I recently saw the request from CPHR Alberta for blog contributors and jumped at the chance to share a recent endeavour my company took part in over the holiday season.
Prior to a merger with an industry competitor, I was the HR Manager for a Building Systems LP, and I am very proud to share this story about what our team created to include our diverse workforce. Recently, our workforce has expanded, and we have made an intentional effort to honour our diversity, trying to come up with ideas to be more inclusive.
As part of our holiday party planning committee task list, our IT leader found a form builder software to create a more digital experience with our holiday party invitations. We decided to translate our holiday party invite into the most common languages of our workforce. Together with our Human Resources Generalist, I am pleased to share our story and this process:
We chose holiday graphics and composed the standard holiday party invitation details to build from. The copy was put into a translation application, where we intentionally identified our top six (6) languages representing our workforce. This software provided us with invitation details in each of our people’s six core languages. Simply brilliant!
We then recruited volunteers from various work areas through a company-wide communication requesting volunteers to help with this endeavour. Our volunteers were required to speak one of the six languages to help with reviewing and editing the translated copy to ensure the message was respectful, made sense, and flowed appropriately. We received great feedback from these volunteers and made the necessary changes to each language’s invitation.
We communicated the process out in English with the ability to cascade the message out to our workforce in various languages through translation. With the explanation of a drop-down menu on the holiday party invitation, our employees could click on one of the 5 other languages within our company to read and understand the invite in their beautiful language.
In addition, we included a link and a QR code in the same communication strategy along with posters throughout the operations area to raise awareness. We wanted to ensure that our employees could also access the link/QR code anywhere at any time to register for the party on their phone, making sign-up easy.
Each volunteer received a personally written thank you note from me with a gift card of choice to show recognition and gratitude for their time in assisting with this endeavour, as their input was a key piece of this initiative.
We are very proud of this initiative; we received a huge response to attend the party and our employees loved the inclusion we created for our corporate event. Utilizing this software to offer communications in different languages could assist in any language barriers and harbour an environment of inclusion.
Thank you CPHR Alberta for this opportunity to share our story.
Amy Sikina-Johns, CPHR, has been an active member of the HR community for over 28 years. She is a committed volunteer to the CPHR mentorship program.
As an HR leader, Amy loves to build teams both in the HR area and cross-functionally. Her energy, commitment and enthusiasm drive innovative HR solutions, and programs to support the business, culture, values, leaders, and employees.
Amy currently lives in Calgary and enjoys leading an active lifestyle. She loves to network across the world. She also cherishes her time with her close friends.