As part of EuropeActive’s commitment to promote and safeguard an inclusive and welcoming environment for all across the fitness and physical activity ecosystem, we are acknowledging and celebrating the LGBTIQ+ community and Pride Month. As of such we are thrilled to shine the spotlight on inspiring stakeholders who are proactively acknowledging, supporting, and celebrating the LGBTIQ+ community.
Xplor Technologies is implementing their Inclusion Ignites Innovation strategy which intertwines business and staff well-being! Their Director of Colleague Experience, Renae Murphy, agreed to share some insights with us!
Pre-pandemic it was easier to connect with people because many were working on-site 4-5 days a week. Now, companies are faced with trying to ease people back into the workplace, when a growing number would prefer to remain remote or hybrid. The challenges we all face in creating an inclusive workplace, where everyone can be their true self at work, predominantly lies in removing unconscious bias from hiring, strategy, product, and customer decisions.
Inclusion and diversity are at the heart of our values. We want to build a culture where every Xplorer feels included, valued, and empowered to make an impact. So we’ve created our three year strategy: Inclusion Ignites Innovation – as you can tell from the name, inclusion is how we unlock innovation and increased performance across our business. It’s relevant to every single Xplorer, because we all have a part to play in creating an inclusive culture.
Because we believe this, we’ve initiated unconscious bias training for all our Xplorers, overhauled hiring processes to gather diverse candidate slates, and been intentional about creating connections in a virtual-first environment, with hackathons, regular all-hands events, and even a global engagement event we call the Xplor Olympics. We’ve done this so that everyone, whether remote or office-based, can connect and work with people they may not otherwise meet, building a sense of belonging and community even if they’ve never been to an office.
Just like in fitness, hybrid and remote work are now a part of working life, and the way that we challenge unconscious bias will be critical to retaining talent in the post-pandemic world. With underrepresented groups spending less time in the workplace, access to professional opportunities could suffer if managers take the approach of out of sight, out of mind. Some may believe that on-site employees are more productive, but what data are they using to measure productivity? If companies don’t challenge this perception, underrepresented people could suffer by bias, unfair and incorrect perceptions surrounding their performance.
At Xplor Technologies, we’ve learned that it’s possible to work productively, have fun and drive culture remotely. We focused on equipping managers with tools to build team engagement and connection remotely. One tool we found to be very successful in engaging a global hybrid workforce was Workplace by Meta. Everyone has access and alongside receiving company and team news, the platform allows employees to share updates in real-time, or pre-record video so people can watch when it suits them. Alongside being a place to share company news and get work done, it’s also become a social hub. Two of our most popular groups are Dogs@Xplor and EspressoMartini & Tiramisu, where people share photos and connect over a shared interest.
We also have Women@Xplor, BIPOC@Xplor and Pride@Xplor networks, dedicated to building community, belonging and inclusion across Xplor for these underrepresented groups. These networks promote a work environment that is supportive, safe, and responsive to diverse and underrepresented identities. We welcome allies as part of these communities, while prioritizing and amplifying their voices.
Also, employees are continuing to prioritize company culture along with flexibility in where they work, over the size of a paycheck, and that’s not going to change any time soon – so it’s important to recognize that people want a sense of purpose for the work they do. Now more than ever, employees need to know their work has value, and to feel connected to a higher purpose. We want all our employees to feel this, so we recently gave every Xplorer a personalized metallic business card, with the job title Founder, to represent their individual role in shaping our company and delivering on our purpose, “to help people succeed.” Having a strong ownership mindset is part of our cultural DNA and we encourage every Xplorer to think and act like a founder.
For background, we help the owners running small and medium-sized businesses spend more time doing what they love, by giving them cloud-based, intuitive technology to manage all the hassles of running and growing a business. Many of our employees were once small business owners themselves, so we know the pain points our customers face day-to-day and take immense pride in making things simpler for them by reducing admin and overhead while helping them grow.
Another way we’re helping employees to be a part of something bigger is via our giveback days, where we give every Xplorer three days of paid leave a year to volunteer in their local community. Helping employees feel like they’re part of something bigger by connecting them to a greater sense of purpose, and creating an environment where they can be their 100% authentic self at work, especially if they’re underrepresented, is the key to feeling happy and fulfilled in our work life.
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