LaFleur Cares About Diversity and Inclusion
At LaFleur, we know that building diversity and inclusion has tangible benefits for our business and our community. Diverse perspectives lead to more creative, effective ideas and innovations. People approaching problems from a unique background will find novel solutions. Accurately representing the community around us and our audience will increase resonance with our messaging. And for people to share their ideas and perspectives, an inclusive space is required.
Unfortunately we are living in a divisive, combative moment in society. Recent numbers from the FBI indicate that hate crimes rose 17% in 2017. Even Oxford Dictionaries chose “toxic” as the word of the year for 2018. This environment is something we are all negatively impacted by, and we want to do everything we can at LaFleur to bring people together and promote empathy and understanding.
For these reasons and many more, LaFleur is taking a conscientious approach to diversity and inclusion in our workplace. We are launching a series of initiatives to achieve specific goals that we have set for our organization.
The Goals of Our Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives
Our goals for diversity and inclusion initiatives range from the tangible to the lofty. In no particular order, our primary objectives include the following:
1. Create a Welcoming Environment for All
Whether we are hosting a meeting with one of our biggest clients or accepting a delivery order, we want to ensure that our team and the space we’re in is welcoming. We want to thoughtfully build policies, procedures, and a culture at LaFleur that promote a warm, welcoming environment for anyone who interacts with us.
2. Giving Each Employee a Voice
In order to reap the benefits of diverse perspectives, each employee at LaFleur needs to feel empowered to share their thoughts and ideas. That starts with having a welcoming and inclusive environment, but it needs to be a priority in and of itself.
3. Ensuring Equal Opportunities
LaFleur strives to go beyond the letter of the law. We want equal opportunities to exist for anyone coming into our organization and for those within it. We want transparency for our hiring strategies, employee selection, promotion choices, pay structure, and more.
4. Building a Roadmap for Other Businesses and Organizations to Follow
We don’t just want to promote diversity and inclusion within our office. We want to serve as a model for other organizations, encourage them to undertake similar initiatives, and provide guidance and resources for them to make it as easy as possible to build a better office and community.
LaFleur’s Planned Approach to Promote Diversity and Inclusion
Before we can effect change in the larger community, we plan to focus on ourselves first. We want to establish a diverse and inclusive culture at LaFleur and welcome new employees into it as we grow. From our experiences, we can more effectively reach out to the larger community.
Below is an overview of the initiatives we have put in place or plan to implement:
Current and Future Employees: Implicit Bias Training
Every person has some unconscious biases, and most of our daily decisions and actions are made unconsciously. This can sometimes result in stereotyping, prejudice, or behavior that may make a person or group of people uncomfortable. This half-day session of guided implicit bias training will help individuals identify their own unconscious biases and inform their actions in the workplace.
Current Employees: Narrative Recipe Book
Individuals will submit family recipes and can share the story behind them. These are collected into a booklet that can be shared with the entire team. This is a simple opportunity to share and celebrate everyone's unique background, culture, and family.
Current Employees: Diversity in Imagery
We are striving to include more diverse imagery in blog posts, newsletters, video, social media posts, website pages, etc. Our branded content should promote the type of diversity we support and hope to achieve. Imagery should resonate with both our team and our audience.
Current Employees: Calendar Awareness Updates
We are updating our online, all-team calendar with multicultural holidays, cultural awareness days, and other events along with informational resources to learn more about them. These resources give individuals the opportunity to learn more about the holidays and events that other staff members, our clients, vendors, and community members are celebrating and commemorating.
Future Employees: New Employee Training
All new employees at LaFleur will be provided with an overview handout and other resources that relate to diversity and inclusion at LaFleur. From an employee's first day, we want to emphasize the culture of inclusion on our team, and it will help new employees feel welcome and included from the start of our professional relationship.
Future Employees: Conscientious Job Postings
We will add language about diversity, accessibility, and inclusion to future job postings. Being proactive about diversity, accessibility, and inclusion will help attract inclusive team members, communicate our values as an organization, and more clearly establish requirements and accommodations for applicants.
Future Employees: Increasing Accessibility
We will establish flexible working arrangements for any employees living with disabilities, including accessible interview locations, accommodating work schedules, and opportunities to regularly work with team members in person. LaFleur’s current office location is not accessible. As we grow and strive for an increasingly inclusive environment, we will need to not only provide options for individuals living with disabilities while we occupy our current space. We will also want to take our diversity and inclusion goals into account as we search for new office space.
Future Employees: Cultural Inclusion
For future new hire searches, LaFleur will strive to ensure that multicultural candidates will be considered and interviewed for open positions by posting jobs via a variety of media and within diverse localities. Multicultural candidates are often underrepresented in the workforce despite having relevant skills and experience. Also, diverse teams outperform non-diverse teams by 35%.
Future Employees: Equal Starting Pay for Same-Title Jobs
LaFleur will offer the same starting salary for all incoming employees with the same job title. Wage gaps exist across multiple demographics, and we want to ensure that as our team grows, we offer the same starting salary for individuals with the same job title. While job performance may affect the salary trajectory of individuals, equality in starting salaries is an important first step toward closing wage gaps.
A report published by McKinsey & Company found that diverse teams outperform non-diverse teams by 35%. This report was created using data from 366 public companies across Latin America, the United States, Canada, and the UK.
Community Involvement: Event Participation
At least once per year, LaFleur will identify a community event related to diversity and inclusion that we can host, sponsor, or attend. Along with our internal efforts to become more diverse and inclusive, we want to find opportunities to externally promote diversity and inclusion. By participating in community events, we can contribute, meet new candidates for our team, and encourage other organizations to get involved.
Community Involvement: Resource Creation
LaFleur will continue to create resources that can be used both internally and externally to promote diversity and inclusion. The top reason companies are not implementing diversity initiatives is time. In fact, being “too busy” is the excuse 41% of managers give. By providing resources, LaFleur hopes to not only build our internal culture of diversity and inclusion, but also help other organizations create a more positive, diverse, and inclusive culture as well.
Community Involvement: Volunteering
LaFleur’s volunteering initiatives are meant to make a positive impact on our community. We want to continue promoting inclusion at LaFleur by allowing employees to submit ideas for volunteering related to causes that matter to them. Similarly, as we build a more diverse team at LaFleur, we hope to broaden the types of causes that we can contribute to within our wider community.
LaFleur: Reinventing Work
At LaFleur, we believe work can be better: better for clients, better for our business, better for employees, and better for the community. We’re challenging ourselves and other businesses to rethink their policies to encourage diversity and inclusion, work-life balance, and community involvement.
We're all in this together –– If you have big ideas for the future of work, or if you'd like help launching a program of your own, we'd like to talk to you!