Business & Investment

“Workplace culture determines employee behavior and productivity.”

Mary Arade Is the owner of the Dive-In Festival, which is held annually in 35 countries to promote a comprehensive workplace culture, and is the Chief Strategy Officer of the Global Chairman of Aon Reinsurance Solutions.In this interview Daniel Obi, She talks about a comprehensive work culture and many other issues. excerpt:

Dive-in seems to be a move in the insurance sector that supports a comprehensive workplace culture, can you dig a little deeper into these workplace cultures?

The culture of the workplace determines how your business is distinguished from other businesses. It influences and shapes employee behavior and productivity, essentially summarizing company values, priorities, interactions, beliefs and more. A positive workplace culture attracts talent, influences well-being and satisfaction, promotes performance, and improves employee retention.

In addition, the culture of an organization determines how a person adapts to the work environment and the ability to build professional relationships with colleagues and clients. It also determines work-life balance, growth opportunities, and job satisfaction.

It is at the heart of every company, so a culture of inclusiveness needs to be one of the basic components.

Is this “movement” focused solely on the insurance sector? Also, how would you describe the recently completed Dive In Festival on September 21-23, 2021?

Although the festival focuses on the insurance sector, the valuable tools and assets offered by the festival ensure that people outside the insurance sector are involved and gain useful insights and practices that can be implemented in their own sector. It means you can.

The 2021 festival was great. Based on the success of last year’s virtual festival, a hybrid format that allows festival participants to attend both physical and virtual events allows participants to attend from anywhere in the world and is globally diverse. Conversations about sexuality and inclusiveness were facilitated. ..

Focused on diversity and inclusiveness by the pandemic, this year’s Active Allyship theme is the ability to educate privileged people and understand how to become an active ally and champion for all. Aimed to give. Participants were encouraged to take responsibility for turning commitments into action and creating a comprehensive workplace in supporting underrepresented groups.

What methods and approaches does the festival take to gain worldwide attention to a comprehensive work culture?

The impact of global dive-ins over the last two years was unpredictable when the festival began. In 2016 we became global and from there DiveIn never looked back.

Dive In is currently being held in nearly 40 countries around the world, with D & I not always in its DNA, due to the new hybrid format of the festival, which means that the event will be held both virtually and physically. We are breaking new ground in the country.

Dive In Nigeria, which started three years ago, has covered the themes of strengthening women’s leadership, gender and generational work styles. The events in Johannesburg and Lagos investigated the business cases of diversity and inclusiveness.

This is the 7th year of the dive-in festival, can you tell us about the impact of the festival, especially in the insurance industry so far?

Little by little, Dive In helped remove the obstacles that have hindered the development of D & I in the insurance sector. The festival has proven to be a catalyst for change by providing the insurance industry with tools, inspiration and advice for comprehensive workplace culture best practices. And you don’t have to look far to find evidence of its effects. Over the last few years, we have seen a burst of great diversity initiatives introduced across the market.

Aon has developed a variety of workshops to improve the skills of ethnic minority students. Insight Week, for example, is a week-long workshop for Afro-Caribbean students to learn about the insurance industry. The success of Insight Week has created BAME Future Leaders, a fast-track program for BAME individuals to participate in Aon’s graduate program, which has increased BAME students by 40%. Aon is currently partnering with Lloyd’s of London to offer similar opportunities to young people with low socio-economic background. We have seen similar initiatives across the market aimed at making the work environment more comprehensive and adapting to the diverse needs of our employees.

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Tell us a bit about the festival’s supporters, brands and people behind this influential, change-driven festival. How does Nigeria participate in all of that?

The award-winning Dive In Festival was conceived by Inclusion @ Lloyd’s, a collaboration between the Corporation of Lloyd’s, IUA, LIIBA, and the Lloyd’s Market Association, and has grown into a global sector-wide festival.

Numerous global festival partners are once again supporting this year’s festival, including AIG, Aon, Arch, Aviva, AXA, AXIS, Chubb, CNA, DLA Piper, Dual & Howden, Gallagher, Marsh & Guy Carpenter, Howden, Kennedys and Liberty. Mutual, Lloyds, Markel, MS Amlin, Renaissance, RMS, Tokio Marine Kiln, Travelers, Willis Towers Watson.

