“To achieve true employee engagement, all employees must feel included and valued,” James said. When employees feel valued, they are more likely to share ideas and participate in dialogue on issues both internal and external.
She went on to cite studies showing that companies with diversity across all levels of employment are more productive and competitive.
84 Lumber was looking to recruit a diverse, talented pool of new employees when it aired its now-famous commercial during the 2017 Super Bowl. The commercial was produced by Brunner and Steve Radick, the firm’s director of public relations, spoke about the strategy behind the spot.
The commercial followed a mother and daughter on their journey to the U.S. border. The televised portion of the story ends midway, directing viewers to continue the story online. The online portion shows the mother-daughter duo encountering a border wall – presumably between the U.S. and Mexico – and seeing a door to welcome them in.
“The ad showed the doors of 84 Lumber were open to anyone who wanted to work hard and make a living,” said Radick, noting 84 Lumber wanted to attract diverse job applicants skilled in construction and building.
Radick said one of the most amazing outcomes of the commercial was the reaction of current 84 Lumber employees, who, for the most part “rallied around the ad.” He heard numerous stories of 84 Lumber employees saying they were proud to wear their company logo-branded polo shirts in public, proud to represent a company willing to take a stand. Many employees started getting involved in other company-led CSR initiatives, as well, inspired by the public response of the commercial.