Reaching out to diverse audiences is often a discussion heard in the marketing department of large corporations. For companies who have made a commitment to multicultural marketing, this can serve as a platform to promote team building and employee morale by leveraging your external goals to create internal programming. Here’s how:
- If your company is targeting multicultural/multiethnic consumers, hopefully you already have a good diversity program in place and have diverse representation among your senior managers. Do start here; otherwise more ‘team building’ type programs might not be viewed as sincere.
- Assuming number 1 is good, then host a Brown Bag Lunch or morning coffee series with senior managers and invite all staff to attend. But, please, while you purposely will make sure your speakers are of varied backgrounds, don’t say “and today we are speaking with African-American leader John Doe”-speakers should speak about their area of expertise, about projects or initiatives that are of interest throughout the organization. Their cultural background or race is part of their identity, not the content of the presentation.
- Start a company wide book club. Many cities have the “One Book” program, where the library promotes discussion of a single book across the city. In Chicago authors reflect the diversity you want to have in your company book club. By hosting your club after your City’s, you might be able to get free books as an added incentive (call your local library). Have your CEO or top management participate for an added morale booster.
- Does your company have a cafeteria? Schools for Philippino dance or Ballet Folklorico abound for parents who want to teach cultural traditions to their children. Many of your employees might have children involved in classes to learn ethnic dance or music. Why not invite them to perform during lunchtime, perhaps on day when kids are not in school?
- Host a “Potluck Lunch.” Invite employees to bring a dish representative of their cultural heritage. Ask each to write the name of the item, the country or culture it represents and a sentence about its significance to the culture on an index card that can be posted next to the food item. During the lunch, let each employee say something about their dish and its relationship to their heritage.
What does your company do to showcase your commitment to diversity internally? What would you like to see your company do?