Creating an inclusive environment for employees around the globe
A US-based energy company operating globally sought to develop a core diversity curriculum for employees, supervisors, and managers in various functions. The primary objectives were to create a shared understanding of the effect of demonstrating inclusive behavior and to foster an environment where all ideas are heard.
Aperian Global worked closely with the company’s learning leaders and business managers to design a modular workshop that incorporated a consistent, global approach to inclusion and diversity topics while ensuring that important cultural, regional, and business-specific issues were addressed.
The program was successfully rolled out to leadership teams, functional/divisional groups, human resource leaders, and first- and second-line supervisors across the world. Each session was opened by a senior manager in order to anchor the larger, global picture with local relevance. Topics covered in the sessions included inclusive leadership behavior, micro-inequities, and unconscious bias, as well as techniques for working across differences in national cultures. The format of the workshops was active and experiential, with exercises, roleplay scenarios, and real-time feedback. Participants left with practical steps for influencing others at the team, functional, and organizational levels.
Employees based in more than twenty corporate locations around the world have participated in the workshops, which have undergone continuous customization as the organization evolves in its diversity journey. In addition to gaining awareness of inclusion issues, participants have noted additional benefits such as expanding their “go-to networks.” Outside of learning delivery, Aperian Global continues to support initiatives to sustain momentum with diversity committees, human resource leaders, and various employee resource groups.
Creating inclusive workplaces in an Asian market
In a relatively small Asian country, staff members of certain small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were lodging complaints with the government. They felt that they had been unfairly treated in both recruitment and developmental opportunities, and often deemed their workplaces as not being inclusive. Retention rates in these SMEs were poor and recruitment costs were a burden.
The government agency that was receiving the complaints asked Aperian Global to design an approach for resolving the situation. We discovered through interviews with the SME management teams that many owners and human resource personnel did not see the links among retention, recruitment, company reputation, and an inclusive workplace.
A program that included workshops and site visits was designed to build awareness of the potential positive effects of inclusiveness on staff and on the businesses. The government agency offered the program for free to SME management teams in order to create more inclusive workplaces. Every company that signed up for the program had to attend two 8-hour sessions, one month apart. In between the two sessions, Aperian Global consultants paid 90-minute visits to each SME’s premises, interviewing staff members and reviewing the physical environment.
More than thirty SMEs participated in this program over the course of two years. All organizations made concrete efforts to make their workplaces more inclusive. The attendees were coached to champion the inclusion cause and overcome resistance to the changes they wanted to implement. Subsequently, some of these organizations received media attention for their efforts, and a few even won national awards.
Our cultural diversity training solutions for increasing and leveraging global inclusion include:
Through business cultural diversity training, we assist clients with developing or fine-tuning their business case for inclusion & diversity that is globally consistent, yet is flexible for local relevance. We also provide consultation to develop communication strategies to ensure consistent global messaging.
Inclusion & diversity is a focused change management initiative. Therefore, it is critical that organizations have clear strategic plans to manage start-up, planning, and ongoing actions of their inclusion & diversity advisory councils.
Increasing the awareness of employees’ understanding of inclusion & diversity often involves changing behaviors. In our inclusion & diversity learning journeys, we work with our clients to customize workshops that cater to their specific needs. Our primary focus in these workshops is to engage participants on a personal level to understand that becoming more inclusive will demand a change in how we view the world and how we work together effectively. Learn more
ONLINE LEARNING TOOLS
We offer both off-the-shelf and customized online learning solutions to support the development of inclusive work environments. Learn more
Winning Customers and Engaging Employees within World Markets
by Ernest Gundling and Anita Zanchettin
Mastering global business requires that leaders and managers understand the differences that exist within countries as well as between them. Drawing on the authors’ years of hands-on experience, this book presents key cultural variables relevant in eight major markets. Readers will explore a 6-step approach to developing an effective global diversity strategy, benefiting employees and maximizing local market opportunities.
Download a quick reference guide created by our Inclusion & Diversity thought leaders to explore four types of Unconscious Bias. Become more aware of your own biases and develop strategies to mitigate them.