The idea of a better workplace culture is one that has been gaining pace for a little while. We saw an increase in momentum with the We Work revolution and the focus on being in a space with your peers where you felt safe to be your authentic self. Then covid struck and the idea gathered pace – all of a sudden we saw people in their natural habitat; we saw their children, their kitchens, their cats and dogs. We began to accept that there were different sides to the individuals we work with, and we’ve come to accept that about ourselves. Now, as we all venture back to a new normal where hybrid working, in some semblance, is here to stay, the question is; how do we continue to foster an inclusive workplace culture where people feel accepted for who they are? And what part does the board play in that?
Back in 2018, audit firms were speaking about the need to get culture right, stating that it was ‘an enabler of organisational success. It will filter down through the organisation whether good or bad.’ And the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors (CIIA) has recently urged internal audit functions and boards ‘to take corporate culture more seriously in a post-Covid world’.
The UK Corporate Governance Code clearly states that it is the board’s responsibility to ‘promote, monitor and assess culture’ and Principal five of the Charity Governance Code, Board Effectiveness, states that ‘The tone the board sets through its leadership, behaviour, culture and overall performance is critical to the charity’s success…’.
As we know, achieving culture change can be complicated and challenging, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be achieved. An effective board should drive culture through efficient stakeholder management that includes transparent, open and honest conversations focussed on a clear objective. It isn’t rocket science and with the agenda a constant focus, it should be easy to intertwine.
Last year, Lynn Cadman (then Interim CEO of Getting on Board) wrote ‘Creating boards that are genuinely inclusive goes beyond diversifying recruitment – we must create environments where marginalised trustees can thrive’.
According to the recent Financial Reporting Council (FRC) report: ‘The board should set the tone”, going on to say that “A positive working culture can lead to organisational resilience and superior performance, while ‘negative’ or ‘toxic’ cultures may lead to internal problems, failure to attract and retain the best talent and reduced investment.’
This is why we do what we do. Inclusivity is the key to good workplace culture and being representative of the communities we serve. It means that we really see each other and understand the richness in all of our differences. This has to start at the top.
An important update
2022 brings exciting new changes for us at BAME Recruitment and Diversifying.io. We’re committed to a continual journey of self-improvement, making sure we’re always being the most inclusive organisation possible.
We’ve listened closely to the commentary surrounding the acronym ‘BAME’ in recent years, and we believe that now is the time for us to take action. We feel that BAME Recruitment is no longer a name that fully represents our mission and we’re so excited to welcome in a new chapter.
We’re busy working behind the scenes right now, but we can’t wait to share our new brand with you soon and continue our fight for equality with renewed strength.
More updates coming soon.
Our Drop-in Clinic is back
Wednesday 11th May at 1.30pm.