It’s all well and good stating theneedto establish a culturally inclusive office, but implementing such a strategy withpractical tactics is not altogether easy for HR leaders. The process takes a lot of planning and open discussions with employees in order to understand their own expectations about company culture. Everything from casual conversations to body language and even seating arrangements need to be carefully considered and articulated as to what is – and what isn’t – acceptable.
“At Smart WFM we’ve made inclusivity absolutely part of the fabric of the company,” said Jarrod McGrath, chief executive officer of Smart WFM. “It’s embedded in everything we do, but particularly through our community. The key to it all is that everyone in our company has a voice and a safe place to let their voice be heard.”
McGrath used the example of the ongoing Russia Ukrainian conflict, saying they collectively decided to fly a Ukrainian flag in their fortnightly team meetings to show their solidarity.
“Following that, one of our team members asked about how the company could show support and enable him to talk about support for Palestine,” he toldHRD. “That raised both a challenge and an opportunity to express support in a non-political way. The key here is effort and engagement. We worked carefully with the team member and the leadership team to identify the best way to have this conversation in a way they felt safe to express themselves. We made it a priority.”