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D&I Portal - supporting a Diversity & Inclusion Communication Strategy

5 May 2021
  

Diversity and Inclusion is being treated by some organisations as a key business strategy. Experts are unanimous in that Diversity and Inclusion is not a “project”. 

Diversity and Inclusion should become a strategic objective to ensure that ongoing efforts are put in place so that everyone’s involved and all employees are part of the continuous learning and change process.

Diversity and Inclusion communication typically falls under the remit of Internal Comms which has also risen to the prominence of a standalone department in the last few years. In prior years, internal communications used to be seen as an extension of the marketing and/or HR departments, whereas today it is a specialised field of expertise.

The Internal Communication team therefore has an eminent role to play alongside HR and other areas of the business when it comes to Diversity and Inclusion.

Some of our clients perceive Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) as a major change initiative and are at the forefront of creating modern and forward-thinking workplaces using Atlas. They need a platform that centralises communication, engagement and support the change process.

We thought we would share some insight into what our clients are doing as well as to provide some insight on how to create a successful diversity and inclusion (D&I) portal. The strategy for success is based on 3 simple yet powerful strands:

Inform Perform Grow

1a. Inform by Centralising

You may need to communicate D&I messages multiple times and use multiple communication channels. This is far more effective and powerful when it is co-ordinated and centralised. One our clients instantly saw the value of using Atlas as central place to collect and share their D&I initiatives. It was a vast improvement in comparison to their previous intranet. They created a dedicated section for D&I to showcase all their initiatives as well as their D&I calendar of events. A centralised portal provides employees with one place to go to, and can include their champions network even if they are spread across multiple offices.

1b. Inform: to Improve Actions

Internal communication should focus on company actions rather than just raising the issue.
A D&I portal can be a vital tool in boosting engagement because it can provide a more personal, employee-focused experience. Your portal can be used to deliver updates, to celebrate initiatives as well as provide employees with a space to participate. Doing so will ensure your employees feel valued and are part of the solution. (Find out more about how Atlas works as a D&I portal.)

2a. Perform by: Encouraging Multi Way Communication

Empathy and transparency are the cornerstone of employee experience built around equality, respect, and a sense of belonging. HR and Internal comms teams play a central role in creating this kind of experience.

Your D&I portal can serve as an excellent medium for gathering valuable feedback. Ensure your employees know that their voice is being heard and their opinion is valued. By providing a safe, open space for multi-way communications is one of the key steps in ensuring that your employees actively engage and value your D&I strategy.

2b. Perform by: Promoting the Right Culture

The culture of your company can have a huge impact on how your organisation is viewed by your employees and customers. Companies that are focused on internal communication have been able to build closer relationships with their employees and customers. It establishes a unique company culture that is much more immersive.

You can use your D&I portal to showcase the great work that you and your employees are doing. From initiatives, news stories, to training sessions, or even showcasing great customer feedback.

2c. Perform by: Improving Connectivity and a Sense of Belonging for Everyone

The D&I portal can provide your business with an effective way for your employees, departments and offices to communicate and collaborate within a secure digital workspace.

More widely, for each individual to bring their best self forward, a sense of belonging must first be established. Having a connection to an organisation or group of people that makes you feel you can be yourself can result in a greater depth of engagement and creativity in the workplace.

There are a number of initiatives your organisation can implement for creating connections between employees. Your digital workspace can be a key area to create an environment where employees, irrespective of their job, function, role or geographical location, can form relationships with each other. They can share knowledge and collaborate on projects without any bureaucracy. When your employees feel more connected to each other, they feel more connected with their jobs and the organisation. This level of engagement can encourage your employees live and breathe the company’s ethos.

3a. Grow Inclusion by making sure it is on-going

It isn’t enough to teach employees what it means to be inclusive. Like any form of behaviour, inclusion requires individuals to identify key moments in which they should build new habits.

Your D&I portal can provide training materials and information, as well as help identify champions that want to help make a change within their departments or working groups. This is much more effective than one-off training sessions or ad hoc, sporadic communication.

3b. Grow by making sure Nobody Gets Left Behind

As the old saying goes, ‘diversity is getting an invite to the party, inclusivity is being asked to dance’. The party is generally happening on Microsoft Teams but that doesn’t mean we can’t make sure everyone has the chance to dance.

In summary, your D&I portal should provide your business with a single point of access for all the employees within your organisation. It should play a vital role in improving your D&I strategy and initiatives. Whether it is through internal storytelling, sharing company news or updates, distributing company policies and procedures or sharing knowledge and celebrating each other’s successes, always remember to keep your employees at the heart of your internal communication.

 


At ClearPeople, we believe in inclusivity for every employee, and this is a standard we adhered to when we built Atlas. Not only do we make it easier for employees to participate, engage and know more, but we also built Atlas with accessibility and inclusivity in mind. This means Atlas is well-positioned to support equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives. 

Atlas is a people-first digital workspace where knowledge, communication and collaboration are beautifully brought together in one place. We, and our clients, have seen results in improved productivity, employee engagement and innovation.

 

Atlas for EDI

 

Author bio

Katya Linossi

Katya Linossi

My job is to shape the vision, strategy, culture and performance of ClearPeople. Other than being passionate about making workplaces more inclusive, I enjoy planning our next travel adventure or trying out a new recipe.

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