How to Inspire Employees to Engage?
“Three Tips to Create an Inclusive Workplace in Financial Industry “
Inclusivity is a term used when employees are recognized, valued, and supported for their contributions to the overall organizational culture and business outcomes (Quinn et al., 2018). In the modern work environment, fostering openness and inclusive culture has become one of the crucial missions for employers in the financial industry. For example, in 2021, The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and Bank of England launched a plan to improve diversity and inclusion in the financial services sector.
Statistics have shown that creating an inclusive work environment can effectively improve business performance. According to Limeade Institute, employees who feel included:
- Are 28% more engaged at work
- Have 19% greater well-being in their lives
- Are 43% more committed to their company
- Are 51% more likely to recommend their company as a great place to work
- Typically intend to stay with their company 3 times longer
On the other hand, inclusion is vital for the company based on the fact that inclusive workplaces:
- Are 6 times more likely to anticipate change and effectively respond
- Are 8 times more likely to have overall better business outcomes
- Have 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee over a three-year period
Many businesses are facing challenges of how to deal with this new work environment.
How can I create a work environment that includes everyone? What do I have to take care of when it comes to creating an inclusive environment? The following article delivers 3 keys to supporting businesses in setting up a modern, inclusive work environment:
Create an Effective and Inclusive Meeting
Ineffective meetings are one of the biggest time killers in the modern work environment. According to Statista, professionals lose an average of 31hrs every month through ineffective meetings. This would add up to 4 working days. To avoid this, the best solution is to create an effective and inclusive meeting. The main point of inclusion meetings is all about making sure that everyone feels like they can speak up and contribute to whatever's being discussed. There are two steps to limit the waste of time in business meetings, that can also support an inclusive work environment.
A great example of this would be the communication style. Often overlooked in everyday office stress, communication style can make a huge difference. The way you communicate to employees should encourage inclusion instead of making people feel inferior. It is employers’ responsibility to make sure they speak to everyone on the same level to avoid this. This will make it easier for employees to tell managers when they don't understand, and it will be the leaders’ responsibility to explain.
Another step to ensure more inclusive meetings is to prepare a meeting agenda ahead of time and distribute it to all attendees. Most people will have caught themselves( at least a few times) sitting in a meeting they have no clue about. An inclusive and productive meeting with agenda beforehand is advantageous to all parties since it allows them more time to consider ideas and comments. It's even more beneficial for your introverted or socially anxious staff since having some time to prepare and will build their confidence, making it much simpler for them to share their thoughts with others. Furthermore, if any of your team members do not speak English as a first language, this strategy will help them to ensure that they fully comprehend what is being discussed.
Improve Diversity in The Company
As shown in a recent Harvard Business Review research of disclosures made by 50 American financial services organisations, women hold only 20% of executive committee posts and 22% of board positions. Only 12% of the CEOs of significant financial organisations in the United States are women.
Talent sourcing is not a simple mission. When faced with a choice between two or more capable applicants, it's only natural to "trust your instinct.” Unfortunately, despite our best intentions, this behavioural shortcut can often lead to unconscious bias. By default, we select the person who most closely resembles our personality or that of current employees. We are wired to be afraid of things that are unfamiliar to us.
However, there are measures we can do to overcome unconscious bias: active awareness during the hiring process is the first place to begin, but financial services firms should regularly monitor whether hiring and promotion are fair and, if not, identify the biases at work.
Be Transparent to Employees
In order to encourage employees to grow, honest and transparent feedback is vital in the office. The core advantage of business transparency is that it builds trust and goodwill while safeguarding the company's reputation among employers, employees, and clients. Other advantages of business openness include improved employee morale. In the financial industry, transparency involves fostering open communications, collaboration, and a better understanding of others as well as other aspects of the business. Being upfront with your staff makes it much easier to get to know one another, which builds trust and makes teamwork go more smoothly because you support and care about one another. Employee trust leads to employee engagement, which leads to employees feeling considerably more fulfilled at work. You have a significantly higher chance of keeping talent and satisfying your company's needs if your employees are happier. The worst situation is definitely the gossip in the kitchen hearing others’ criticism through a third person in the everyday office gossip. This does not only create a toxic workplace for employees but also demoralizes them further. Honest and direct feedback is the only way for leaders in the company to ensure an inclusive work environment.
The last decade has changed the way we experience work massively. The rise of digitalization brought new roles, techniques and ways we work. In the past two years, this process has been accelerated even more through the COVID-19 pandemic. Working from home has become the norm in many parts of the world and experts are very certain that it is here to stay. Recently, over 69% of employees in the UK finance sector have stated in a survey, that they would prefer to work from home at least three days a week. That makes an inclusive work environment even more important. New work does not only mean working from home and choosing your own times, but also a work environment that allows everyone to thrive together. Inclusivity and transparency are the first steps towards the future.
By Alice Yueh