On the back of the most recent government advice to work from home where you can over Winter, home working will continue to play a larger part in working lives. National Inclusion Week has given us the perfect opportunity to reflect on what this might mean for our people, our candidates and clients and ensure inclusion is sustained throughout the business to maintain contact with co-workers, and continue cultivating a strong sense of belonging.
National Inclusion Week, from September 28th-October 4th 2020, is designed to celebrate everyday inclusion in all its forms; sharing, promoting and inspiring inclusion practices and culture. This year’s theme is "Each One, Reach One", individuals and organisations connecting and inspiring each other to make inclusion an everyday reality.
Tina Reid, GatenbySanderson's Head of HR, explains why providing a platform for employees, at all levels of the business, is so important to GS in ensuring that everyone is part of the conversation.
One of our initiatives to build a fully inclusive and more diverse workforce was the introduction of agile working late last year. This wasn’t just about working from home occasionally, but a strategic move to empower our people to work in a more agile way, to better fulfil their role and improve our client and candidate service. As this was implemented before the pandemic, we were already organised to adapt to home working and the digital working environment. However, the speed and scale of adapting to this change will have come quicker to some of our colleagues than others, and therefore reflecting on and checking in on process and working environment changes is central to both inclusive working and the wellbeing of our people.
Every day this week, we will be sharing with the business different articles, viewpoints and stories on our intranet platform to promote the value of inclusion, and encourage them to take a short activity to embed this learning into their everyday life.
We have tasked all our employees to reach out, at least once, at some point this week; we have asked everyone to send an email, or better pick up the phone, to either a colleague or client that they may not have been in contact for a while, or may not normally have spoken to at all. This could simply be to check in to see that that person is ok, find out something new about them, share some knowledge that might help them, or asking for their opinion on something. This exercise will enable people to connect, feel involved and see different viewpoints that they may not normally have considered.
We will also be launching our first GS Inclusion Survey, which complements our recent regular wellbeing check in surveys, with a specific lens on the feelings and effectiveness of Inclusion here at GatenbySanderson. The results of this survey will be discussed at Your Voice, our nominated staff forum, and an inclusion activity plan will be developed to ensure that the inclusion conversation continues beyond National Inclusion Week.
We will finish the week by presenting the GS Inclusions Award; nominations will be open all week for people to say who they feel goes out of their way to ensure that others feel included, made welcome, share their knowledge and seek views of others. We believe it is important to celebrate these people and their stories, which will also inspire and encourage others throughout the business to be more inclusive in different ways.
If you’d like to find out more about our approach to National Inclusion Week, or our inclusive working policies, please contact Tine at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or to find out more about National Inclusion Week and get involved visit the Inclusive Employers website at www.inclusiveemployers.co.uk/national-inclusion-week.