Through strategic planning and effective training, company looks to ensure welcoming workforces across the U.S.
CHICAGO — In the modern workforce, knowing each team member feels valued and respected can make or break a company. Still, too often, Human Resources and upper management is ill-equipped to make the necessary organizational changes that ensure all voices are heard and understood.
Capitalizing on that growing need, BCG Learning Solutions, a pioneer in effective organizational leadership training, has recently acquired the rights to offer the Safe Zone Conversation platform. The package is designed to help groups listen and understand sensitive and sometimes uncomfortable topics, allowing teams to grow and excel together.
“Often, our clients are unable to achieve optimal results because of people and process challenges,” said Sean Bailey, BCG Learning Solutions president and chief learning officer. “As partners with organizations, we provide assessment, development, and implementation of powerful learning resources and improvement strategies that increase productivity, improve performance, and motivate continuous improvement.”
He said their Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) programming is vital to creating the understanding necessary to create lasting organizational changes. Safe Zone Conversations are a primary piece of those offerings.
“Safe Zone Conversations are conversations in which a group of people purposefully discuss sensitive, uncomfortable, or complex topics,” Bailey said. “The environment is one of mutual respect and inclusivity, a place where people can freely express themselves without fear of judgment. All comments and questions are welcome and encouraged during these sessions.”
Through those interactions, he said companies can begin identifying areas of opportunity that otherwise may be downplayed or ignored.
“When you come together in understanding, you can identify the root of problems and address them,” Bailey said. “Without that layer of trust and ability to openly hear how policies and actions affect team members, fixing real systemic issues is impossible.”
During a typical session, the lead facilitator coordinates introductions and poses a grounding question about a particular topic.
Each participant shares their response to the question with the group, allowing everyone to become familiar with the topic.
Then, participants are divided into smaller groups to discuss the topic in more detail with supportive facilitators. After each event, the entire group participates in a debriefing.
“Using the Safe Zone Conversation platform, people can engage in meaningful and safe conversations at work they might not otherwise be able to have because they are unsure of how to start a conversation, afraid of offending others, uncomfortable discussing the topic, or they don’t understand what needs to be discussed,” said Tracey Crawford, who along with Oralethea Davenport and Jonelle Bailey created the Safe Zone Conversation program.
“Our equity training allows us to practice listening to each other and to hear from colleagues who hold different worldviews, Davenport said. “We can better meet the needs of the community by improving the attitudes, knowledge, and skills of our staff.”
“A company’s core values and strategic pillars should be diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging,” Jonelle Bailey said. “An effective talent recruitment, development, and retention approach can give a business a competitive edge. With the success of an institution depending on how well it embraces, values, and appreciates the diversity of its employees, contractors, vendors, and stakeholders, the return on investment on this program cannot be understated.”
“As we continue to develop our DEIB programming, we are excited to bring Safe Zone Conversations into the fold and the corporate world,” Bailey said. “We are standing by to book sessions today.”
For more about BCG Learning Solutions, visit bcg-northamerica.com.