This September, we are celebrating Global Diversity and Inclusion Experience Month. As a woman-owned company and diverse supplier, Levy Recognition understands the importance of partnering with companies that support diversity and inclusion. But for us, diversity and inclusion are more than just an initiative. Instead, diversity and inclusion are things we practice continuously and find critical to the future of our company.
At Levy Recognition, we share the belief that innovation, teamwork, creativity, and the ability to resolve problems is enhanced by the different viewpoints and ideas of our clients, suppliers, and our people. We actively seek opportunities to improve how we do business by fostering an environment that is inclusive, diverse, and collaborative. We are committed to equality and urge everyone to be part of our initiatives. Our employees are empowered to be part of open discussions and creative brainstorming sessions. Our clients are invited to share their feedback and ideas. We work closely with like-minded partners and suppliers to ensure our business practices are ethical and uphold our standards for social responsibility.
We’ve taken a holistic approach to how we practice diversity and inclusion in every facet of our business operations, and we encourage other businesses to join us in doing the same.
Diversity and inclusion are not new concepts. The world of business has been buzzing with several interpretations of what it means to be diverse and inclusive. For many, the idea of diversity and inclusion is about establishing a society where underrepresented groups get a fair share of opportunities. In business, these concepts affect everything from the employee pool to the suppliers sourced, and the strategic partnerships that are forged. Just as the concepts of diversity and inclusion are ever-evolving, the workplace must also evolve to meet the demands of its stakeholders.
We are all stakeholders of diversity and inclusion. The choices we make as we conduct day to day business could have lasting effects on the future of the companies, clients, and employers we work with. To build companies workers can be proud of, companies must make diversity and inclusion a top priority. Company leaders must know and understand the need for socially responsible practices and implement them in all aspects of business operations. Having trouble getting started? Here are a few ways you (and your company’s leaders) can get involved in supporting diversity and inclusion:
1. Set Goals.
Work with other company leaders to create specific goals for diversity and inclusion. Reach out to employees and ask for their feedback. Discuss where the company stands on diversity and inclusion and decide how you want the company to grow. Stakeholders and employees are inspired by aspirational goals and want to be part of the company’s bigger vision. You’ll find that once you begin to open things up for discussion, everyone from the ground up will have ideas on what it means to be more diverse and inclusive. They may even have ideas on how the company can be more socially responsible in its contributions to other movements that are ingrained with diversity and inclusion. The sky is the limit when it comes to goal setting. Let your employees use them as a guiding star towards a diverse and inclusive workplace culture.
2. Listen Up!
The best thing leaders can do is listen to the concerns of every stakeholder in the company. Building a diverse and inclusive culture means challenging the status quo. Employees, clients, partners, and everyone involved in your company wants to feel included. They ask hard questions and look to company leaders for guidance. They want to work with leaders who aren’t afraid of change and take action based on their feedback and ideas.
3. Be Transparent.
Honesty and transparency are vital components of all business communications. Company leaders should celebrate successes and communicate on weaknesses that need to be addressed. Employees need a clear vision and a plan to build and foster an organization. When employees trust their leaders, they are more likely to follow through on the company plans. Leaders who communicate clear objectives and are openly honest with their workforce inspire employees to push forward. Whether your company goals are to be more aggressive in the market for your industry, or to add at least two new diverse suppliers to your sourcing partnerships, talk to your employees about these goals and openly address shortcomings and creative solutions. Employees will appreciate your honesty and know that you are committed to the company’s goals.
4. Act Intentionally!
ACTIntentionally is a Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) campaign that enables its members to show support and appreciation for each other. The campaign’s goals are to encourage businesses to make conscious decisions to purchase from and support women-owned companies. As members of WBENC, Levy Recognition challenges company leaders and employees to shop, travel, drive, and engage with businesses who support our business initiatives. When you apply the concept of WBENC’s ACTIntentionally campaign to other diversity and inclusion efforts, you will find that it’s easy to utilize diverse suppliers and include a multitude of people in the process of reaching your company’s goals. The concept of acting intentionally inspires us to make a conscious effort to include previously unutilized resources. We can diversify our employee and supplier pools, build relationships with clients who value our views on diversity and inclusion, and partner with companies who can help us grow.
5. Be Authentic.
The key to demonstrating your transparency and commitment to diversity and inclusion is to be authentic in how you present your company’s goals and position on the topic. Develop a solid strategy for how to practice diversity and inclusion and make it a part of your workplace culture. It should be an ingrained part of your internal communications and cultural environment. Periodically examine where your company stands on the issues, review where you are in reaching your goals, and revamp your strategy whenever needed to ensure that you are reaching those goals. No matter what, communicate clearly, and be honest in how you publicize your company’s progress.
Talking about diversity and inclusion initiatives is one thing, but companies who walk the walk are a true inspiration. The age-old adage, “actions speak louder than words,” is highly applicable when it comes to setting and reaching diversity and inclusion goals. Levy Recognition takes pride in having a work environment that is both diverse and inclusive. WBENC’s ACTIntentionally campaign inspires us to continuously make strides to practice diversity and inclusion in every aspect of our business operations. We encourage businesses everywhere to take a moment to recognize Global Diversity and Inclusion Experience month and use the month of September to kickstart your diversity and inclusion programs!