COVID-19: 3 actions for a more inclusive business

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The uncertainty that we have been facing with the daily evolution of the global pandemic has had a growing impact on the way organizations interact, connect and communicate with their employees and clients. Work/life balance, physical, emotional and financial well-being have all taken a new meaning during the last few weeks. Today, more than ever, acknowledging social change is more than a competitive advantage, it’s an essential strategic direction to be equipped to face the many questions raised by this crisis. It’s also an opportunity to improve the performance of your organization through hardships.

Crises can be a source of creativity and innovation; and this creativity can be transformed into action points for your organization. In this article, we’ll provide insight into which first steps you can take to become more inclusive as a company.

What’s an inclusive organization? For Uena, an inclusive organization is not just about hiring diverse candidates, but rather an organization that is dedicated to understanding  and nurturing diverse perspectives, realities, backgrounds and ideas through its internal and external service offer and programs.

How do we get there? Here are 3 things you can do to improve:

  1. Acknowledge there’s a diversity of realities

Normally, working from home has various advantages, but with stay-at-home measures, this necessary but imperfect practice loses a lot of those advantages. Distractions are everywhere and concentration becomes an achievement in and of itself. To acknowledge and adapt to this reality and avoid differential treatment for parents and caregivers on your team, you can give your team an extra 1 to 2h break during the day. This extra hour as you can imagine might not have been very productive to begin with, considering the current circumstances.

  1. Use corporate volunteering to stand out

One of the things we’ve learned through this crisis is that every gesture counts. The simple act of partnering with a caritative organization, if your business allows it, and encouraging employees that are able to to volunteer during their break can mean a lot to a community. It’s an opportunity for companies to stand out while lightening the burden that caritative organizations are facing during this period. This initiative can also contribute to your employees’ feeling of belonging and create an opportunity to put your company’s values in motion.

  1. Communicate, communicate, communicate

Communication is always imperative and must take into account its target audience. Most businesses have used newsletters as a way to communicate with their followers, but even though this practice is necessary for internal stakeholders, it might be perceived as spam by clients and external stakeholders. Whether it’s internally or externally, it’s important to keep in mind that your audience experiences a diversity of realities while communicating with them. Finally, we encourage you to use your platform to influence other stakeholders in your industry. For example, you can use social media to share your corporate volunteering initiatives or other actions you’ve taken to make your organization more inclusive and encourage others to do so as well.

With the complexity of the issues we face today, we must see innovation and creativity in diversity as a tool for success rather than an obstacle, no matter if it’s on a large or small scale.

June 29, 2021

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