Worcester Business Journal

September 5, 2022

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wbjournal.com | September 5, 2022 | Worcester Business Journal 21 T oday's employees want to feel valued, understood, and appreciated for their differences, which is not always an easy thing for companies to achieve. There are steps organizations can take to encourage employees to embrace the company's values while the company embraces what matters most to their employees. A truly inclusive work culture puts people first and appreciates the differences that make each of us unique. Incorporating inclusion into a company's values allows more employees to thrive in the environment. While having an inclusion, diversity, and equity (IDE) team is critical, this work is alongside senior leaders who are committed collaborators in the execution of an IDE strategy. This partnership is essential in influencing outcomes, driving accountability, and making targeted improvements in diverse representation, particularly at the management and leadership levels. For a business to create an inclusive workplace, the mindset needs to expand beyond the office (and virtual) walls and extend into the communities where employees live and work. Collaboration, accountability, respect, and empowerment (CARE) are key components of The Hanover's values and by living these values every day, we demonstrate how we CARE. By encouraging IDE-focused dialogue between all employees, regardless of level, businesses create continuous conversations that cultivate an inclusive workplace and build empathetic leadership. This is critical to: higher engagement & retention, increased employee satisfaction, improved productivity, a greater sense of belonging, reduced stress, and greater career fulfillment. Inclusive businesses are tuned in to what is happening within local communities as well as across the country. As an organization, it is important to encourage crucial dialogue around current events that are impacting employees, stakeholders, and leaders. This level of awareness and transparency into societal inequities allows businesses to drive cultural competency, empathy, and allyship to foster a culture of belonging. This is not a nice to have but a must-have in today's workplace. Business leaders should regularly look for opportunities to promote community impacts outside the office walls and within the local areas employees live and work to create a more engaging and inclusive employee experience. One of the ways leadership and employees can engage is through the support of business resource groups (BRGs). BRGs at The Hanover are employee-led forums and communities that position the company to reach business goals that leverage cultural insights and expand market reach. These types of groups offer an avenue to develop new skills, broaden leadership capabilities, innovate and lead impactful community giving and volunteerism. At The Hanover for example, our Mi Familia business resource group (BRG) is engaged in an initiative that positively impacts the broader community. They are teaming up with Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) as a Core Partner of QCC Mentoring, where BRG members can enhance their professional skills by mentoring students and giving back to the community. These types of local partnerships support a strong talent pipeline and can attract early talent to the insurance industry. Joining The Hanover as the assistant vice president of IDE brings me great pride and responsibility as I work to continue integrating IDE into every dimension of our business model. I am particularly excited about our focus on allyship which will further our inclusive culture of acceptance and support, promoting equity by closing the gap between intent and action. My position and the expansion of our IDE team further validate The Hanover's investment in creating an inclusive workplace that brings in diverse perspectives and ensures that our workforce reflects the demographics of the markets we serve. The Hanover has been on the IDE journey for several years and our IDE team is a critical part of the evolution of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity. Ensuring that we strategically weave IDE into all business practices, is a distinct competitive advantage for The Hanover and ensures we continue to successfully meet the needs of our employees, customers, and agents. Haydee Santana, assistant vice president of inclusion, diversity, and equity (IDE) at The Hanover D I V E R S I T Y & I N C L U S I O N F O C U S The Hanover Insurance Company 440 Lincoln Street, Worcester, MA 01653 h a n o v e r . c o m 701-10546 (8/22) 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. Special Sponsored Section Investing in Inclusion W Haydee Santana

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