5 Reasons Your Physical Product Development Is Stuck And How To Get It Unstuck
Over the past 18 years since the founding of Inertia, we’ve had a lot of...
Inertia is committed to building a diverse team and providing a safe and inclusive workplace. We are continually learning and growing, including in our efforts to improve diversity and build equity.
At Inertia we believe that creating a great place to work for all is the result of a number of foundational actions, but where to start? Here are 10 of our current practices that we have found helpful in our journey so far. Do you have a great approach to building diversity, equity and inclusion in your organization? We are eager to learn – please share!
These third party managed weekly surveys help us understand and act on our team’s evolving needs and concerns on a variety of topics including workplace safety and wellness, diversity and inclusion, recognition, relationship with manager, personal growth, performance etc. Employees also have the opportunity in the weekly survey to provide general feedback/voice concerns/ask questions (anonymous or not) about whatever else may be on their mind. Over the past year we have had an overall Officevibe employee engagement score of 8.7/10 and a 95% participation rate, including our affiliate team members in China. Learn more about Officevibe
This annual certification process is based on a third party managed employee survey that requires 100% employee participation due to our small size. This process helps us benchmark our performance and continue to learn about our team’s needs and our opportunities for improvement. We committed to the Great Place to Work Certification process in 2019 and since then have ranked 16th, 10th and 1st in their Best Workplaces in Canada list. In 2021 we also ranked on their Best Workplace lists for Inclusion and Mental Wellness. Learn more here.
We recognize that general awareness training on workplace diversity and inclusion is not enough on its own – we believe in and are committed to also having the supporting culture, practices and processes in place to continually drive improvements in workplace diversity, equity and inclusion. That said, it’s still important to ensure everyone has a common understanding of what we mean by workplace diversity, equity and inclusion and what the expectations are, therefore, all Inertia employees are required to complete a basic training module.
Inertia has always promoted a positive and inclusive workplace culture as evidenced by our Officevibe results, low employee turnover and high annual Great Place to Work rankings. In 2020 Inertia sought guidance from Tidal Equality, a social change and diversity and inclusion strategy firm, on how to improve our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. This led to the formation of Inertia’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group and the introduction of the Equity Sequence™ tool to our organization. Learn more about Tidal Equality and their Equity Sequence™ (which is also very aligned with Design Thinking concepts) at https://www.tidalequality.com/equity-sequence. We have shared this simple but effective tool for potential future use in our core product development services, as well as in assessing our own internal decision making.
As part of our commitment to building a diverse team, jobs are typically all posted externally on major job boards relevant to the roles. Our job posting language is regularly reviewed and continuously improved as we continue to try and ensure our job postings are encouraging to a diverse range of applicants. Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group reviewed our standard job posting language this past year using the Equity Sequence™ as guidance. View our latest job posting language .
To try and eliminate bias that may be present in the recruiting process Inertia takes a team based approach to hiring and conducts multiple interview stages using standardized assessment tools customized for each role.
Compensation planning is done annually guided by market data provided by the Economic Research Institute factoring in years of experience and functional level in the role. Having market data to guide our salary planning helps limit unconscious bias, keep us competitive and support equity across the team.
We invest a lot of time getting to know each other better and making sure we connect and have some fun – this was particularly important during COVID-19 operating restrictions. While we do run regular fun group events, we also go a bit deeper than that. For example, every week for at least the last 5 years, a team member leads a “show & tell” session to share a bit about themselves, things they may be interested in, where they are from – whatever they want to share. We find this is a great way for new and old team members to get to know each other better, help break down any walls or biases, and generally build bridges across the team. As of this writing, this week’s show and tell was about renting vs. buying a home, last week it was about an intense boomerang hobby…we never know what we’re going to learn about each other!
For the last three years Inertia has sponsored FIRST Canada as they continue to encourage a diverse group of kids to explore their interests and opportunities across a variety of disciplines, science, technology and engineering in particular. Learn more about FIRST Canada here. This year Inertia is also working with Youth Culture’s Skills and Development Project Intern on a summer job shadowing opportunity. Learn more about Youth Culture here.
Providing feedback and guidance on Inertia’s efforts is our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group formed in 2020 and made up of 6 Inertia volunteers, including one executive sponsor. This group volunteered to bring their diverse perspectives to the table as we work to not only evaluate and continually improve Inertia’s internal practices, but also explore what we can do to have a positive impact in broader society as well. We are still learning and thinking about what that might look like and will share our advances as we move forward. This group has already inspired some new reading materials for our Inertia team library, provided feedback on job postings, shared and debated ideas around how we can give back and drive change with our unique Inertia skill set, and we are currently wrestling with the value of and approach to gathering diversity related data in a small organization like ours as we try to chart an impactful, positive path forward.
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