Tag Archives: employee engagement

Diversity and Inclusion - Employee Engagement

Juneteenth is 61 Days Away

Holidays have a way of creeping up on me. It’s springtime now, and before you know it, it will be summer. I know that I often have the best of intentions to commemorate special days, but often I fall short on the delivery. It’s suddenly Father’s Day and I haven’t even thought about organizing a family event. Or it’s Veterans Day and I forgot to send the special cards that I purchased for my friends who are Veterans.

If you are working in an organization that recognizes holidays with special programming, there are 61 days until Juneteenth. The past few years we have sent out suggestions for ways to honor this special day, but we heard from our readers that they came too late to include any of the amazing options in their plans. Here are some ideas and suggestions in advance, so you can put one or more in place before this important day.

Watch Videos Together:

Social Inequities Explained in a $100 Race

The Sounds of Slavery

“Stand Up!” from the movie Harriet

March, March

Distribute Articles and Host a Discussion Group:

Corinne Shutak, 106 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice

Ibram X. Kendi, The American Nightmare

Daryl Austin, George Floyd’s death has to be a tipping point. White people like me must fight racism.

Tim Wise, Code of Ethics for White Anti-Racists

Nikole Hannah-Jones, The 1619 Project

Howard Ross, Everyday Bias article and presentation

Karla McLaren, How to Support Antiracism in Yourself and the World

Washington Post Magazine, Visualizing Racism

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from the Birmingham Jail

Jane Elliott‘s Blue eyed/Brown eyed exercise

Display Quotes:

“The opposite of ‘racist’ isn’t ‘not racist” . . . Success for the anti-racist is a world where power and policy support equality of opportunity for all. This equality of opportunity will produce equality of outcome.”

— Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be an Anti-Racist

“We are persons classified as white in this society. As aspiring anti-racist allies/collaborators, we seek to work with people of color (and follow their leadership) to create real multiracial democracy. We do not fight racism on behalf of people of color, or as an act of charity. We oppose white supremacy because it is an unjust system, and we believe in the moral obligation to resist injustice.”

— Tim Wise, Code of Ethics for White Anti-Racists

Black Lives Matter

I Can’t Breathe; 

No Justice No Peace”

— Millions of people all over the world

Provide Books:

Robin DiAngelo, White Fragility 

Layla Saad, Me and White Supremacy

Other Options and Activities:

Play Juneteenth Jeopardy with questions related to Black history.

Plan for a Lunch and Learn and invite a university professor or professional speaker to talk about Black history, music, or culture.  

Learn about soul food and cook authentic recipes.

Tour a Black culture museum or exhibit.

Read a book about civil rights and host a book discussion, or invite the author to speak to your organization.  

Host a movie afternoon and show a movie or TV show, for example:

  • Miss Juneteenth
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • Black-ish
  • Atlanta
  • All American: Homecoming
  • Sherman’s Showcase
  • Watchmen
  • Harriet
  • 13th
  • Malcolm X
  • I Am Not Your Negro

For more resources, click here for a list compiled by my racial diversity peer group. I am just starting to read and listen to these sources. I am sharing this list and I have seen it in several places, but I cannot endorse the materials.

We hope this list will give you both ideas and time to create an event that will bring your employees together to commemorate this special day.

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Employee Engagement - Leadership - Performance Management

Remote Work – How Fair is Your Organization?

I recently had three discussions about remote work in the same one-week period.

The first instance came up with a close friend. Yohan moved to the DC area during the pandemic because his wife got a new job here and his Charlotte-based company was allowing, and even encouraging, everyone to work remotely. Since relocating, Yohan has been promoted to the role of manager, and now his organization is calling all managers back to the office for a minimum of three days per week. Yohan has to decide if he will: 1) Get a new job; 2) Move back to Charlotte; or 3) Apply for a non-managerial position within his existing company.

The second person facing a remote-work predicament is a coaching client, Kathy, whose husband has accepted a job in another state. Kathy has been with the same university for the past 15 years where she has held a variety of administrative positions. Since the beginning of the pandemic, she has worked remotely 100% of the time, and her performance appraisals reflect that her work and work ethic are exemplary. Kathy plans to move to the other state with her husband, but the university has a requirement that employees must live within a 90-minute commute so that there will be no overnight expenses associated with in-person staff meetings. While this requirement exists, there have not been any in-person meetings during the past three years.

And finally, I am working with a biotech firm trying to fill a niche position that has been open for months since the need for this particular skill set is so great and the pool of qualified personnel is so small. While the organization has primarily an in-person work environment, their organization does have a few exceptions; however, everyone agrees that this position would work best if the incumbent were in-person. According to the recruiter, they now have three highly-qualified candidates, but none are willing to relocate for the position.

How should companies manage these situations which are no longer unique, and in fact, are now quite commonplace? While each organization and industry must decide what is best based on their own business needs, I was most impressed with the process one of clients uses to designate a position as fully or partially remote. It starts by asking a number of important questions, like: 

  • How specifically will the individual continue to meet the organization’s business needs?
  • How will the proposed remote work benefit the organization?
  • How will the individual contribute to mentoring colleagues and to creating the culture of the organization?
  • If the position has direct reports, what processes will the manager use to manage remotely?

Do you agree that these are valid concerns? Can you think of other questions that need to be answered in order to start or continue remote work in a post-pandemic world? 

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