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August 12, 2019

How Enviance Makes Diversity a Priority

Make-diversity-a-priorityAs a company, is diversity a board-level priority for you? At the company I lead, Enviance, we do discuss our progress on corporate diversity and inclusion at every board meeting. Just as we review our financial statements, product initiatives, and related topics, we talk about how we can continue to improve our progress on corporate diversity and inclusion.


Why Companies Should Make Diversity a Board-Level Topic

When we surround ourselves with different perspectives, we become more creative, engaged, nimble, and innovative. And, quite simply, we perform better as a company, which benefits everyone from employees to shareholders and customers. Numerous reports have reached the same conclusion, such as a recent study from McKinsey & Company that found diverse teams produce financial returns at a 33 percent higher rate than the industry mean.


Given how critical diversity is to an organization, I was surprised when I recently attended an industry conference and discovered that not all my CEO peers make corporate diversity and inclusion a board item. In fact, among this roundtable of fellow tech CEOs, only a small subset of the group said they report on diversity regularly in the boardroom.


Perhaps I shouldn’t find this surprising, but if companies expect to create a more diverse environment, buy-in must start as a board-reported item to keep leadership accountable. How do we expect to make progress if we don’t make diversity a priority on the highest level?


Creating an Established Diversity Program Guide

Beyond reporting on our diversity initiatives at the board level, we have also established a diversity program guide to help lead us in the right direction. While we have this diversity program guide in place, it’s by no means a static policy. As we grow and learn, we work toward continuous improvement for our workplace diversity and inclusion program. Nicole Lucas, our human resource manager, was heavily involved in spearheading our diversity program guide and proactively brings topics, initiatives, and best practices to our leadership team to ensure we continue to strive forward.


When it comes to specific policies in our diversity program guide, we’ve put a focus on offering flexible work arrangements. A 9-5 office job simply doesn’t work for everyone, but allowing our employees to design a work schedule that aligns with their individual life situations and work responsibilities attracts people of different backgrounds, lifestyles, and responsibilities. Many positions at Enviance are even offered as remote opportunities.


Our summer flex schedule is an especially popular benefit as you can imagine. We work a bit different hours Monday through Thursday during the summer, so every other Friday, our employees take the day for themselves. Not only does this leave our employees feeling refreshed and motivated but it’s also a great way for them to catch up on their individual and family dentist, doctor, and eyesight wellness exams.


We have also widened our recruitment pools to tap new sources of talent through a partnership with VetCTAP, a local veterans’ employment organization, to better attract those candidates. Nicole has even volunteered to help review veterans’ résumés and provide feedback. As we progress with our diversity and inclusion efforts, we’ll continue to look at other ways to recruit a diverse workforce.


In addition to recruiting efforts, we’re also committed to helping our employees grow. Recruiting a diverse workforce is important, but our responsibility doesn’t stop when our employees first walk through the door. To help our employees grow in their careers, we offer development and training opportunities to improve the advancement potential for employees of all backgrounds.


Of course, while taking these proactive steps is important, we must also listen to our employees. Leadership must be willing to make corporate diversity a priority, but if we’re not listening to our employees’ experiences, we can’t truly evaluate how we’re doing. For Enviance, surveying our employees via TinyPulse has been helpful. Using TinyPulse gives our employees a channel where they can remain anonymous, which allows for more honest feedback on how we’re handling equal opportunity in the organization.


Simply placing a diversity statement on your website isn’t enough. To create a truly diverse and inclusive corporate environment, accountability must come from the top, and your organization must be willing to make this a long-term issue and work at improving. Establishing a corporate diversity and inclusion program requires thoughtful, ongoing conversations and action. While we’re proud of our diversity program guide, we continue to work on new initiatives and listen to ways we can improve.


If you value working with a company that’s committed to creating a diverse and inclusive culture, I hope you’ll take a look at the Career page to see if there’s an opportunity that interests you. We’d love to hear from you.


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