How can we define an Inclusive Employee Experience?
One of the widespread definitions is that it is an experience where every employee feels positively connected to their organization by constantly recognizing them as a valuable person.
Nowadays, and especially under the consequences of a pandemic, it isn't easy to establish and maintain an inclusive experience, but we should constantly remind ourselves of its significance.
The inclusive workplace brings employees higher engagement in their work and the team, which means they are more likely to remain in the company. In addition to retention, the recruitment process for new hires is easier when high engagement is present, the employer brand is improved, the referral increases, and the candidate experience is better.
Specifically for Entelo, a company with teams in multiple countries, I have felt that inclusive experiences have been vital for my productivity and success in our organization. As an employee located in Serbia, here are just some of the ways I have felt included at Entelo:
1. Serbian Lessons
Our week starts with departmental Monday Huddles. A five-minute lesson about the Serbian language is an integral part of this meeting. We share and learn frequent everyday phrases and terms that can be used in team communication.
Our Slack channels and email communications are also a mix of Serbian and English language. By reducing the language barrier step by step, the sense of belonging to one great team is growing each day.
2. "Slava Season"
Slava is the Patron saint day in Serbia. As the most significant family holiday, and the fundament of origin and identity, it is a universal but primarily religious and traditional trademark of the Serbs. During that period, we often share the individual family customs with our colleagues in the US to get them more familiar with this significant Serbian family day. Food recipes, family pictures, and traditional toasts are shared across the organization's communication channels.
3. Holiday Traditions
Personally, this is my favorite moments with my colleagues! Together at Entelo, we celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Orthodox Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Labour Day, etc.! We learn about these holidays' history and traditions. We share childhood memories, events, and customs related to them. These are priceless moments of fun and learning about different cultures, growing up, and lifestyles.
And there is always a new creative way to celebrate some special dates! This year on Women's International Day, our fantastic team of superheroines was created where each Entelo woman gained her own superpower and costume:
Additionally, despite these challenging times and geographical distance, team effort made Christmas time special and the gifts were successfully delivered across two different continents.
4. Mentors, Not Managers
Although there is an official hierarchy of the teams, the team leading is far from typical leadership and management. We strive to share knowledge and experiences daily, learn from each other and face challenges together. Open and direct communication across the teams is present and encouraged to be as much as possible. Having someone you can ask questions, get advice from, help you look at problems and situations from different perspectives, and expand your knowledge, motivates our team and helps to build confidence to make better decisions.
5. Celebrating the Small Wins
Every personal or professional milestone, even a small victory, can change the feeling and performance of the team. By highlighting these victories and openly sharing them with the rest of the organization increases individual and team motivation for work and success.
At Entelo, the small wins of every employee are celebrated and shared in different ways every day. One of the main agenda topics in team meetings are success stories related to clients or performance improvement. The entire experience and the steps that led to the success are presented to the rest of the team.
At the organizational level, by integrating various software with our internal communicator, Slack, we have created general channels that automatically publicly share and notify the entire organization about sales wins, closed contracts, successful collaboration, and team members' praise over the past week:
6. Every Voice Is Heard
Entelo monthly "All Hands" meetings are a unique opportunity to keep all team members in touch with everything related to business.
Open Q&A sessions with the executive team helps us identify challenges and encourage transparency in the team.
All-Hands are one-of-a-kind moments where company culture is present and the team spirit grows. Every employee feels like part of the company and community and that their opinion is respected and valued.
7. Anniversary Celebrations
Anniversaries are an essential moment in every employee's lifecycle. Celebrating them publicly with the entire team increases the sense of belonging and knowledge that you're appreciated and valued. Entelo has a fun practice of celebrating the Anniversaries of the team members throughout the entire month by sharing them on social networks, team meetings, and all communication channels.
As you can see, there are many ways that I feel inclusion on a daily basis at Entelo. As an organization, we consider that a big part of the business's success. I know that I will continue building a happy and inclusive work environment that will provide employee satisfaction and strengthen our business.