By: Johnny Brandt, Client Relationship Manager | 10/13/2020 |

Fostering an inclusive work culture requires constant and intentional changes to practices, policies, and communication methods. Adding to the list of diversity and inclusion challenges, working from home in the midst of a global pandemic, our diversity and inclusion playbooks require critical review with a renewed focus on communication.

A recent Gartner study found that roughly 41% of employees will continue to work remotely after the pandemic. Given that connection and communication are critical tools to promote inclusion, leaders need to focus on understanding and managing the employee experience. Lauren Romansky, managing VP of HR at Gartner, writes that, “Inclusion isn’t just important because it impacts how employees feel or how engaged they are, it also affects critical talent outcomes.”

There are several practices that Percepta has implemented to drive the momentum in promoting an inclusive environment and strong business results while working from home.

Create space for virtual connections
Leveraging video communication tools to create safe spaces for employees to share how current events have impacted them personally and professionally helps teams develop a stronger sense of community. Fostering community within Percepta has led to our strongest employee engagement survey results in the 2nd quarter of 2020.

Provide inclusion communication tools to leadership
With ‘improving communication’ as a guiding principle, ensuring our leadership teams have the skills and tools to bridge cross-cultural communication barriers is crucial. Percepta partnered with an expert in the space to provide those critical skills to our leadership team and ensure access to the materials through Percepta’s learning and development platform.

Help others be heard
While video chat helps to keep us communicating, these platforms can make it tougher for some participants to add their voice to the conversation. Utilizing chat and polling functions within the video meeting platforms may help encourage those who may prefer to contribute their ideas and experiences in other ways feel empowered to participate.

While this is certainly not an exhaustive list, the importance of our employee’s experiences need to remain at the forefront of efforts, especially from a diversity and inclusion standpoint. Ensuring our teams continue to feel meaning in their role, connection with their colleagues, and seeing how their success has a real impact in company goals will continue to foster an environment of inclusion while we learn how to work in the new normal.