While 2020 has seen us all making efforts to keep our distance, we’re also observing a sharp uptick in our efforts to stay connected.
At LinkedIn we’ve recorded a 48 percent increase in companies posting in June 2020, compared to a year earlier. It’s not just that they’re posting more - there has also been a significant shift in the types of conversations they’re starting too.
A greater focus on diversity, inclusion and belonging (DIBs) is helping companies, employees and candidates engage in more meaningful and authentic conversations. We took a look at what topics are driving engagement across Asia-Pacific, and how these conversations are delivering real world changes.
People want and expect companies to be vocal about their values. The shared experience of the pandemic has seen people seek out companies who are willing to offer an authentic reflection of times we are living.
LinkedIn data shows posts on diversity will get on average 125 percent more engagement than the average company post in APAC.
Popular themes include women, team, equality, pride, culture, human rights and unconscious bias. International Women’s Day resonates particularly well with Asia-Pacific members, with above-average response from members each year.
Australian members are particularly responsive to content about diversity- engagement is 208 percent above average for posts that speak about a company’s values in relation to diversity.
Unsurprisingly, #covid19 has been the top trending hashtag for most of the year, but we can also see other topics gaining traction. Between May and June, the second-fastest growing hashtag used by companies was #pridemonth, up 107X, followed by #worldenvironmentday, which grew 82X.
As the Black Lives Matter movement gained momentum globally, organisations spoke out about social and racial injustices too. #blacklivesmatter was the fifth fastest-growing hashtag, up 38X.
People are key to helping drive conversations about diversity
A member’s post is likely to gain 3X more traction than a company’s post. So if members are proud of the values their employer is expressing, they’re very effective at spreading that message.
But it’s not just companies starting the conversation. Among key markets in Asia-Pacific, we’ve seen a 77% increase in members posts on diversity, inclusion and belonging in June 2020, compared to a year earlier.
In Asia-Pacific, we’ve recorded year-on-year growth of senior leaders taking the lead and initiating conversations about diversity. While the regional trend lags the global growth in senior leaders posting about diversity, there are some countries who are truly leading the pack. China has seen senior leaders’ diversity posts increase 122%, while posts from senior leaders in the Philippines are up 76%.
Empowering senior leadership to talk openly about diversity, and company values like inclusivity is an excellent way to make sure company messages are seen by more people.
What engages people online translates to real-world results
It’s important to remember diversity is more than a hashtag - messages of inclusivity must be accompanied by meaningful action too.
We know bringing together people with different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives help drive innovation and problem-solving. Cultivating a culture of belonging, where people can express their ideas, is vital to unlocking the productive benefits of a diverse team.
This is in part why companies who engage in conversations about diversity actually end up attracting a more diverse talent pool. People are attracted to organisations where it’s clear they will belong and be valued. In Asia-Pacific, we’ve seen a 25 percent lift in the number of women applying for companies who have been talking about diversity. This trend is observed globally too.
Diversity is clearly front and centre in many people's minds. For HR and talent professionals, it's important that conversations about diversity, inclusion and belonging aren't just happening behind closed doors. Potential candidates want to know about the workplace before they apply, and demonstrating your organisation's commitment to diversity is key to securing a more diverse talent pool.
Below are a few tips for how you can help foster diversity conversations in your workplace:
- Use your organisations’ authentic voice to reach diverse groups on LinkedIn. Organisations shouldn't feel they need to be experts or have all the answers before they speak up. Sharing your own experience, including offering testimonials and thought leadership on why diversity is important to your team is a way to offer your organisation's distinct perspective.
- We are all learning how to better understand each other's perspectives and experiences. There are tools and methods which can help us ingrain diversity efforts into our hiring DNA. In order to do our small part to support you and your organisation create a more equitable world, we've made this learning path on Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging for All available for free through the rest of 2020.
- What we talk about externally needs to be matched internally - otherwise, there is a risk your messages don't align with your actions. Get the pulse of how your organisation feels about inclusion in the company by using Glint to gain insights into the culture. You can also compare yourself to competitors to see where you're excelling and where you might need some improvement.
This article was first published on LinkedIn.