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7 Tips to Make DEI an Integral Part of Your Employer Brand All Year Round

3 min read.



Employer Branding

Flying rainbow flags and saying ‘Love is Love’ for one month a year - we see a lot of this kind of tokenism and inauthentic gesturing from businesses around this time, but what if there were a better way to show your people that you care about diversity and inclusion?

Rather than cobbling together some DEI content for your social media feeds now and then, you should aim to bake your values and intentions into your employer brand strategy from the outset. With the right foundation, you will set a clear direction of travel. You'll have a set of guiding principle within your strategy that will make your DEI efforts innately true to your organisation and vastly more effective.

Remember, diversity and inclusion in employer branding is about authenticity, not just saying things that feel or sound good.

Building a world-class employer brand doesn't mean that we can deliver more diversity overnight, but it does mean that you can ensure that the project is inclusive, and you are leveraging and representing the diversity that already exists while setting the intention to further build upon it.

So, here’s how to go about it.

1. Set your intentions

Make an intentional plan of how you plan to remain inclusive throughout the project. Everyone should be on the same page with your intentions so that it is baked in from the very beginning.

2. Diversify your research

Design the research mix so that representation is endemic to all of your listening and research. As a rule, your research should have a diversity of tenure, geography, seniority, gender, sexuality, age and ethnicity. That way, when you conduct the work, people will see that you are being as equitable, considerate and as inclusive as possible which will not only build confidence but also add to the authenticity of the work.

3. Create a safe space

When conducting your research, offer complete confidentiality to the participants and make sure they understand there will be no repercussions for their candidness.

As well as that, design dialogue with clean, unbiased language so people feel safe to freely express themselves. Make space for quieter people to have a say. Don’t let extroverts dominate the conversation.

Facilitating conversation in this way can make a huge difference to how people respond (and how much closer to the truth of the organisation you get.)

4. Leverage ERG groups

If there are ERG groups within the business, there are ambassadors and advocates and there might be events and communities within the organization that it would be helpful to engage with.

Usually, you will find some intentional and deliberate thinking has already been done in the organization and there’s no sense in starting from scratch when there is a bed of existing research that you can leverage.

Collaborate with these groups to align your DEI efforts with their objectives. Involve them in the employer branding process and seek their input on how to authentically represent their communities. By collaborating with ERGs, you'll tap into their expertise, build trust, and create a more inclusive employer brand.

5. Dig deeper

Don’t rely solely on those in senior positions to tell you about the inclusivity of the organisation. Often more senior members will have a rosier view of inclusivity, so it’s imperative you hear from all levels. And don’t be afraid to feedback and reveal your findings to leadership, not just at key presentations but throughout your project. It can be an eye-opening experience and serve as a reminder of how important inclusion is.

6. Communicate your values proudly

Prospective and current employees want to see what you stand for and what action you are taking, so don’t be afraid to show them.

Posting on social media about your inclusion during Pride month, for example, can feel uncomfortable. It may receive some backlash. But if you are using messaging that is honest and true to the culture of your organisation, and if you are committed to sharing your values all year round, then you can never go wrong and should stand by your messaging.

7. Be honest

Above all, be honest. If you feel that the organisation is not currently doing enough to support diversity and inclusion, be clear about those shortfalls. Let your audience know what you’re doing to improve the situation and then make those changes internally.

Recognising your shortcomings while setting intentions to change can feel vulnerable, but it is this kind of vulnerability which has the potential to attract and endear people to your organisation.


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