‘Inclusion’ is a word that is used regularly and at Scantec we acknowledge that it means many different things to different people.
As an organisation, we have chosen to define Inclusion as described by the Society for Human Resource Management:
“The achievement of a work environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully, have equal access to opportunities and resources, and can contribute fully to the organisation's success.”
For ‘National Inclusion Week’ we wanted to find out what it means to our employees, and have chosen to share the views of three individuals from different parts of our business:
Being accepted by your work colleagues for who you are. The term I like is ‘bringing your whole self to work’. We are all different – the way we think, communicate, problem solve, build relationships and behave. No two people are exactly the same. That’s what we need to accept and embrace in the work place, as those differences are what define a business’ culture and the ability to deliver.
Being treated the same as everyone else within the business. I work 25 hours per week and so it is important to me to feel I have the same opportunities as my Colleagues that work full time.
I want to be included in all of the incentives and have a fair opportunity to achieve the awards others do.
Inclusion to me means that everyone should be treated fairly and given the same opportunity no matter their gender, race, belief, sexual orientation etc. In the work place, inclusion to me means that everyone should have equal opportunity to progress and succeed and no one should be treated differently because of their role or position. I want people to feel they can be who ever they want to be in work and not be viewed any differently.
Q. How have you felt included at Scantec?
In many ways. For example, I am accepted by my colleagues in the Leadership Team as being someone who can support with ‘non-finance’ related deliverables – they include me on all key decision making. I am also encouraged and supported by the Managing Director to find ways to continually better myself in the role I deliver – I am included in the process of shaping my career with the company. Finally, as a father of two young children I have the flexibility to work outside of core hours to accommodate my responsibilities at home – there are a lot of parents in the business, delivering in roles with similar levels of flexibility, and I feel part of that ‘group’ who are supported in this way.
I do feel a very included and valued member of the Scantec team. I have been with the Company for over 19 years, working full time for the first 7. After having children, I put a request in for part time hours, which was accepted. I have now worked part time (school hours) for 12 years. This is so important to me, I am very fortunate that I am able to take my children to school and pick them up daily.
There have been times when I haven’t felt included; however this has now been addressed. The incentive scheme for the bonus trip and the monthly high achievers award has now been amended to reflect my part time hours.
Overall, very much so. I have been given the opportunity to get involved in different projects and I feel like I have been welcomed since I started over 2 years ago.
In my last job, I reduced my hours to work 4 days a week instead of 5 due to childcare commitments. I was very thankful for this because, as a new father, this time with my daughter was amazing and something I will cherish forever. When I interviewed here at Scantec, I mentioned my reduced hours and asked if this would be an option here but I was told it was a full time position. I never really pushed back on this and asked why because I was getting a pay rise from my last job so covered the extra childcare costs.
I feel this would be approached differently now due to Scantec becoming a more flexible and open culture. I know of a number of people in the business who have flexible working and work 4 days a week instead of 5, so the business is open to this. I now have flexible working hours with slightly different start and finish times on Wednesdays and Thursdays to allow me to pick up my children from childcare. This was granted last year when I had been in the business for 16 months and it was no issue at all, the business and my manager were very supportive of this.
Q. Have you felt included during your career as a whole?
Generally speaking, yes. I have worked in many businesses over the past 20 years, all with different cultures and different ways of demonstrating inclusiveness for their people. Back in 2004 I moved from Edinburgh to Liverpool. I did not ‘over think’ the move at the time although I had some reservations as to whether or not I would be accepted in the work place given my nationality. I had nothing to be concerned about – if anything, my accent and heritage have helped me integrate in to most businesses!
I haven’t always felt included during my career. When I was with a previous Company, I was aware that a colleague of mine in a similar role was being paid a higher salary than myself. I didn’t bring this up with anyone at the time, it was very different 20 years ago and salaries weren’t transparent.
When I went part time with Scantec 12 years ago, the Incentive scheme didn’t exist. When it was rolled out to the business, part time hours weren’t taken into account. Following consultation, it was agreed that the eligibility for all rewards should be prorated in accordance with hours worked.
Up until becoming a parent, I had never really thought about inclusion as I didn’t feel it affected me. I’ve always felt like I have been included in opportunities and felt comfortable and supported. My last job was slightly different; even though I was allowed to reduce my hours to 4 day weeks, the business was not very supportive and the pressure of work became a little overwhelming. Due to dropping a day, my work load increased massively as no one was covering my work when I was off. This resulted in me needing to work more hours over the 4 days and I found myself starting to work hours in the evenings to catch up, which was something I was not comfortable with. I raised this with HR and my manager but didn’t feel much support which is why I ultimately left. I now work 5 days a week and I feel 100% supported if I need to finish early or change my hours.
Q. How could Scantec improve inclusion in the workplace?
The company has changed significantly in the past couple of years. The Leadership Team are acting upon staff feedback with a view to making this company a great place to work. Changes in core hours, all company incentive schemes, relaxed dress code, a competency framework, IoR backed training and professional qualifications for support staff to name but a few of the changes made in recent times. The creation of the Employee Forum and Social Committee are giving people the platform to provide feedback and shape the future of the company. Going forward, the EDI project will further guide the business on ‘what good looks like’ in the context of improving inclusion in the work place.
Since I joined Scantec 19 years ago, the Company has evolved so much and changed for the better.We now have better communication from the Management Team and feedback is listened to.
Moving forward I think we could Introduce the opportunity of working from home on the odd occasion due to childcare issues.
I have been in a situation where I have lost pay due to not being able to come into the office.I am aware of some Colleagues being able to work from home (more at a Managerial level) and I feel this should be extended to all staff where workload permits.
I have been here for just over 2 years and I feel Scantec has changed a lot in that time. Introducing the change in working hours and flexibility in dress code has been a big improvement. I feel the company really want to hear from the staff and help improve the work environment and the introduction of the employee forum has helped this enormously. This allows people to share ideas and discuss concerns in an environment where they will not be judged. It is a very inclusive environment as it is open for all staff to attend.
As part of the Social Committee, I am currently involved in getting a social calendar in place which should allow people to meet and talk to people outside of the teams.
I think the “Investors In Diversity” will also increase inclusion in the business. Educating people in these topics will certainly have a positive impact on inclusion here. Having recently completed the questionnaire and attended the training session, I think peoples’ perceptions have changed and they are a lot more positive about this and understand what FREDIE is.
Our aim during inclusion week is to raise awareness of the importance of inclusion in the workplace and the business benefits that having a diverse and inclusive workplace brings.
We understand that assessing our approach towards the varying needs of our employees and focusing on the importance of building an inclusive culture will increase employee retention and ensure that all of our people feel valued and considered at work.
We are always keen to hear about other people’s experiences, so please comment with how you would define inclusion and what your experience is of working in different environments.