14 Jan 2022

What To Do When Your DEI Plan Isn’t Enough

Complaints Your DEI Isn’t Enough? You Need a Crisis Communication Plan

Many organizations took the time over the past year-plus to create an intentional and strategic dual approach to DEI. Both to push up the ceiling in executive spaces to ensure maximum positive experience for people of color as well as to raise the floor to ensure that the minimum possible experience for all workers is better.

The BIG but… too many organizations rushed to “just do something – anything” and kept throwing reading lists, TED talks, podcasts, webinars, and half-day trainings at people in order to check a transactional box on doing DEI work. Sound familiar? Here’s the backlash:
• PR departments are really stressed because approaches that worked just a few years ago are no longer working
• Countless complaints from stakeholders about organizations stuck on a corporate playbook of performative diversity that is failing
• Social media is abuzz with employees and customers posting negative comments and creating a cancel culture that has real power

All leaders should prepare for these communication crises with a customized DEI communication plan that acknowledges you see, hear, and will address the challenges of internal and external stakeholders. We have a template for creating your plan. E-mail me for a copy:

Leaders can also develop plans for how to improve your dedication to all employees. Approaches should ensure that accountability and actions support all groups, regardless of color, gender, and sexual orientation. Try tracking the impact of those initiatives separately. Learning and development opportunities on biases, aggressions, and other matters that have been categorized as “DEI matters” can be labeled as leadership training and development. The years of doing a once-a-year bias training for everyone falls far short of current employee expectations.

If you’d like one more resource for your toolkit, our proprietary communication formula can guide your strategy discussions about DEI as well as provide a “just in time” tool to improve crucial conversations in the moment. Feel free to reach out directly for more insight about a customized approach at your organization and within your leadership ranks: Read and view complimentary articles and video content at

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