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Report and Communicate about DEI

Learn how to tell the DEI story to engage workforce and drive change in your organization.

Brief Summary

Tell the DEI story of the organization to drive change, improve transparency internally and externally, and bring the entire workforce on the journey. Sharing DEI data and reporting on the progress of DEI initiatives is essential to create a well informed and engaged workforce. You create the added benefit of establishing credibility and respect through your transparency. However, you may need to report with different levels of transparency at different levels of the organization.

To communicate DEI data and strategy successfully, follow these tips:

  • Connect with the business: tie inclusion to an existing organization value, show how DEI impacts your company mission, product, culture, link DEI to a strategic initiative or change management program;
  • Share data that reflects strengths and challenges. Share action plans, ¬†progress toward goals, milestones reached, and other activities related to the action plan. Don't expect employees to ¬†simply observe the changes that are being made;
  • Continue to celebrate successes and acknowledge when efforts fall short;
  • Drive accountability. When employees are reminded of promises that were made and goals that were set, you reinforce trust and transparency. When those responsible for results expect the messages to go out, it incentivizes action.

The more you communicate about what is happening, why, and the impact, the more momentum you create. This will firmly solidify DEI as a strategic priority.

Challenge

Leaders may worry that reporting on the state of DEI may yield evidence of discrimination and exclusion that can fuel backlash or even lawsuits against them. However, customers and investors increasingly want socially responsible, inclusive, and sustainable organizations that positively impact people and the world. They want the proof and are demanding transparency into organizations’ DEI efforts, therefore reporting DEI data and strategy have become a business imperative.

Bonus: Many courts look favorably on data that is collected proactively to promote inclusion.

Recommendation

While it is hard to acknowledge organizational weaknesses, employees experience them and already know they exist. Treat DEI as an inherent element of business reporting, not a nice add-on to building company’s public image. Success is achieved when there’s engagement with DEI at every level of the organization. Communicate with your leadership team first. Present the action plan and be sure the entire senior leadership team is on board. Their employees will ask them what they think about the plan and it is important that they have had time to question and buy into the strategy.

Assess your organization with these questions:

  • What have we learned about the challenges that exist?
  • What actions are we taking and what do we expect to happen as a result?
  • What is expected of each employee? How can everyone become involved? Who is accountable?
  • Are there positive examples we can highlight to show ‚Äúwhat good looks like‚ÄĚ and encourage change?
dei progress

Proposed Actions

Foundational Actions

Embedding Actions

Leading Edge

Valued Guidance

To Read

To Watch / Listen

To Learn / Study

Implementation Plan

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