Maintaining Workplace Equality When Your Company Is a ‘Melting Pot’
Most of our employees at Dumbo Moving were not born in the U.S. Because of this, our workforce contains languages and cultures from an array of countries around the world. We are a true melting pot. As such, we encourage our team members to prepare virtual presentations for their colleagues about their lives and things they are passionate about.
There are a few other steps we take to ensure equality and positive relationships between workers in our diverse organization as well:
Encouraging Employees to Speak Freely
During a regular workday on the floor – or the “bazaar,” as we endearingly call it – we encourage an environment of both listening and talking. If you need to speak your mind, we expect you to do so in order to convince someone or make your point. Although there is a hierarchy, when it comes to getting a job done, you are encouraged and expected to share your thoughts in team meetings – whether you’ve been with us for three months or three years.
For example, take a dispute over the size of a moving job. One team member may argue that the information was confirmed verbally by the client, while a manager may respond that the paper trail will show the true origin of the move size. There are many different ways to determine who is right, but that’s not necessarily the point. We encourage everyone on the team to be vocal, to offer solutions, and to speak freely. We take pride in this as a company, and we make it a point to celebrate everyone’s accomplishments.
As a very vibrant, busy, and quick-to-respond business made of many different people from many different places, we must have this kind of atmosphere. This type of environment molds our team members into better, more confident decision-makers who excel in their jobs. Our sense of equality is preserved because everyone has the opportunity to be honest and get their point across.
Educating Employees on Gender Equality
We are a predominately male company, but our packing teams, moving teams, and administrative teams all contain both men and women. We work to educate all of our team members and leaders on the importance of gender equality from all perspectives. In training, we teach people how to identify any mistreatment that may occur both within the company and with our clients, how to deal with these situations, and how to prevent them from happening in the future.
By educating our employees during the hiring process and reinforcing those lessons and practices on a daily basis, we can keep our entire team happy and, therefore, more productive and successful during the day.
The Open Floor Plan: A Simple Way to Support Equality
Another way we maintain workplace equality is by having everyone sit together without partitions or separations between the desks. The same goes for managers and the CEO – me – whose desk is in the middle of the office. Even with the sometimes chaotic and loud environment, our open floor plan not only sustains our sense of workplace equality, but elevates it.
Lior Rachmany is the founder and CEO of Dumbo Moving + Storage, the fastest-growing moving company in New York City.