Diversity by Design: Co-Creating Inclusive Workplaces for Immigrants and Newcomers Recap
On January 28th, veza community hosted our second annual Diversity by Design workshop at Women in Tech Regatta. This year we were joined by Hanif Ladha from the Immigrant Employer’s Council of BC, Humaira Ahmed of Locelle Digital and Gwen Pawlikowski of Highlight Communication, who all provided incredible insights on the immigrant journey. The following blog will share some of the key highlights and takeaways from the panel and breakout groups.
Organizations can be designed to encourage diversity (and they should be!) A suite of studies have overwhelmingly proven that companies with more women in leadership and higher rates of ethnic diversity are more profitable, have higher retention rates of staff and are better at solving problems because of a diversity of thought around the table. For instance, according to Statistics Canada’s Workplace Employee Survey, for every 1% increase in gender diversity and ethnocultural diversity, there was, respectively, an average increase of 3.5% and 2.4% in revenue and 0.7% and 0.5% in workplace productivity.
We know that diversity is important secret sauce that makes organizations work better, but what is the secret to fostering more diversity? And further, what can we do to make sure that diversity is accompanied by belonging, especially for newcomers?
Onboarding is an important juncture for all employees that sets them up for success in their new roles. Poorly executed onboarding can create unnecessary stress, frustration and often, an end to employment. Newcomers need additional support to fit in and have an easy transition into a Canadian workplace.
- setting up their workspace with the tools they need and an onboarding guide ahead of time, perhaps even an acronym dictionary if the organization leans heavily on jargon;
- setting clear expectations and pathways to success;
- having all staff participate in a welcome lunch or party;
- creating a buddy system that links the new hire with someone of a similar background who can help show them the ropes;
- Encouraging patience in current staff ahead of time by highlighting some different ways that people of their culture show up in the workplace.
Belonging leads to retention
As panelist Hanif Ladha shared, “Trust starts with meaningful conversations.” In the workplace, that means conversations that create a human connection between current staff and new hires of different backgrounds to build trust and a sense of belonging. Staff take a queue from senior managers on this and that is why it is important to create an office culture that encourages people to be people. Workshop participants expressed a feeling of belonging coming from colleagues showing a genuine interest in their families, stories, and culture (and not assuming men don’t want to have those conversations!) and from having their office celebrate holidays and birthdays.
Belonging requires promoting a culture of celebrating diversity in the workplace. For example, participants fondly recalled Diwali parties with samosas and a Moon festival potluck that allowed them to take part in their colleagues’ cultures.
The key piece is buy-in from leadership. Having committees and resource groups for different backgrounds or LGBTQ employees and even for cultural celebrations is appreciated by staff, but do require discretionary funds. Participants also highlighted volunteer projects in their communities as a huge boost for staff morale and a way of infusing meaning into a newcomer’s transition into a team.
One participant stood up and shared that on the whole, newcomers don’t want to be treated as newcomers. They want to be treated as people. All people have a history and a culture. All people have skills and interesting perspectives. All people have something to offer. All people should be accommodated.
The ultimate goal is for every employee to feel like they belong and they are identified as a team member rather than being labeled as an immigrant or newcomer.
Opportunities for growth
Staff from all backgrounds want to work in organizations that take a personal interest in their wellbeing and their professional advancement. That includes opportunities for mentorship, professional development and space to move up, but also, one-on-one time with leadership. Many appreciate systems of recognition or peer spotlighting.
A strong workplace culture should ultimately allow all people to be heard without judgement, because adding different cultures adds different perspectives. That’s why we need to make the space and take the extra care where it is needed. It’s the right thing and the smart thing to do.
If you want to do a quick strategy session on your HR programs and policy to promote greater diversity and inclusion in your organization, please contact us at hello [at] vezacommunity [dot] com.
It’s really easy to obsess over your compensation package.
I know SO many women who continuously stress and strive for a bigger salary and more prestigious title, rarely stopping to even appreciate each successful promotion.
Really, it’s no surprise.
We’ve been raised by our parents and communities to believe that our paycheque is a reflection of our value. That what we’re paid is an indication of our worth.
That line of thinking is really damaging because ultimately it means that what we’re paid becomes our source of self-worth.