Dive In Nigeria was started and supported by Aon three years ago. In 2019, we will consider women’s empowerment in leadership, and in 2020, panelists will discuss D & I through the lens of gender and generational work, and meet women at various stages of their careers in their future work life. I asked them what they were expecting and what lessons they would teach themselves. They were supposed to look back.

Based on the success of the Dive In event, we continued Dive In Nigeria in 2021 and invited a panel of senior female leaders to discuss intergenerational gaps within the insurance sector and the best way to close this issue.

How much do you describe the diversity gap in the Nigerian workplace, especially in the insurance sector in which you do business?

Overall, I think the Nigerian workplace diversity gap is gradually closing. This is because companies are beginning to recognize the importance of having an inclusive workplace. I’m sure there is still a journey in front of us, but we are off to a great start.

Organizations are actively involved in the discussions that are taking place, and people are actively listening. In Nigeria, more than 200 people are enrolled in Dive, and people are actively and passively watching and listening.

While Nigeria has many factors that can widen the diversity gap, including culture, religion, traditions and social status, Nigeria is gaining momentum in addressing D & I issues. But as the problem gains more public awareness, we will definitely see this gap begin to close.

Do you support legislation to include diversity in the workplace, as there are inherent economic benefits to increasing women in the workplace, especially in leadership positions?

Ultimately, I think the workplace should have a policy of aligning with organizational values, embracing individual differences, and creating a comprehensive environment where all employees can reach their full potential. .. But apart from adopting policies and legislative approaches to diversity and inclusiveness within the workplace, companies need to truly understand the true value and benefits of creating and having an inclusive workplace and diverse leadership structures. I think there is. If diversity is truly understood and accepted, it will be easier to implement.

Men and women each have their strengths and weaknesses. So is it possible to achieve equal representation, equal wages and equal opportunities in all areas of the workplace?

My optimistic and utopian side would want to say so. After all, if a person is good at his job, he needs to be rewarded and promoted accordingly, regardless of age or gender, right?

But this is not a reality at this point, it’s just the truth. The truth is not unique to Nigeria. That is why there are so many conversations around the world about diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace.

We hope that as we learn about the importance of equality, pay for performance and fairness and the younger generation takes leadership in new ways of thinking, things will begin to change and we will be able to truly do it. Achieve equal representation, equal wages and opportunities in all areas of the workplace.

What future does the Diversity and Inclusion campaign have for Nigeria?

We plan to run Dive In Nigeria in the near future. It is very important to continue the discussion in this country and I don’t think we have even scratched the surface. There are many more diverse and inclusive topics that we have not yet explored, such as mental health, workplace disabilities, sexual orientation, and unconscious prejudice. I think Nigeria is a good place to start these conversations frankly and honestly.

Please tell us about your future plans. What should the industry and viewers around the world expect from Dive In Festival?

There is no doubt that the festival left an impression on the insurance industry. But what’s next? The journey is not over yet, and the conversation about diversity and inclusiveness is constantly evolving. In 2021, our attention was directed to the importance of the alliance. This is a topic that has been covered by dives many times in the past, but the events and pandemics of 2020 have exacerbated long-standing inequality and made it hot this year.

The Dive-in Festival recently conducted a survey of 11,000 participants and found in 2021 that mental health would be the most pressing issue for the insurance sector. There is no doubt that this is the result of the turmoil we have faced over the last two years. We saw that we lost our families, we were isolated, and we changed the way we live our daily lives. This is just looking at the damage done to our mental health and will be a topic for future conversations.

Quote: The workplace needs a policy that is consistent with the values ​​of the organization, creates a comprehensive environment, accepts individual differences, and enables all employees to reach their full potential.

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“Workplace culture determines employee behavior and productivity.”

https://businessday.ng/interview/article/workplace-culture-determines-employee-behaviour-and-productivity/ “Workplace culture determines employee behavior and productivity.”

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