Leadership & Managers
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Leading With Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity
This is not the time to abandon your inclusion, equity, and diversity work—in fact now, more than ever, it’s important to practice understanding, kindness, and the traits of an inclusive leader. Part of being an inclusive leader includes speaking out and addressing bias when you see it. COVID-19 has heightened anti-Asian bias and xenophobia in our communities. This four-page document, from Diversity Best Practices, is a great resource on that topic:
Noted in the document above are the following CDC guidelines to reduce racism, scapegoating, and stigmatizing during COVID-19:
→ Maintain the privacy and confidentiality of those seeking healthcare and those who may be part of any contact investigation.
→ Quickly communicate the risk or lack of risk from associations with products, people, and places.
→ Raise awareness about COVID-19 without increasing fear.
→ Share accurate information about how the virus spreads.
→ Speak out against negative behaviors, including statements on social media about groups of people, or exclusion of people who pose no risk from regular activities.
→ Be cautious about the images that are shared. Make sure they do not reinforce stereotypes.
→ Engage with stigmatized groups in person and through media channels including news media and social media.
→ Thank healthcare workers and responders. People who have traveled to areas where the COVID-19 outbreak is happening to help have performed a valuable and brave service.
→ Share the need for social support for people who have returned from China or Europe or are worried about friends or relatives in the affected region.
Here are some specific tips for building inclusion while working remotely:
1. Continue to pause and consider who isn’t “in the room.” When making big decisions or holding high-level meetings while remote, it can be easy to forget to include a diverse array of voices. Always consider who you might be forgetting.
2. Ensure information is communicated equitably and often. Consider updating your staff daily, weekly, or as available, versus touching base with different people at different times. This Harvard Business Review article is a great resource for “Communicating Through the Coronavirus Crisis.”
3. With your staff now working from home, it’s important to remember that not everyone has the same access to equipment or a quiet space—make sure your employees are set up for success by checking in and addressing their individual needs.
4. Set clear expectations around remote employment and employee trust. Hone in on deliverables and due dates so everyone knows what’s expected. For managers, be understanding and flexible with employee work hours, particularly with those who also have their children at home.
5. Make sure your remote meetings are designed so that everyone has a chance to speak. At Camber Outdoors, we discuss agenda items “popcorn style,” in order to avoid the same people having to speak first (or last) every time. Our team writes its agenda items in a spreadsheet ahead of each all-staff meeting, and then someone volunteers to go first before passing it along to someone else. The scribe changes with each meeting to keep things fair. Here’s a guide from Harvard Business Review on “What It Takes to Run a Great Virtual Meeting.”
6. Pick a DEI-related book, article, or a podcast your company can read or listen to as a team. For example, at Camber Outdoors, we’ve been reading the e-book version of Rhodes Perry’s, “Belonging at Work.” Hold a separate meeting to discuss!Section 2
General Best Practices for Working Remotely
At Camber Outdoors, we have always had a remote workplace and a thriving work from home culture. Our entire staff lives in different regions of the U.S., only overlapping for certain hours each day. While we continue navigating this extraordinary moment in our lifetimes, we want to share some of our team’s coping strategies.
1. If your team or office doesn’t already have a Slack workspace, set one up! We’ve found it to be an invaluable tool for not only working remotely but keeping up “water cooler” talk. If you’re not hearing from certain colleagues, make an effort to check in and engage them in conversation. Similarly, check-in with the parents on your team who have the added responsibility of working while they watch their kids.
2. On a related note, create an #hovlane (Home Office View Thread), where everyone shares photos and notes about what their day is looking like. This will help build connectivity and boost morale. Sharing personal anecdotes will also help your team commiserate and keep things light. Other Slack channel ideas: #covid19tips, #recipes, or #quoteoftheday.
3. Use a virtual meeting place, such as Zoom, and make sure everyone is using it with their cameras on. Share smiles and laughter as a team—Deidre Paknad, CEO of WorkBoard, suggests holding a silly, “best outfit” weekly context.
4. If you don’t already, hold your all-hands company meeting weekly. For those in leadership positions, make sure you’re updating intelligence on a more regular basis. And don’t assume that information creates informedness—this Harvard Business Review article does a great job of laying out what that means for company leaders.Section 3
Comcast has opened up its Xfinity WiFi Network nationally for free, in addition to offering unlimited data for free and upping its commitment to connect low-income families to the internet. Additionally, Zoom has upped its free services and Google has rolled out free access to its advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing.
8 Questions Employers Should Ask About Coronavirus, Harvard Business Review
Leading and Working Through a Pandemic Resources, Harvard Business Review
A Time to Lead with Purpose and Humanity, Harvard Business Review
Guide to Managing a Remote Team, by Megan Berry, VP Product, OctaneAI
COVID-19 Company Playbook, Almanac
Bias and Diversity in the Gig Economy, SearchHR
Emergency Remote Work Kit, GoToMeeting
Coronavirus Communications Triage Kit, The Communications Network
Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Coronavirus Tax Relief Updates, Internal Revenue Service
Coronavirus Resources, U.S. Department of Labor
COVID-19 and the Workplace, U.S. Department of Labor
Updates on Unemployment, U.S. Department of Labor
Programs and Services by State, U.S. Department of Labor