Data and Audience
5 Franchise Marketing Mistakes to Avoid in 2023
Culture and Leadership
Real World Stories
As the DEI landscape continues to change, Amsive will evolve with it.
When I joined Amsive 18 months ago, much work was needed to bring three uniquely different companies together under one unified brand. In particular, creating a company culture where everyone feels included and part of our future was critical for us. From the beginning, our leadership team believed our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) must be embedded in the fabric of our culture and how we work together.
At Amsive, we believe diversity means recognizing and appreciating our peers’ differing individual qualities, experiences, and cultures. Equity means that everyone has fair and equal access to the same opportunities while recognizing that advantages and barriers exist. As a result, we accommodate all employee needs to feel equipped to reach their full potential. And inclusion means the identities of our team members will be valued, leveraged, and welcomed within our company culture setting.
As a first step, we identified an advisory committee led by several business leaders, including our CEO, to assess our current environment and identify areas for improvement. We landed on three areas of focus: talent acquisition, awareness, and action.
To achieve greater diversity within your organization, you must have inclusive talent acquisition practices. At Amsive, we knew we needed to strengthen our recruiting efforts. With no dedicated talent acquisition resources, we began by building a team.
We hired a director of talent acquisition, a recruiting manager, and a talent acquisition specialist to help us build out best practices. Creating metrics such as the number of diverse candidates per open position and acceptance rates, strengthening processes by creating interview guides and standard evaluation forms, and identifying opportunities, including developing strategic partnerships to attract, source, and hire diverse talent is just the beginning.
Increasing diversity in our organization through talent acquisition is an important step. But, it doesn’t mean much if employees don’t feel included or supported. We encourage employees to speak up through several different channels: anonymous surveys, group chats, in-person focus groups, or confidential one-on-one meetings.
We learned through feedback that employees want to have honest conversations. More education and training were needed to approach this dialogue and become allies. Our managers participated in externally led workshops that reminded us of how important it is to know that managers are looking out for our teams’ well-being. Managers received a framework for engaging in essential conversations, addressed personal challenges in talking about racism and inequity, and discussed barriers they might encounter in their day-to-day.
It is not only leadership that needs access to resources to build awareness. All employees need education and awareness information too. To facilitate this effort, we partnered with Seramount — a professional services firm dedicated to advancing DEI in the workplace — to develop awareness training and foundational concepts that are important for all of us to understand. In addition to the guidance and support Seramount provides to our DEI Advisory Committee, they also give all employees access to educational information, tools, and best practices.
Sharing information and providing opportunities to celebrate and support employees’ different backgrounds, ethnicities, and cultures at Amsive has been a fun way to showcase our differences. During Hispanic Heritage Month, we shared stories of three individuals who had a significant impact on our nation. In recognizing Italian-American Heritage month, several employees shared their favorite family traditions that spanned generations.
Supporting internal and external groups aligned with company values and diverse interests can affect real change. In March, we launch our first Employee Resource Group (ERG) to create a stronger sense of belonging and connect team members who share common interests or backgrounds and want to network, learn new skills, and promote professional development. Our first ERG will bring together Amsive Women in Leadership based on employee feedback and interest. This community will no doubt inspire the formation of future ERGs.
Demonstrating commitment to local communities is an essential part of company culture. When bringing companies together, it can be challenging to develop a strategy. We decided to start in smaller increments. For example, in honor of Black History Month, we encouraged our employees to support Black-owned businesses by curating a list of companies with fun and unique product offerings. We took the lead by purchasing copies of a cookbook for employees featuring one of our favorite fitness and recipe bloggers, Kevin Curry.
While our journey is just beginning, we are still learning and actionably evolving along the way. We have a long way to go before we reach our goal – to create a workplace where diversity, equity, and inclusion are embedded into our culture. DEI is a collective responsibility and we’re working toward these goals to be embraced by every team member every day.