Undoubtedly, you received numerous communications from businesses by now about their responses or stances on the George Floyd issue, protests, and recent discussions about systemic racism. Should your business send one out to customers or vendors? What about employees? What should it say?

It is a business-specific decision about whether to send out a communication clarifying the company’s practices on discrimination and stance on systemic racism. If a business chooses to send one, the content should be customized to fit the business’s size, employee and customer demographics, policies, and culture. Keep in mind that many employees interpret silence to be a message of complicity.

Examples of content:

  • A statement of empathy
  • A message of inclusion
  • A statement condemning racism
  • Reiterating the company’s non-discrimination and non-harassment policies, specifically as to race, but confirming the commitment as to all protected classes
  • Reiterating the company’s diversity initiatives or equal employment opportunity efforts
  • Provide examples of affinity or employee resource groups (ERGs), if any, that are specific to minority employees
  • Examples of outreach or social action steps taken by the business, such as partnerships and/or donations to non-profits

Take care of your own house first. If a business chooses to send out a statement, the internal statement to employees should come before the external one to customers and/or vendors.