10 Jun 5 Ways To Celebrate & Recognize Diversity In Your Insurance Agency
The U.S workforce is incredibly diverse. No matter where your insurance business is located, you likely interact with a variety of people every day from different ethnicities, age groups, religions, genders and sexual orientations.
Appreciating and understanding diversity is about more than knowing how to effectively work with a variety of consumer audiences. Embracing diversity and promoting the importance of inclusion helps create a space for lasting innovation and an elevated customer experience. In the past year, the impact of diversity, equality and inclusion have been brought to the forefront of society. Diversity and inclusion touch nearly all aspects of business interactions from a team’s meeting style, communication preferences, common terms, events, and strategies for handling issues. In order for an insurance business to be successful, it is important for insurance team leaders and managers to consider how they can celebrate and recognize the diversity of their team members. During Pride month in June, insurance companies can help their LGBTQ employees, allies, customers and prospects feel appreciated, included, welcome and safe.
There are a variety of effective ways to celebrate the various cultures, backgrounds, lifestyles and beliefs of those around us. Embracing diversity is important for business success. Increased feelings of inclusion encourage collaboration, foster stronger team performance and support positive decision making. Failing to recognize and celebrate diversity in the office could lead to frustration, unnecessary barriers, feelings of discouragement and other issues that could negatively impact your organization. Here are a few ways you can celebrate and recognize diversity in your insurance office.
#1. Create Platforms For Diverse Groups To Come Together
Implementing a successful celebration of diversity in the workplace includes creating awareness of the difference between cultures. Encourage your employees to come together in meaningful ways. This could be as simple as establishing virtual chat rooms or discussion boards dedicated to specific topics or starting regular meet-ups. Employees can be encouraged to attend events like picnics and luncheons that are open to all in an effort to promote unity within the workplace. These platforms are not only great opportunities for your employees to form bonds with each other, but also for other team members to become more self-aware and learn more about their coworkers.
#2. Change The Layout & Format Of Office Meetings
Often change is most effective when it starts with small, action-oriented steps. For example, office meetings are one of the top ways insurance professionals interact with their team members. An office meeting often represents how an organization distributes and hears information. It is also an excellent way for employees to feel represented, heard and recognized. Meetings overall are key for visibility. Therefore, start by evaluating your office meeting structure and format. Consider shifting the seating arrangement from classroom style to a circle where more team members can be seen. Also, develop moments in the agenda that allow for more employees to participate and offer their opinions. This can help avoid the same team members from consistently monopolizing meetings. Provide clear agendas in advance and ask employees to each come with an idea or comment related to the day’s key talking points.
#3. Organize Regular Opportunities For Diversity & Inclusion Training
Regular cultural, diversity and related training sessions held as live instruction or virtual classes can help employees learn effective ways to communicate, respect and work with others. Another way to celebrate diversity in the workplace is to create programs to benefit workers from different backgrounds. This can be as simple as a workshop on how to respectfully interact with diverse groups. Workshops can be educational, fun and interactive ways for employees to learn how to better appreciate and respect others who may be different from themselves in a variety of ways.
#4. Develop A Calendar For Celebrations
There are certain holidays that are widely recognized, however that does not mean there are not unique days of celebration that could be celebrated in your office. Encourage employees to submit various important religious holidays or cultural events that they would like to recognize. You may want to start by planning special events or programs that align with major annual recognitions such as Women’s History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, Pride Month, Asian American Pacific Islander Month and Black History Month. The calendar can include educational presentations, employee-led sessions, book clubs, relevant music or movies. Remember to regularly solicit feedback from your employees to consistently curate ideas for future programs.
#5. Be Aware Of Your Environment
Office culture is more than just the ways team members communicate and interact. It is also supported by the art, literature, decor and other non-verbal signals and representations. Think of the art or images that are visible in the office. Are the images inclusive and representative of a diverse workforce? Also, be aware of literature available in common spaces such as coffee table books or magazines. Ask employees what they read as a way to develop a list of potential reading materials. Don’t forget to consider the music playing in the background. Give employees the chance to submit recommendations and requests. While content should be work-appropriate, it could be fun to play Latin music in the morning and jazz in the afternoon. And finally, evaluate your policy to guide employees’ decisions for decorating and designing their spaces. Do you encourage employees to create a space that expresses their ideas, background etc.? Do your employees feel comfortable conveying photos of their personal lives in the office? Research available HR resources, tips and best practices for creating innovative policies for employee decor.
It’s important to remember that a workplace culture that supports diversity and inclusion cannot be created overnight. However, by committing to implementing a series of actions and habits, insurance team leaders and staff can regularly benefit a working environment supported by healthy discourse and multiple perspectives. If at first initiatives, programs or plans fall short, do not become discouraged. Maintain an open dialogue with your team and remember that making a big impact takes time, but every action is a step in the right direction.
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The ZipQuote team understands the value of business strategy and believes in a customer-oriented approach. ZipQuote can help connect you with high-intent leads who are actively searching for insurance. When you partner with ZipQuote, you can expect the assistance of a knowledgeable team of professionals who want to see you succeed.
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