Guest author Kathleen Carl OnSolve® Chief Human Resources Officer. Kathy is responsible for increasing employee engagement, recruitment, retention and productivity while overseeing employee relations, benefits and training.
At OnSolve, we recognize that there’s a vast spectrum of cultures, opinions and ideas. As business leaders we understand this means every employee has a lot to offer from a lifetime of different experiences. And these differences can benefit all organizations greatly, if recognized, leveraged, and celebrated.
Our efforts toward Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) support our employees—our most valued assets—and keep pushing the success of our organization forward. Our DEI initiatives have been met with great enthusiasm from employees. We believe by focusing on and enabling employees through these efforts to be their authentic selves, we can build a strong culture at OnSolve, contributing to organizational growth and making us a leader in the marketplace.
DEI can be fraught with sensitivity and hesitation. When we embarked on this journey, we wanted to open ourselves to honest conversations and found that even small steps matter to our employees.
What is DEI?
DEI can be defined in many different ways, and I find it important to make sure we’re all speaking the same language. For OnSolve, we view diversity, equity, and inclusion as this:
- Diversity: Focuses on differences among people on the team or in the company
Diversity is about differences and representation of those differences. Sometimes people leap to the conclusion that differences mean certain, specific demographics in the marketplace but when properly looked at, it means everyone. For example, you might look at me and think ‘this is a white female of a certain age’, and that is true, but I’m also from the northeast part of the country, I moved to Florida which took some adjustment, I’m a single mom with two daughters, and an extreme introvert. These are things that are not obvious when you first meet me. When we all think of diversity there are the very observable things, like the tip of an iceberg, and then there’s everything else going on underneath the surface.
- Equity: Focuses on fair and just practices/processes along with fair treatment and opportunities despite differences of individuals or categories of function/role
Equity is about fairness in ensuring opportunities and leveling the playing field for every individual. Equity is important so we all have the opportunity to succeed here at OnSolve. And for inclusion, it’s whether we’re willing to listen to different perspectives.
- Inclusion: Focuses on ensuring that people feel they can be their authentic selves. An inclusive culture creates a sense of belonging.
You can have a very diverse organization, but if you do not tap into the varied perspectives and contributions of different groups or invite differing views and experiences into the conversation, then you aren’t taking advantage of that diversity. What we are really looking for, all of us, is a sense of belonging for our employees.
Why Does OnSolve Care About DEI?
Why is it important to OnSolve? We know diverse teams outperform non-diverse teams by 35% in business settings (McKinsey), and 76% of job seekers confirm the importance of diversity in the organization they’re looking to join (Harris Poll/Glassdoor). Additionally, we know our customers ask us frequently about the diversity of our organization and what initiatives we have around DEI. But most importantly, we know that for people to feel fully engaged and want to stay at an organization, they must feel they’re valued, that there are people like themselves at the company, and there’s a sense of belonging. This is why OnSolve added the 5th Guiding Principle last year of “Be You.” This encourages diversity and inclusion as an official way our organization strives to conducts itself, including how we show up for each other.
OnSolve’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Mission is this: As a SaaS leader, we are committed to supporting our employees, our customers, and our communities by living our Guiding Principles, and encouraging inclusive and equitable interactions. We want to cultivate an organizational culture that is welcoming to all and allows people to do their best work, which will maximize our productivity, contributions and bottom line.
Ultimately we want an environment where everyone is heard, understood, feels included and contributes.
DEI is a Critical Part of Our Culture
This year, our emphasis has been on educating ourselves and becoming more familiar with the reasons why we must continuously care more about diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our list of DEI initiatives included a survey to better understand what matters to our employees, training to help all employees keep DEI forefront in our thoughts and behaviors, DEI discussions, employee resource groups (ERGs), and other culture-centered communications. We want to do what we can to keep our ever-changing environment centered around enabling our employees to be themselves, to authentically “Be You.”
Additionally, the OnSolve Human Resources team has specific and measurable outreach goals to keep our company growing within our communities. We have decided to increase our participation at diversity fairs and related outreach to underserved populations. At least 50% of our externally-filled positions will have a diverse candidate slate for options in hiring. And we are continuing to encourage employees to create development plans that give them the resources to personally grow their careers and drive conversations around professional growth.
Our company culture is key to our ongoing success, and the entire executive leadership team is dedicated to seeing this stay true for OnSolve. It is just one more (important) way we’re fostering a high-performing organization.
In fact, OnSolve’s culture is a significant factor in the high marks we received in a long list of employer-of-choice awards, including Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in the Nation®, placing in the top 101, and Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in Atlanta. I’m proud to announce that OnSolve is also Great Place to Work Certified®.
OnSolve has also gained recognition with Comparably, first in 2021, winning Best Company for Diversity, Best CEO and Best Company Culture. And this year, winning Comparably awards for Best Marketing Teams 2022, Best Places to Work in Atlanta 2022 and Best Company Outlook of 2022 (Small & Midsize Companies). Even with this recognition, we know there is always room to improve our efforts toward .
At OnSolve, we witness how DEI shapes incredible work environments and in turn business outcomes every day. We are constantly considering how to build upon our existing practices and look forward to getting more input from our employees on what we can do to make this a great place to work for years to come. Hopefully, as we continue serving our customers, recruiting incredible talent, and supporting our existing employee base, we as a company, an industry, a marketplace will rise to the challenge of learning about and striving towards a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive way to work.