Helping You Move In The Right Direction

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Employers have a lot of tasks and responsibilities in front of them. One major consideration is the level of inclusivity of your workplace. This goes beyond just legal considerations regarding harassment and discrimination. While it is crucial you establish a workplace free of mistreatment of others, you must also strive to make every worker feel at home.

This is the goal of an inclusive workplace: that all staff is equally respected and that their voices are equally heard. It is up to employers to create an inclusive culture, and ensure this culture is properly maintained. CIO offers some effective strategies to boost workplace inclusivity.

Express empathy towards your team

Perhaps you do not know exactly what it is like to be left out because of your skin color, ethnicity, or gender. However, virtually all human beings have experienced feelings of rejection at some point. Tap into these feelings and consider the effect they had on you. Now put yourself in the place of your staff, who may feel unwelcomed or unwanted at work. Empathy is a key component of successful leadership, and it also allows you to meet workers where they live when it comes to inclusivity.

Do not rely solely on quotas

Quotas are good for expanding your pool of qualified candidates to include more ethnicities and races. However, they are not the end all, be all of an inclusive workplace. Consider the type of environment a new hire of color is coming into. Is company culture amenable to people from different backgrounds? Are all staff members encouraged to contribute during meetings, or is conversation typically relegated to the same faces? Hiring a diverse staff is only the beginning, so do not waste too much time patting yourself on the back.

Emphasize the joys of inclusivity

If majority workers feel “attacked” by your inclusivity process, regardless if these feelings have merit, they are likely to push back against it. While you must implement the proper hiring practices and policies to ensure all workers feel at home, you should also allow your staff to get to know each other on a personal level. Schedule lunches and happy hours, so your team can banter and trade stories. Getting over one’s bias or prejudice is sometimes as simple as sitting down and sharing a meal with a person from a different background.

Whether you sensed it was in the works or it came out of the blue, termination from your job is seldom an easy event. You may have to dust off your resume and reach out through your network for job opportunities. You may end up depleting your savings, if you are fortunate enough to have one, while you look for work. You may dread the thought of filling out applications and going through job interviews, but you need money to survive.

However, you may see a bright spot in your termination if your employer offers you a severance as part of your separation agreement. When you think of the potential struggles ahead, you may feel tempted to snatch it up and shake the dust from your shoes as you leave. This is not always a good idea.

How much?

Severance may include a sum of money, either in a lump sum or in payments over time, that an employer offers a worker they are letting go. There is no set amount, but a severance typically falls between one and four weeks’ pay for every year you worked for the company. Many factors may determine where you fall on that scale, including:

  • The reason for your termination, for example an employee dismissed because of downsizing may receive more than one fired for not meeting quotas
  • The thoroughness of your boss’ employee records and performance reviews
  • Whether your performance reviews were generally positive
  • The terms of your employment contract

An employer rarely offers a severance without some sacrifice on your part. Your employer may require you to sign an agreement forgoing your right to sue for wrongful termination or discrimination, or restricting you from accepting employment with a competing company. You should consider these factors carefully before signing, since they may have long-term ramifications.

Other benefits to negotiate

Every state has its own laws regarding what an employer may or may not negotiate in a severance package. For example, you may be able to haggle for accrued vacation pay or unused sick leave. You may have a right to seek a letter of recommendation or even help with your job search. Although your employer must offer you continued insurance coverage at your expense, you may negotiate financial assistance with those payments.

As you can see, there are many items to consider, and others may be unique to your industry or situation. The advice to seek an attorney’s review of your employer’s offer is not a suggestion you should ignore. An attorney can assist you in obtaining the most complete and fair severance your employer can offer.

When your business is involved in a dispute, this can be much more than just a frustration for you. You know this can cost you time and money, and you may be unsure of what you can do to protect the long-term interests of your company. Litigation is a possibility, but there could be other ways you may be able to resolve this dispute in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Mediation could be the right way for you to resolve your business dispute. This is a process that allows two contesting parties to work through disagreements, breaches of contract and other issues in a respectful and productive manner, eliminating the need for further litigation. Often, it leads to resolutions that are beneficial for both parties, which is not always the case in litigation.

Why consider mediation?

There are many reasons why you may want to consider mediation as a way to work through your current business dispute. Not only does this allow you more direct control over the terms of the outcome, but it also shields you from the stress that often comes with an adversarial court process. Other benefits of mediation include:

  • Can communicate directly with the other party.
  • Can choose to work on a remedy that is not a traditional legal remedy.
  • Takes less time to complete the mediation process, saving you money.
  • Allows you the ability to keep the terms of your agreement private
  • Gives you the ability to continue your relationship with the other party

These are only a few of the reasons why you may want to consider this method over others. Before you move forward with litigation, learn more about how this process can benefit your specific situation.

Potential drawbacks

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to mediation. While mediation may make sense in many situations, it is not always the best choice. Some of the potential drawbacks to this situation include the following:

  • Cannot force the other party to participate in the process
  • Not feasible for parties who are unwilling to discuss things or compromise
  • Can take a long time to complete mediation in particularly complex situations
  • May not work if the other party has certain types of company policies in place

Speaking with a California attorney experienced in dispute resolution and business law can help you understand how mediation could be the right choice for you. When the financial and legal interests of your company are on the line, it is worthwhile to explore all legal options before making any final decisions.