Creating a company culture that is inclusive and celebrates and recognizes the diversity of the workforce is a goal for many companies to help their reputation as a socially responsible enterprise.Workplace diversity includes recognizing staff members from a variety of different backgrounds including race, ethnicity, religions, genders, ages, sexual orientation and physical ability. When the workplace is an inclusive one, employees accept these differences and treat one another respectfully and equally.
There are numerous benefits for companies that embrace workplace diversity.
When you have a diverse workforce your company will benefit from:
- having a variety of different ideas and perspectives,
- more creativity and innovation,
- different types of problem solving and decision making skills,
- increased levels of employee engagement,
- higher morale,
- the ability to attract and keep top talent in your industry,
- boosted productivity and higher profits.
Researchers from Cloverpop found that diverse teams making business decisions outperformed individual decision makers by 87 %. Deloitte research found that inclusive companies are around 1.7 times more likely to be leaders at innovation within their industry.
There’s much more to workplace diversity than just recruiting employees from a range of different backgrounds. Building a strong internal culture takes a lot of work and commitment, but is worth the effort.
Internal communications has a pivotal role to play in creating this culture by communicating and reinforcing its importance to employees. Effective internal communications will help with promoting diversity in the workplace by focusing attention on and giving a voice to different groups within your organisation so they can have a greater sense of belonging. It also helps to inform other staff members so they can support their peers.
10 ways to promote diversity in the workplace through internal communication:
1. Consistent onboarding communications about diversity
Promoting diversity in the workplace begins when your new recruits join the organization. A consistent onboading process should be adopted across all aspects of life at your company – when its left up to individual managers or teams to onboard employees, they aren’t always going to get all the information they need to be able to do their jobs properly and to understand the vision, mission and overall goals and culture of the organization.
When you have a diverse and inclusive workplace, it’s important that new recruits understand this. Communicating your policies around this, and how you embed it within the organization should form part of the onboarding process for new hires.
2. Secure commitment to diversity from management
As with onboarding communication, ongoing consistency is key when it comes to promoting diversity in the workplace. If only half of your managers support and value it, embedding diversity in the culture of your organization will be difficult.
Managers at every level – from the CEO down – need to be on board with diversity in the workplace and promoting its ideals wherever appropriate. The internal comms department can develop key messages for managers to use when communicating with their teams in writing or face-to-face and suggest topics that can be covered at team meetings to keep diversity and inclusion front-of-mind for different teams throughout the organization.
3. Host employee events that celebrate diversity
There are many kinds of workplace events you can hold during work time – or out of hours – that celebrate diversity in the workforce. This could include holding special lunches with multicultural cuisine, acknowledging International Women’s Day, or observing different religious holidays.
These diversity and inclusion activities in the workplace can be promoted with material that explains why they are important and can form part of an ongoing campaign around a specific topic. You can send RSVP reminders to these events easily with DeskAlerts to ensure maximum attendance.
4. Profile staff members from diverse backgrounds
Appoint employee ambassadors to be the face of diversity within your organization. These people can help to mentor other employees and promote the messages around diversity you want to share. Depending on your organization you could make posters featuring these employees, or have their photos visible on your intranet.
Using the different channels available to you such as intranet or employee newsletters, you can profile members of staff from different backgrounds and talk about the contribution they make to the company.
5. Tell success stories
Your “good news” stories shouldn’t be the ones you tell with the outside world only: you should be telling them within the organization too, for your most important audience, your employees. Actively seek out positive stories about the contribution your diverse workforce is making to your company and its clients. These stories can also be told externally, as well as internally for promoting diversity in the workplace, to help reinforce your internal messaging that you value and celebrate inclusion.
6. Create digital displays
Digital signage displays are like colourful moving billboards throughout your organization… all you need are screens. Different messages and images can be incorporated in these displays and they are guaranteed to be eye-catching when placed in areas your employees are likely to see them such as meeting rooms, break areas, waiting areas and so on.
You can have displays on virtually any topic you like, including diversity. Professionally designed displays can be made to match your company’s overall branding. These can be deployed easily via DeskAlerts.
7. Invite guest speakers to speak to your employees
Hearing from people from outside the organization on the topic of diversity can be inspirational and motivate your employees to adopt some of the aspects of what they learn within your organization. Speakers could be notable people in your community who represent diversity, or may be from a not-for-profit or charity organization that deals with raising awareness about diversity issues.
Your guest speakers could address the entire organization at a staff conference, come in to talk to individual teams at their regular meetings or be available for a lunch time seminar or any other type of promoting diversity in the workplace activities you can think of.
8. Quiz your staff on diversity
A diversity and inclusion in the workplace quiz is a great way to both determine how much your employees understand about the topic and also to promote and reinforce the topic. If you discover that a lot of your employees don’t really understand the issues you can tailor your ongoing communications and awareness campaigns to suit.
Or if you find out that they do understand, you will have some great statistics to inform other campaigns – for example “99 % of our employees understand why diversity and inclusion is important and are committed to seeing it becoming a success at our company!”
If your organization uses DeskAlerts you can send quizzes straight to your employees’ desktops and get results in real time.
9. Encourage discussion about diversity on your corporate social media
Whatever internal platform you use to allow your employees to discuss topics and ideas should be utilized to have an ongoing conversation about diversity and inclusion. This might be Yammer or Facebook for business, Sharepoint, teams or perhaps your organization’s intranet has a forum.
10. On employees’ computer screens via screensavers and wallpaper
Corporate wallpapers and screensavers are a great way to passively reinforce any messages to your employees as they are displayed where they are likely to see them every day… right on their computer screens. You can change these over quite regularly and have ongoing messages around diversity and inclusion, or switch them out for other corporate communications campaigns every month. DeskAlerts users can send these easily to any computers on their corporate network.