5 Ways to Get Employees Engaged in Supplier Diversity Efforts

5 Ways to Get Employees Engaged in Supplier Diversity Efforts

Implementing a supplier diversity program can be a great way to improve procurement. Doing so can help expand your access to innovative products and services, while also gaining benefits like improved employee experience and the ability to recruit top talent. “Most job seekers (70%) value a commitment to diversity in potential employers,” notes business news website The Manifest.  

To get the most out of supplier diversity efforts, however, companies need to make sure employees are engaged on this issue. Outside of your procurement team, not every employee may be on the same page about what your company is doing in this regard.

So, getting employees up to speed on your supplier diversity program can help employees feel like they’re a part of a company committed to diversity. And if employees are engaged on this issue, they can help strengthen your overall supplier diversity initiatives. For example, employees might know of diverse suppliers that they’d like to nominate for inclusion.

To get employees engaged in supplier diversity efforts, consider the following five tactics:

  • Explain Your Supplier Diversity Goals:Don’t assume all employees are up to speed on your supplier diversity program. From informal conversations to company-wide emails, try to convey what you’re trying to achieve with supplier diversity efforts.

    For example, if you’re trying to reach a goal of growing your supplier diversity spend by a certain percentage in 2021, communicate that to employees so they can stay on the lookout for opportunities.

    Your supplier diversity goals may also extend beyond just growing your supplier diversity spend. Unilever North America, for instance, lists supplier diversity objectives on its website, such as “Educating and providing technical assistance to diverse suppliers in our network to ensure their success.” Employees may be excited to learn about goals like this and may even offer to share their experience with suppliers.
  • Solicit Employee Feedback on Supplier Diversity Initiatives:As part of explaining your supplier diversity goals to all employees, try to make it a two-way conversation. Let employees share their feedback on the company’s supplier diversity initiatives so that they can buy in more.

    To solicit this feedback, procurement teams and other business leaders can send out brief surveys to employees, asking them what they value in a supplier diversity program and what they think of the company’s current efforts. Ongoing conversations with employees can also help reveal how employees feel, as their feedback may change over time.
  • Promote Supplier Diversity Efforts Internally: Connected to explaining your supplier diversity goals and soliciting their feedback is promoting your supplier diversity efforts internally. If you have an intranet, a company newsletter, or other internal channels, you can share what your procurement team is working on and celebrate wins.

    For example, if you’ve just onboarded a new diverse supplier, or if you’ve received press for your supplier diversity program, share the news. Or if a diverse supplier of yours has an announcement, like winning an award or expanding to a new location, let employees know.
  • Share Supplier Diversity Efforts on Social Media:In addition to promoting supplier diversity efforts internally, sharing your work on social media can be a great way to get employees engaged. While employees might not be motivated to share overly corporate posts on their own social channels, they might feel proud to re-share and comment on your company’s posts about supplier diversity.
  • Make It Easy to Purchase From Diverse Suppliers:To really get employee buy-in on supplier diversity efforts, it helps if employees can make some of these purchases themselves. Since non-procurement employees often make purchases on their own anyway, such as for office supplies, you can encourage them to buy from diverse suppliers for tail spend.

    Instead of requiring employees to find these suppliers on their own, point them in the right direction. For example, using an e-procurement platform like GoProcure that has an extensive catalog of diverse suppliers makes it easy for employees to purchase from minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned and other diverse businesses directly through the platform.

Implementing these tactics can help get more employees engaged in supplier diversity initiatives and improve the overall success of your program. As a diverse supplier ourselves, GoProcure can help provide you with the resources needed to strengthen your supplier diversity efforts.

Have questions about how you can engage employees and get more out of your supplier diversity initiatives? Request a free consultation with our experts today.