Worcester Business Journal

September 13, 2021

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24 Worcester Business Journal | September 13, 2021 | wbjournal.com The Hanover Insurance Company 440 Lincoln Street, Worcester, MA 01653 h a n o v e r . c o m 701-10546 (9/20) Join us. jobs.hanover.com WE ARE THE HANOVER: A company where people feel safe to be their authentic selves and empowered to offer their unique perspectives. F O C U S D I V E R S I T Y & I N C L U S I O N I n business, allyship is a process through which a leader or manager creates career growth and development opportunities for others, enabling them to thrive and achieve their potential. This is a key concept, evident in most successful professional environments. Allyship is a key component to establishing a working environment that is inclusive for all employees. When allyship was first acknowledged as a concept in the workplace, there was a common misconception that it was about action, but it is more of a mindset. Allyship is a mindset that needs to be embraced fully to effectively drive change and help others achieve success, especially in a highly remote and distributed world. And it starts at the top. Strong leaders use their positions of power to lift others up. Incorporating this mentality to show our support as allies is something we should all strive for in our daily lives. The impact of allyship is more important today than ever. In my experience, workplace allies can take shape in many forms, regardless of working relationships, and are centered around consistently showing up when needed. Support can be given in many ways and once you incorporate an ally- first mindset, you will find small but impactful ways to amplify others throughout your day. With most meetings taking place virtually today, it is even easier for some voices to get lost in the mix and it is critical for leaders to ensure every voice is heard. More than ever, leaders should look for openings to encourage all team members to offer their opinions and ensure every idea gets the right amount of consideration. Getting these diverse perspectives out in the open reinforces the value of considering new ways of thinking and is typically when real innovation occurs. This is also a chance to make sure the person who brought the idea up gets credit. More importantly, these moments build trusting and inclusive relationships with team members. Creating opportunities for employees to try new projects or enhance their skillset is another way to show your allyship. Early in my career, I had a manager offer me the opportunity to lead a large team when I had only managed really small teams in the past. The manager gave me the opportunity to show that I could build talent, lead in an inclusive manner, and ultimately build a high-performing team. The trust my manager displayed in me gave me confidence and was a great way for me to test some of my ideas – a few of which even worked! Providing learning moments for others shows you trust them and want to see them grow. Trust is the foundation of any working relationship. If you adopt an allyship mindset, you will see opportunities to model it in your day-to-day. You will find little ways to show your support for others and champion their success. This becomes more natural and authentic with time and you may even start to notice a trickledown effect as others see you take the steps to stand up as an ally. Willard T. Lee, Executive Vice President, Chief Information and Innovation Officer, The Hanover THE HANOVER: The Allyship Mindset "e impact of allyship is more important today than ever." – Willard T. Lee e Hanover W Willard T. Lee Special Sponsored Section

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