National Inclusion Week – pitfalls to avoid

Published: 18 August 2023

#CuriousMoments with Advita

It’s National Inclusion Week in the UK from 25 September – 1 October. I know there will be a flurry of activities taking place, and the communications team will be working hard to come up with various ideas/themes/activities.

But here are three pitfalls you should avoid if you don’t want to be seen as tokenistic or performative (basically doing things for show and not contributing to any change).

1) Bombarding people with information without explaining the purpose or call to action.

This is the biggest criticism I’ve heard when I do audits and focus groups. If you’re sending information out frequently, but you’re not explaining the why or what you want people to do with it – they will switch off. In one organisation I supported, during a focus group, I uncovered that colleagues had rules on their emails on the words diversity, equity and inclusion, so they went in a different folder! It wasn’t that they didn’t care – they were overwhelmed and felt disconnected to the work.

2) Behaviours not aligning with the messaging.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve reviewed messages and then looked over HR policies or had conversations with colleagues only to see massive contradictions. You can’t say we offer flexible working but then have managers restrict how people choose to work or tell colleagues everyone’s voice matters but not have any form of two-way interaction. Make sure there’s a safe space for your leaders to ask questions, separately from the broader colleague population.

3) Creating a campaign without checking what the data is telling you.

I will always advocate for using data to help identify the gaps and barriers before campaigns are created. Look at your engagement scores by demographics, review your exit interview data, where are most of the comments coming from in your internal social media sites, and most importantly, which groups are staying quiet – is there a pattern of behaviour?

Get into the detail as this information will help you create a more meaningful campaign which will help make a difference.

These three things apply to most inclusion-based activities. Be mindful of what you’re trying to achieve, and don’t fall into the trap of doing something for the sake of doing it. That can be more harmful than not doing anything at all.

If you want to have a chat through your ideas or discuss how CommsRebel might be able to help you avoid some of these pitfalls, get in touch. You can also join the free CommsRebel platform, powered by Engage Solutions Group if you want to connect with other brilliant comms and HR folks.


Originally posted on LinkedIn, Follow me for more curious moments.

Share on your socials: