"We've got four generations in the workforce today," says Zeno Group global head of diversity, equity & inclusion Andréa Richardson. "I think it's just a really fun challenge to really think about what inclusion means for your organization given your workforce."
Meeting that challenge, she tells Simon, requires "really understanding the working styles and the values of each of the varying generations."
Hybrid working has made the need to incorporate various working strategies more important than ever, she says. One strategy Zeno Group uses is to "take a look at each generation and the way they like to work, how productive their working style is as it's influenced by virtual or in-person, and we try to create custom, flexible work environments."
Richardson stresses that companies also need to acknowledge that, even in the pandemic-impacted world, not all workers have the option of working from home. "For people that cannot work from home," she says, companies need to figure out "what does their work-life balance look like."
Also, not all employees are equally comforable giving their colleagues a glimpse of their home workspace. "If you don't have a big, beautiful home, you may be embarrassed to share the space via virtual environments."
Getting clients on board with DE&I issues is another challenge that Richardson addresses. "I think sometimes leaders may not be aware of it because they don't have that lived experience," Anderson tells Simon."That is a mantle that we pick up as leaders to tackle these challenges head-on."
She also says that open communications are key to succesfully handling the transformed workplace. "As leaders, it's really important to make people feel empowered to approach you with the issues that they may be experiencing. And so, I think more than ever in hybrid and/or virtual environments, it's important for leaders to have an open door policy in lieu of actually having a door that's open at the office."
Being open to change is also essential, she says. "It's very easy to get accustomed to the old way of doing things. So just reach out to someone that's different than you and get some additional perspective because knowledge and learning never hurts, additional perspective is always a positive."
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