Diversity, Inclusion, and Community: Create a Winning Culture Faster — Together!

Deb Bauer September 11, 2018 CSR Trends, Culture

Diversity and Inclusion strategies have many elements, but at their core, are about creating a workplace where everyone feels encouraged to bring their whole selves to work, where uniqueness is recognized and valued, and where advancements are based on an individual’s accomplishments. Diversity and Inclusion creates a fully engaged group of employees and a company-wide culture people want to be a part of. Just like CSR practitioners, those responsible for Diversity and Inclusion want to get their message out to the broader community to build the company’s reputation and value.


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So, if those responsible for CSR and D&I want their messages heard, how can they join forces to bring broader awareness to the company’s social impact goals and drive company efforts to support their employees?


First, meet with colleagues that lead your company’s corporate Diversity and Inclusion efforts.  Get acquainted with their goals and KPIs, find out where they’re having success, and ask how they are looking for some fresh ideas. Share your work and highlight the overlap in your efforts to build momentum around employee engagement. Then show them your online CSR community and suggest a few specific ways in which you may strategically partner to support D&I.  Here are some examples to consider:


Give Groups A Place To Engage and Support Each Other

One key aspect of Diversity and Inclusion is Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), Affinity Groups, and/or Business Resource Groups.  Sometimes these groups are very formal and curated, while others are less structured. Regardless, these groups bring employees together with similar interests and backgrounds to build friendships, network, learn, add perspective to business initiatives, and support work in the community.


Features like YourCause’s Groups functionality within an online CSR community offer a unique place where employees can join, message, and see community organizations that members of a group align. Online groups offer your employees a way to easily find and sign up for events and even share group documents and photos unique to them.  An employee who is excited to join a women’s group, for example, may join online groups for networking or leadership development, without thinking about volunteering at that moment. If she joins a group via your online CSR community, she will not only be a part of the women’s group but also begin learning about things the company is doing that align with her volunteer interests. Diversity and Inclusion benefits from an easy way to know who is in each group, can communicate with them, and get on-demand reporting and dashboards of their activity, while the Community and Giving Team benefits from the engagement of a brand-new participant.


Identify & Track Diversity and Inclusion Community Events.

The ability to tag or label a volunteer event as part of Diversity and Inclusion efforts generally — or specifically for each ERG — does two important things.  First, it serves as an easy way for employees to search for a volunteer event with a group they align with, even if they are not yet a member. This way they can easily check out the group and see if they want to get more involved.  Second, it allows for each ERG to accumulate diversity and inclusion data and report on their events and activities throughout the year. Many companies have Diversity and Inclusion Senior Leadership councils who want to see the data on what the group is doing to engage employees, how they are increasing their membership, and what they are bringing to the broader community.


Giving Diversity and Inclusion A Place to Showcase Their Programs

Hopefully, employees are already engaged within your online CSR community. If so, why not pull out the Diversity and Inclusion stories and feature those D&I wins. YourCause clients use tools to showcase different events or campaigns within their CSR programs. Implement those same engagement elements to feature different D&I initiatives – Pride Week, International Women’s Day, Veterans Day, or Black History Month.


Some other easy ways to give Diversity and Inclusion some attention:

  • Consider adding Diversity and Inclusion engagement stats to the dashboard displayed on your CSR community homepage.  
  • Invite Diversity and Inclusion business leaders and ERGs to share stories through an engagement element and upload pictures, too — then highlight their stories on the home page, in a newsletter, or save the best to share as part of your CSR reporting.
  • If your tool has a survey feature, let Diversity and Inclusion use it to gather information and ideas.


Ask for Diversity and Inclusion’s Support During Your Campaigns

Right now is the perfect time to get Diversity and Inclusion and ERGs to fully engage, as well. What groups do they support in the community that can assist in a focused way during your designated giving period?  A little competition and recognition can go a long way – Maybe offer ERGs a small corporate donation to the charity of their choice for whoever gets the largest percentage of their employees engaged? There are lots of possibilities.


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Don’t Miss Out on Including Fundraising & Item Drives

Are ERGs or others hosting fundraisers or item drives (bake sales, auctions, canned food drives, etc.) to raise money or support, however you’re having trouble knowing about them or including them in your reporting?  Maybe your online community has a way of counting these items or offering peer-to-peer fundraising, but you’re not getting the participation you expected. You may already be asking your CSR champions or ambassadors for such information, but why not widen your reach to include ERG and D&I leaders to use your community to communicate and record these activities?  Not only does it give the company better data about all that is going on, but it also gives Diversity and Inclusion, ERGs, and other businesses data they can use to support their programs.


Joining forces with colleagues in Diversity and Inclusion is a great and easy way to expand your reach, increase engagement, and do more good!