model, you will create a healthy environment for everyone to celebrate their similarities & discuss their differences, without judgment or hidden agendas. 

Aim to develop creative programs and campaigns with which you will encourage diversity & inclusion. Make it a habit on the work floor to talk about this topic.

3  Start with yourself and start small

Walking the talk is everything. First, it starts with yourself, creating awareness on the topic and the ways you think you could contribute to this matter. It can be a small step like talking to a colleague you have always ignored.

Within a company, it always starts with the management team. If the MT does not feel the urge to focus on this matter, why would the rest of the organization do so? Make sure the whole process moves from inside out and starts small. Going big could create a beautiful impact, but it would also backlash beautifully if it is done wrong. Once the entire organization is on board and breathes this new diversity & inclusion approach, you can create much more impact to the outside world, keeping your current employees happy.

4  Generate trust

Talking about Diversity & Inclusion is great and actually putting effort into realizing a solid approach to build this into your employer branding is beautiful, however, without having earned the trust of your (potential) employees it will go nowhere. Generate their trust and really motivate everyone to be true to themselves. Do not try to force them in a role, but really look together what fits the company and the individual best and what he or she needs to be able to grow.

5  Empower your employees

We are all longing for genuine connections and an inclusive world where we can truly be ourselves. Trust that all you employees would be more than happy to dive into this matter, become real ambassadors for the program and invest their time in this. Therefore, do not make it a one-man-show. Create a task force, make time available and empower your employees to be in the front of this program. Set company KPI’s and goals to show how important the cause is for the company.

This means that you have to exempt your employees from certain tasks in order to add this asks to their daily activities. Do not make the mistake as seeing this as a side project, on which they have to work during their weekends.

Celebrating diversity and creating inclusion is a true team effort. I am positive your company will flourish once you truly offer equal opportunities to everyone. Hope you think so too.

You still with me?

The challenges you may face during integrating Diversity & Inclusion into your employer branding

  • Clinging to cliches – For example, thinking that you are inclusive by adding a person with a different cultural background to a group of Caucasians in your brand commercial. Just stop!
  • Forgetting all layers of diversity – One layer is cultural diversity, but keep in mind that gender, preferences, lifestyle, and belief are as important.
  • Becoming an NGO – Because you are just not so it is important to stick your needs as a business yet find a balance in how to become inclusive.
  • Talking, but not walking the talk – Practicing what you preach is always important but if you do not do so in this case, your audience will smell your fake diversity & inclusion approach from behind their desktop

Any thoughts?

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