I am constantly learning about what it really means to build an inclusive, supportive culture.
Over the summer, I held an exit interview with one of my employees who was leaving Scouted to attend Business School. I asked her a number of questions, solicited feedback, and, in particular, I spent time asking her about what her experience was like at Scouted culturally.
I mentioned to her that she seemed a lot more engaged socially now that we had switched to being remote than she was in the office. Despite being a highly energetic and boisterous individual in general, I used to have to proactively bring her into day-to-day social conversations as she would often retreat to her corner desk and not participate.
What she said in response was enlightening: In the office, she sometimes found it difficult to relate to the topics that people were discussing, like going on ski-trips because she had never had those experiences. Yet, once everyone was remote due to COVID-19 she felt like she had a lot more to say and to contribute to the social conversations at hand. We were all going through a collective new experience, providing more common ground among team members.
Her reflections were an important reminder to me of how easy it is to make someone feel like they are on the outside, especially subconsciously.
As a leader, I had been acutely aware of making sure that no one felt marginalized based on their race or ethnicity, but I hadn’t been as consistently deliberate about how socioeconomic differences, among others, might also impact how people feel and relate to each other day-to-day.
Of course, there will always be conversations that some people cannot relate to as well as others might, but that doesn’t undermine the importance of being mindful of the type of conversations that teams have collectively, how everyone engages and how it might make everyone feel.
Stay Healthy, Stay Strong,
CEO & Co-founder, Scouted