Working environments are extremely important, making sure everyone feels comfortable, respected and valued are only a few aspects that can make for a good office culture. In the finance sector this is no different, but how do employers develop a working atmosphere that promotes inclusivity by creating great internal networks?

Building diversity within a team is one thing, but ensuring that team culture runs through the entirety of the business, is another. It has been proven that if your workplace is inclusive you will bring out the best qualities from all employees. Developing an inclusive working environment will optimise job satisfaction and create a culture that everybody can enjoy, this will impact the entire business, from top to bottom.

What we have done at Page Personnel

Here at Page Personnel, we have implemented an array of internal networks, one of them being [email protected] These are great tools that support diverse teams in the workplace, it shows that the business takes their diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives seriously as well as their teams’ differences. However, implementing tools such as these aren’t a one-time fix, it is important to highlight that these initiatives need to be followed up on. Recognising that different members of the team may need additional help to make them feel comfortable in the organisation will ensure a happier and more effective team environment overall. 

Implementing change across the business

A mentoring network is also a good tool to help facilitate these initiatives. While the network can be established by individuals at any point in their career, mentoring a member of staff will continue to drive these initiatives. When a member of staff is mentored by someone similar to them and they are continually making connections throughout their career, you are putting in place a programme that is supported by tangible connections. 

If you are looking to identify the key groups that would benefit from an internal network, start by looking at the key areas of D&I – specifically where you haven’t got as much presence. [email protected] was a programme that began as maternity workshops and grew dramatically. It highlighted key issues within PageGroup, as we discovered that a low amount of women were returning from maternity leave. Targeting groups that have the biggest impact on the team and culture will hopefully bring forward more subjects for change in the future, which will, in turn, improve your business culture dramatically. 

Introducing a programme like this may seem a difficult task, however, we have some tips to integrate a tool like this into your business.

Supporting the programme

Individuals need to be driven to support the programmes and the initiatives need to be sponsored from the top down.

Find advocates for the initiative

Finding a group to head up the programme and to keep development and momentum going is key to making the most out of the tool you are implementing. 

Set up mentoring and workshops

Setting up mentoring once momentum has built will get more people from the company involved, and internal networking can develop from this.

Host workshops

Hosting workshops and keeping regular contact between the groups will engage with a diverse group of people across the company.

Momentum is key when implementing a tool such as this, constant drives to increase awareness of the programmes will get people talking throughout the wider organisation. 

Our UK Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Sheri Hughes has this advice for introducing such a programme to your organisation: “Be patient, don’t have too greater expectations too quickly, internal groups need to grow naturally. If it’s forced, then it’s not going to include people who are really committed to the cause.”

You can also use your internal networks to support the broader diversity initiatives within your organisation. People talk amongst themselves about their experiences at work, when discussing such internal networks those from minority groups are likely to share how it has helped them to feel more comfortable within the workplace. 

How people feel on a day-to-day basis at work, is an integral part of the culture of a business, networks should continually strive to improve employee happiness and satisfaction. This will make the working culture more enjoyable, improve retention rates and increase the attractiveness of your business to new potential candidates. The outcomes of these networks and how employees feel, feed through to company culture and generally improve your appeal as an employer of choice. 

If you are looking to hire for financial services roles get in touch with one of our expert recruitment consultants now.

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