The Importance of DEI & Your Employer Brand
A growing number of organizations have DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) strategies and initiatives at the leadership level. However, if these strategies are hidden under quotas or siloed as a separate company initiative outside of other Marketing and HR efforts, they could be short-lived or unimpactful. Your DEI strategy should help your candidates and employees feel seen, heard, and appreciated – allowing them to be their most authentic selves in your workplace.
In order to achieve this, DEI has to be ingrained in all aspects of your culture and employer brand. As a whole, employees should have a clear understanding of how the company is addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion, and feel able to address any issues or concerns without fearing retaliation.
Having the DEI strategy thoughtfully and purposefully embedded as part of the employer brand helps to spread awareness and understanding across all departments of the organization. By being intentional about DEI in the workplace, companies see on average a 20% increase in innovation and creativity.
With the social justice movement and changes happening around the world, workplaces can no longer turn a blind eye to the issues that their employees face and how it translates to their lived experiences at work – their work ethic, mood, and overall mental health. According to Mental Health America, out of 315,220 people who have taken anxiety and depression screenings since September 2020, “8 in 10…consistently dealt with depression since the beginning of the pandemic.”
Here are five things to consider when developing a DEI strategy with your employer brand.
1. Understand the culture of your company and employees: Before you start, really hear the needs of your employees. Set up listening sessions. Talk to employees and stakeholders at all levels of the organization. Ensure you have true buy-in from key leaders. By understanding the experience of your employees and the challenges they face, you can better refine your employer brand and the messaging, training, processes, experiences, and more that define it.
2. Be honest in your messaging: In the past year, more and more organizations have realized the importance of DEI, with an increase of 55% in DEI job openings. The expectation from many candidates isn’t for employers to be perfect – rather, it’s about being real, empathetic, and solution-oriented. According to Glassdoor, “67% of job seekers consider workplace diversity an important factor when considering employment opportunities, and more than 50% of current employees want their workplace to do more to increase diversity.” Organizations can make any claims or statements that they want about their commitment to DEI. But it’s the preparation, work, grace, and authenticity that make a difference.
3. Expand your reach: Make a true impact with your employer brand. It doesn’t have to be (and shouldn’t be!) simply a deck, fine print on a job posting, or a landing page on your website. Think of creative ways to show your employer brand out in the community – whether through meaningful outreach, unique events, or strategic marketing efforts.
4. Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable: Creating an impactful DEI strategy and employer brand can sometimes involve having tough conversations. If you’re struggling to have these conversations, start by having a purpose: write down three things you want to accomplish. Be confident, direct, and open to the other person’s perspective. Use “I” statements. The goal is to have tough conversations, rather than avoid them.
5. Be willing to adapt and evolve: Developing your DEI strategy and employer brand doesn’t happen overnight – and the work is never truly done! To bring DEI into the workplace is to be an active participant in creating a culture that fits the needs of everyone. Revisit it often, and have clear metrics for success that you can track – employee surveys, for example.
As work cultures continue to evolve in light of current events, planning your DEI strategy alongside your employer brand can set the tone for an authentic and positive atmosphere among employees. Our Revival Community is a great platform for forward thinkers who are constantly seeking new ways to engage their people. If you are a leader working in culture, talent brand or DEI, this space is for you!