Hello friends and colleagues,
I wanted to take a moment to connect and wish you continued health and safety during this time. I value you, our relationship and am a phone call away if there is anything I can do to help you.
As business leaders, we have many difficult decisions to make as we do our best to manage our organizations and help our employees through the stressful days ahead. With everything going on, it’s been difficult to say the least.
Personally, I couldn’t focus on my work last week. I’m very concerned about people’s lives and health. I also worry about the financial impact this all has on businesses, large and small. I’m trying to stay positive and hope everything returns to something resembling normalcy as soon as possible. I hope we all find renewed energy in what’s possible on the other side of this and gain sharper focus on our businesses, careers and health.
For those of you who can work remotely, here are some INCLUSIVITY and EQUITY TIPS to keep in mind:
Be flexible. Everyone has different needs and wants and this is definitely true in times of crisis.
Ensure that everyone on your team has access to reliable wi-fi from home, especially if they live in rural areas. Don’t make assumptions.
When facilitating a virtual meeting, acknowledge everyone on the phone call or video conference by calling them by their name. A roll call up front is usually very helpful.
Imagine and leverage your list of participants as a virtual conference table. Go around the “table” and ask participants to chime in on various agenda topics. Some participants might have a tough time speaking up over the phone and need to be overtly given an opportunity to speak.
Be mindful of participants with disabilities. Do you have the appropriate technology in place to work from home? Reach out to local resources to ensure that visually and hearing-impaired participants can fully engage during your meetings.
Continue to stress the importance of being inclusive and kind with one another during good and bad times. It’s common to see the number of workplace incidents go up when stress is high. Be vigilant and act with conviction. Now, more than ever, is the time to remind employees what the workplace culture is and can be. Shine now and show your employees how much you value each of them – they won’t forget.
Be mindful that some of our colleagues and community members can’t do their work from home. How do you check in with them? How do you make decisions with their interests and well-being in mind?
I would love to hear how you are doing. How are you getting your organization through the current crisis? If you need an ear, please feel free to reach out. I am here for you.
Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay well.
P.S.: If you have children at home, there are multiple children’s books that focus on diversity and inclusivity. Let me know if you need some book recommendations.
“Diversity is about all of us, and inclusion requires all of us working together to sustain it. There is a turn over cost, a business cost and a human cost to this. We don’t want employees and organizations to simply survive, we want them to thrive.”
~ Claudia Schabel, President