Government Communications Service
Bring your whole and brilliant self to work at Companies House
Blog posted by: Esme Turner, Senior Campaigns Lead, Companies House, 6 May 2021.
At Companies House, our ambition is to build an inclusive, positive culture where everyone can bring their whole selves to work. A culture that allows our brilliant people to flourish and drives high performance.
This vision was the key driver behind our recent diversity and inclusion campaign ‘My whole and brilliant self’. We ran this campaign at the end of 2020 to conclude the Civil Service ‘Year of Inclusion’.
Starting with a clear business objective, to increase job applications from underrepresented groups, our campaign aimed to build our employer brand and reinforce our overarching commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
We wanted to connect with and inform our target audience (potential employees, customers and the general public) that diversity and inclusion is not just a ‘tick-box’ exercise, but a golden thread that runs through all Companies House activity. We aspire to reflect the diversity of our customers to help us better understand them and their needs – and see diversity as a vital component in widening organisational talent, capability, and innovation. ILIt’s these goals and aspirations that informed the strategy behind our campaign.
Research and planning
As we know, understanding your audience is critical to effective communications. To achieve this, we reviewed both internal and external insight, creating a reflective picture of the target audience to help inform our content and channels.
In a 2017 survey by PwC, 61% of women and 43% of men surveyed said they researched if a company had diversity and inclusion policies in place when deciding to accept a position with their most recent employer. A further 69% of women and 39% of men said they assessed the diversity of the company’s leadership team when deciding to accept an offer. A 2013 report by Deloitte found that when employees ‘think their organisation is committed to and supportive of diversity’, their ability to innovate increases by 83%.
In the Civil Service People Survey, there are multiple questions which ask how people feel they are treated at work. Responses are used to make up an inclusion and fair treatment index or ‘theme score’ and in the 2019 survey, this theme score was 81%. This showed that current employees feel that Companies House is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace and would be good ambassadors for our campaign messages.
Strategy, creativity, and innovation
Our strategic approach was to develop a strong campaign brand, mirroring the wider Civil Service inclusion brand, and to use a mix of creative content across multiple channels and targeted partnerships, to connect and amplify messages to a diverse target audience.
Working collaboratively with our employee networks (LGBTQ+, DisAbility and Faith, Allyship, Cultural, Ethnicity (FACE)), we created a series of engaging and thoughtful blogs, videos and podcasts to tell powerful stories about our diverse and brilliant people. We also created a suite of vibrant and thought-provoking social media posts. These posts featured self-taken photographs of colleagues sharing their unique characteristics – a brave and inspiring thing to do, which really helped to bring the campaign to life. We also developed a toolkit to engage with key stakeholders such as Stonewall – the leading charity for lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality. This helped to get support from key influencers and extend our reach with the target audience.
We also relied heavily on our ability to gain the trust of internal colleagues. Using this effective approach, we were able to show the human-face behind our organisation. This allowed us to position Companies House as having all the qualities of an ideal employer, with an emphasis on our inclusive and welcoming culture, employee networks and overall commitment to diversity.
Evaluation and impact
In the 2 months following the campaign, the number of job applications from underrepresented groups reached 35.57% in November 2020 and 52.22% in December 2020 – nearly doubling our corporate target of 27.61%. This was an excellent result and is supported further by qualitative feedback from new employees, who shared comments such as, “This campaign was certainly instrumental in me wanting to work for Companies House”.
Other evaluation outtakes include:
- 151,109 social media impressions
- 1,152 blog page views
- 234,151 views of newsletters featuring campaign content
- 15 engaged partners
The positive advocacy shown by colleagues and senior leaders across the organisation was also central to the success of this campaign. And this is something we’ll continue to develop as we encourage new people to bring their whole and brilliant selves to work at Companies House in 2021.
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