No wonder there’s a push to earn more and more. Even if the roles pursued aren’t fulfilling.
Here’s the thing, I’m all for shattering the glass ceiling and seeing more and more women rise in leadership and pay grade, especially women of colour, but first, I want you to know the truth.
The truth is… whatever you’re being paid right now… is not the place to define your self-worth.
Divinely you are worthy of far more than you could ever ask for.
Your worthiness is inherent in your essence and your very being.
With that understood, asking for what you’re “worth”, in the context of your career, really boils down to the VALUE you offer to your employer.
Your value is measured by your demonstrable skills, talents, experience, and education AND your ability to bring them forward and present them in a way that makes it clear to your manager that you are an asset to the organization.
When you can communicate your value with ease and confidence it’s really simple to ask for the raise or promotion you know you deserve and hear, “YES!”
Here how I coach my clients to ask for what they’re worth and get it:
Build Up Your Worthiness Mindset
Last week I talked a lot about mindset. I shared how certain mindset shifts helped me land my dream role at the United Nations .
Well guess what… Mindset is at the heart of asking for your raise or promotion too.
The mindset that’s required when you’re asking for more money or a new role is to approach the situation with the full body understanding that your paycheque does not to equate to and cannot diminish your worth.
You’re worthy because of who you are and you are capable of receiving as much money as you desire because you are a powerful creator.
When you walk into the room with this knowing, it changes the conversation.
You lead the conversation from a place of confidence and strength because you KNOW you’re capable and deserving of any amount of money you ask for…and you KNOW that the Divine / Universe / Source will bring you whatever you desire, be it in your current role, or in one far better than you could ever imagine.
Compare Your Job Description vs. Your Actual Role
In the age of cutbacks and downsizing, it’s very rare to find yourself doing only the tasks and duties that are outlined on your official job description. Quite often you’re doing 5 different jobs under one title and not being properly compensated for it. The good news is, this is a really easy way to showcase the added value you bring to the table simply by walking into the room prepared with comparative roles and salaries.
Do the research and compare your current job description alongside the job description of the role that you’re “really doing”. Dig up as much salary information as you can find too. Share salaries from similar roles, in similar industries and even in other industries as well. Don’t be afraid to present job descriptions and salaries for the role that’s one promotion or pay grade up from where you are currently to show where you desire to grow.
When it’s in black and white it becomes a lot easier for your manager to agree that it’s time to adjust your salary accordingly.
Show Your Work
In addition to outlining your actual role, you’ll also want to show your value through compiling a list of achievements and contributions you’ve made to the organization in the last year or since your last raise. Create that list, review it to boost your confidence, and bring it to the table.
Being able to confidently show and say, “These are the contributions I’ve made” demonstrates your value beyond far your ability to do the work you’re assigned.
It allows you to create some leverage here and leverage is key in negotiations.
Always Talk About The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, companies are in business to make money — even when they’re not-for-profit
When you’re reviewing your list of accomplishments be sure to talk in terms of the bottom line as often as you can. You’ll want to show how you’re driving sales, acquisitions or assets for the company or how you’re increasing resources.
If you’re in a position where you don’t directly impact the bottom line or sales, in an admin or a human resources role perhaps, you can share where you were able to save the company money instead.
Share examples that demonstrate how you’ve contributed to the improvement of workflow, used resources more effectively, and how you helped make the lives easier of those who are in sales or revenue producing roles. That’s just as important since it contributes to healthy profits.
Schedule a Time to Talk About Your Raise
Rather than springing a salary discussion on your boss, it’s really important to set a time and day to discuss your compensation with the appropriate person whether it be your hiring manager, Human Resources etc.
You want it to be clear that you’re opening a dialogue to talk about salary and you want them to be in the right mindset to have that kind of conversation.
It can feel confronting but you need to be transparent about your desire to negotiate salary in order to create the kind of outcome you’re hoping for. When your manager is also prepared to have this conversation, it puts you in a place of power. You can be totally open and upfront and your manager will expect you to be.
Take Control Of The Conversation
Being the one to request the conversation, you’re also in a place to lead the conversation if you choose…and it’s wise to do so.
Take control of the conversation by being the first to when you enter the room. Thank your manager for taking the time to review your compensation package and let him or her know that you’ve pulled together a package to review together. Present your case and allow her to provide their feedback but do not allow her to control the conversation.
