By: The team at Gather

Diversity, inclusion, and belonging are no longer just terms you hear in mandatory corporate training—they are a necessity when it comes to building your business and company culture. During the last 18 months every company has had to face their own DI&B policies in some way as world events prompted us all to examine and recommit to equitable practices. And as we reflect on the steps taken, we’re often left with questions like: were the steps taken done so effectively? Are we seeing measurable change in our culture? And, what further action can we take to include DI&B in the daily work-life of our teams? 

Oftentimes taking the first step is starting a conversation.

Gather as a product can be utilized in many ways. From running remote onboarding programs to recognizing work anniversaries and heritage months. For the last year we've followed along with our customers as they’ve worked to implement new practices aimed at starting constructive conversation and putting DI&B first. Here are some ideas for inclusivity programs powered by Gather!

Gather Inclusivity programs 

  • Remote workplace programs
  • Parental leave programs
  • Heritage month & international days of celebration conversation starters

Building a remote friendly workplace

As companies continue to embrace remote work, it has become increasingly more important to build in programs that better integrate your remote employees into company culture and create a sense of belonging. Here are some ways Gather helps teams get to know each other:

  • Collecting information about employee preferences upfront—dietary restrictions, favorite snacks and treats, coffee shop of choice. This makes personalizing other experiences easier down the road. This can definitely be a remote friendly practice and helps you to learn more about your new hires and where they are.  
  • Welcome Buddies for new hires. Setting up your new remote hires with an on-boarding buddy will help to integrate new team members faster, gives them a chance to connect on a social level with other employees, and can help new remote hires to feel more comfortable when asking questions both about their role and the company at large. 

Supporting parents in transition to their parental leave

Creating an inclusive workplace for parents includes everything from parental leave to building in support as they return and readjust to work as a new parent. And while the length of leave is part of the equation, a positive culture of parenthood is more important for retaining parents in the long run. At Gather, parental support looks like:

  • Built in reminders for managers to help them plan and adjust for working with and supporting new parents. 
  • Creating New Parent Return Support plans with input and feedback from both parents and their manager. 
  • New Parent Buddy programs that introduce returning parents to another parent on the team. These programs are an excellent resource for new parents to help them navigate as they re-enter the working environment.

Recognizing Heritage Months & International days of celebration

Many companies are starting to recognize heritage months and international days of celebration— like Pride Month, Black History Month, and International Women’s Day— externally. And while for some this may look like just a post on social media, it is far more impactful to encourage engaging internal conversations. Gather can help teams to facilitate and foster better conversations throughout the month or day of celebration.

For example, Gather customer Sarah Kornhaber from LLR Partners - used this past International Women’s Day to share thought-provoking questions with her team like: "How will you help forge a gender-equal world?"

However, creating a diverse and inclusive workplace that fosters a sense of belonging requires you to support employees every day—not just on special occasions. Setting aside time to come up with a calendar of heritage months and days/weeks of celebration and education can be a good way to put yourself in your team members’ shoes and build a more supportive culture.