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8 Tips for Recognizing Black History Month in the Workforce

Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP

February 25 2015

Corporate events range from simple to complex, but all events can contribute to developing your workforce culture and cultivating a “Best Place to Work.” Often, the perceived difficulty of planning, implementing, and managing events can seem overwhelming. In the hands of an Administrative Assistant, though, you won’t struggle with wondering how to fit this into your schedule and pull it off.

Tips for Recognizing Black History Month

1. Create an employee-led committee. When starting out, you may want to hand-pick committee members who will be able to successfully complete the project with an outcome that exceeds expectations. Once you have your core committee, you can ask for volunteers.

2. Assign a point person. Assign the monthly activities to an administrative assistant or BHM event committee to ensure follow-through. These leaders can also be charged with carrying the resources from one year forward to the next.

3. Create a logo to be used annually. This can be for invitations, emails, t-shirts, and promotional items. We used to change the logo annually until I realized it is a brand that should be consistent year after year.

4. Establish your budget. How much will the company spend on prizes, meals, and activities? Even without a budget, there are a number of free activities you can do, such as a potluck “Southern Food Luncheon” where employees share favorite dishes with co-workers.

5. Communicate to employees. Once you come up with the first year of emails and notices, they are easy to copy in future years. To preserve the work product, we create a binder and intranet page with all the resources used that year.

6. Share your story. Media coverage should be considered in your plans, from your social media schedule to contacting local publications and requesting they cover your event. Newspapers and television media are often looking for activities to cover for Black History Month. Once you develop a media plan, save it for next year to make future events less work.

7. Engage your clients. Share the diversity of your culture and let clients experience your employees’ engagement. Invite clients to your events or send promotional items that represent your Black History Month celebration. For one luncheon, we printed “Soul Food” recipe books and sent them to our clients. The year of the gala, we sent imprinted champagne glasses.

8.  Promote inclusion. Organizations should strive to include all departments and employees, regardless of race. “Encourage integrated celebrations across departments in the organizations,” says Simone E. Morris, Diversity Director of the Southern Connecticut Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Don’t miss out on this valuable experience for your workforce. Black History Month is an opportunity to build a diverse workforce while engaging employees, clients, and community. What are your thoughts? Join us on social to share how your company honors Black History Month.

About Tammy Cohen

Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart 30 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record. To learn more about Tammy, visit www.tammycohen.com.

About InfoMart

InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for 30 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the Professional Background Screening Association, and they have achieved PBSA accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 45 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit www.InfoMart-USA.com, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.

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