When you’ve stated the facts and your requested salary, close the conversation by asking for immediate feedback if that’s appropriate or a clear date of decision.
You want to make it clear that you’re expecting a decision or decision date at the end.
Be Ready For Objections
To effectively control the flow of conversation you’ll also want to prepare for any objections beforehand.
Think of all the possible reasons your raise or promotion might be declined and come up with a counter point.
Here are a few to get started….
If they say, “Well there’s no room in the company budget.”
Prepare notes prior to the meeting on ways you can increase funds for the company or department. Or, consider countering with benefits that aren’t directly related to salary such as personal development days, money, vacation time or days off.
If they say, “That no one else is getting a raise.”
This might be an opportunity to discuss the timing of your last raise if it’s been a while. You’ll also want to explore your performance over this period of time to demonstrate where you’ve performed over and above your colleagues and therefore deserve unique opportunities. Again, you might wish to consider or suggest non-salary benefit like extra training.
Follow-up, Follow-up, Follow-up
Once you’ve wrapped up your presentation, ask for a decision within a certain timeframe. Then, let your manager know, you’ll be following up within a week and that you look forward to a positive result from the conversation. Close the conversation immediately afterwards by thanking your manager for his or her time and walking out of the room with confidence.
Be sure you follow up in a week as promised… or even better, as soon as you walk out of the room, schedule a follow-up meeting so they have it on their calendar as well.
One Last Thing…
If you’re a ball of nerves either right before you head into the conversation, the best place focus is that list of accomplishments you’ve created to help you really own the fact you that you are an asset and deserve to be compensated accordingly.
I also shared a few more tips recently right here
Remember! You have a lot to offer and your list of accomplishments (along with your cumulative list of degrees and career achievements) is proof that you have contributed so much already so go ahead and create that list!
Now is actually a great time to recall and capture your accomplishments throughout the year if you haven’t been keeping track.
To help you get crystal clear on the value you brought to your organization in 2017 and to begin setting your career goals for 2018 I have a special gift to send your way…
It’s the Veza 2018 Goal Setting Intention Guide.
This is a special workbook I’ve created for our community (for free) to help you review your year and set intentional goals for the year to come. The first section is all about capturing this year’s accomplishments so I highly recommend downloading it if you’re wanting to talk new salary (or new role) in 2018.
Download your copy of the Veza 2018 Goal Setting Intention Guide here
p.s. After you grab your copy be sure to join us over in our private Facebook Community where we’ll be completing the workbook together and masterminding to create a game plan to magnetize your dream career (with the salary to match) in 2018.
May these resources guide you to ask for what you’re worth and get it! Enjoy!
Love. Something we all crave and want.
Acceptance. We just want to know that other love us.
Self-love. We keep hearing about it and you think, don’t I already love myself? How could I even love myself anymore?
Worthiness. I am worthy of love, aren’t I?
The question is, how do these words impact our work life and our success?
We keep hearing about them but aren’t they separate from work life? Is there a way that these are impacting your success at work?
The person who annoys us the most at work is actually mirroring aspects of ourselves that we need to heal.
I know you are thinking…Really, you are kidding me, right? right?
Actually I am not, well kind of. There are two things that can happen. They are either mirroring an aspect we need to heal or an aspect we have healed to show us how far we have come.
Now you are thinking, but can’t they just be annoying without these lessons?
Well think about it. Think about the person that annoys you the most at work. Who do they remind you of? The person they remind you of, what did they used to do to annoy you? Is there a similarity between the two? What lesson did you have to learn from the other person that used to annoy you? What did you need to think or believe and the situation got better?
Yes all of these situations teach us lessons. Sometimes it is as simple as compassion, forgiveness or aspects of ourselves that we need to love.
So now do you see how love, acceptance, worthiness and self love play into your work life. We may be reflected aspects of what we need to heal in our work environment. If we have increased worthiness, love and acceptance in our lives, we show up differently at work. We are more inclined to think for the betterment of the company instead of being stuck in our own story. We are also more inclined to take risks in the workplace by stretching outside the comfort zone.
Is there a situation at work that is bothering you and you aren’t sure of how to handle it? Schedule your complimentary Strategy Success call to see how I can help you.