As a company that values inclusion, in fact, one of our values is actually inclusion, we have been discussing ways to make everyone feel included within the team here at Laurence Simons Search.
We know from experience that diversity gives you access to a greater range of talent, providing a greater world view and insight. As a search company, we also know that when employees feel accepted and valued, they are also happier in their workplace and stay longer with a company.
Company culture is something that most businesses take for granted if most of their staff work in the same building. However, as more and more remote workers start making their way into the workforce, businesses need to adapt their company culture considerations, especially if your team, like Laurence Simons Search, are based across the globe.
In this month’s vox pop topic we asked the following question: Name one thing that you are doing to make sure everyone feels included.
Thank you to all who responded. It is really interesting to see the various approaches that different companies are advocating.
I’ve been very conscious of making everyone feel involved and included, especially during the pandemic, so have scheduled regular catch up time with the team, we’ve also instigated a deliberately entitled a regular All Hands On Deck Team Meeting, and everyone takes a turn to chair the meeting.
At Laurence Simons Search, before the pandemic we already used virtual communication channels, for example, Slack and Microsoft Teams, as a connected team drives collaboration, develops strong working relationships, and promotes a more inclusive spirit. As a company we listen to each other, and respect each other’s views, so contributing an opinion is easier, but we also take time to talk about non-work related things, so that we feel comfortable enough to speak up and know that each comment is valued.
I regularly reflect on our current practices and ask the team for their input and views on an ongoing basis. As always though, I am keen to learn more and find ways to improve where we can, and have an inclusion working group to support this initiative.
Clare Beresford, CEO, Laurence Simons Search
Oddly, I use an old-fashioned technology – the telephone. We are beleaguered by emails - and even a video chat can be oppressive, especially when you long for privacy.
I have quick (15 minute) calls with members of the team, very often indirect reports such as a Legal Director or Paralegal, just to say “hi”. The conversations can range from office gossip, to cooking misadventures; from Pro Bono projects, to how we are struggling to care for a family member. The goal is just to connect – and to confide. I come away from these chats feeling closer to the members of the team – their interests and their cares. My struggle is that I very rarely have any true wisdom to share - just empathy – just a willingness to connect, listen to one another and perhaps to share a “tough-minded optimism”. To be candid, I know that that phone calls are not enough. But it is a start.
Brian Daly, Group Managing Counsel, MSD
Weekly Team call! This call covers what each team member is up to and I like to share what is going on at the leadership level, so we are all aligned on the North Star. In this call platform team members share knowledge, and all views are heard and taken into consideration in any team related decision’’.
Salam Atoui, General Counsel, Ernst and Young
Regular team check-ins on-line and virtual coffee meetings.
Sarah Clements, SVP Legal Corporate Affairs & Pharma Supply Chain at GSK
With all the challenges of the pandemic we try to foster a culture in our legal department where every voice is heard and respected by prioritizing our frequent digital global meetings. Everyone is invited not only to participate but to contribute and share opinions and potential concerns.
Torbjörn Hallberg, Senior Vice President, Global General Counsel and Chief HR Officer, Sobi
We are building a global, diverse Legal, IP, and Compliance team where different perspectives, personal or cultural, are understood to be critical to our success. Embedded in this approach is an emphasis on listening, creating an inclusive culture, and seeking to understand the perspectives of others.
Curt McDaniel, Chief Legal Officer, Ferring
We formed global working groups across many of our legal and compliance initiatives. Putting aside reporting lines, levels of seniority and individual areas of expertise, we then encouraged several team members to participate and lead the working groups. This gave us an opportunity to support team members who may have needed an opportunity or platform to be more involved or showcase skills that were not always apparent. This allowed us to foster inclusion and provide specific members a chance to collaborate with others on a global basis, to learn leadership skills, and to find a new source of recognition for their efforts and personal contributions.
Simon Zinger, Group General Counsel, Dentsu International
Company leaders need to drive inclusion from the top. They need to build it into their business goals, organisational culture, and workforce. Leaders must demonstrate that they value diversity and recruit a workforce which reflects the wider world. A diverse workforce will strengthen company performance including vastly improving customer service. Disabled people should be at all levels of the workforce and feel safe to declare hidden disabilities. We are part of society and should be at least 20% of every work force.
Anna Morrell, Disability Rights UK