Early this year, I completed a certificate program in behaviour change communication offered by Monash University through EdX. The high quality program originally designed to support the SDGs provide useful insights on human behaviour and what it takes to change it.
One of my major takeaways was learning about the EAST framework of behaviour change. Developed by the Behavioural Insights team, the EAST framework is easy to remember and follow to impact behaviour change (with a focus on the word ‘easy’ modeling the use of the framework itself).
I know diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs as change programs. It requires a change in behaviour which starts with a change in mindset. And change programs, as I learned, hinge significantly on effective communication strategies. So I thought: how can I apply the EAST framework on the DEI project I’m working on?
Below are some ideas on how the EAST framework can enrich DEI communication strategies:
The EAST framework & DEI
- DEI concepts can be complex. Simplify them by using clear, jargon-free language.
- Create easy-to-understand resources like infographics or short videos to explain DEI principles.
- Develop one DEI hub (e.g. SharePoint page) that is easy to access for everyone. This serves as the one source of truth for all things DEI.
- Make DEI communications visually appealing and engaging to various personalities.
- Utilize compelling narratives and stories to illustrate the importance of diversity and inclusion.
- Share success stories of diverse teams within the organization to highlight the benefits of DEI.
- Invite leaders to show commitment to DEI.
- Use testimonials and endorsements from diverse groups within the organization.
- Highlight peer experiences can encourage others to embrace DEI values.
- Create a mentorship program that pairs employees from different backgrounds.
- Time DEI messages with relevant international or cultural events, or international diversity days, to maximize impact.
- Host special events or discussions during significant cultural observances.
- Be aware of what’s on the news and leverage current events with DEI content.
Implementing EAST in DEI Programs
Effective communication is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Tailor the EAST principles to fit the unique culture and needs of your organization. Regularly gather feedback to understand the effectiveness of your communication strategies and make necessary adjustments.
In other words
Employing the EAST framework in DEI communication strategies can significantly enhance their effectiveness. By making messages easy to understand, attractive to engage with, socially influential, and timely, organizations can foster a more inclusive and equitable culture. Remember, the goal is not just to inform but to inspire action and change.
- Monash University, 2023. Changing Behaviour for Sustainable Development
- Behavioural Insights, 2014. Four Simple Ways to apply EAST Framework to Behavioural Insights