Living Our Values: InCheck’s DE&I Initiatives in Action
Our commitment to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion is more than just words. It is our newest core value, our collective call to action, and an integral part of who we are as an organization. Learn more about our DEI journey and current company-wide initiatives.
“I know that InCheck is better as an organization with a variety of ideas, a variety of different thoughts; people that bring different experiences, not only professionally, but in life.”
-Andy Gallion, InCheck CEO
From InCheck’s earliest days, our CEO Andy Gallion envisioned creating a culture where difference is celebrated, respect is ensured, and all are welcomed. His unwavering passion has ignited our efforts as an organization to develop and launch groundbreaking, company-wide DE&I learning opportunities, listening sessions, and purposeful programming. Our commitment to DE&I is now a centerpiece of InCheck’s culture.
Our Learning and Growth
DEI learning opportunities are primarily divided between monthly topics and special sessions.
Our 2022 DEI sessions have been illuminating, informative, and inspiring for our entire organization. Each session fosters new areas of discovery, understanding, and growth for us, personally and professionally. Monthly topics allow us to dive deeper and provide materials and topics of discussion within in team collaboration platform.
Here is a sampling of what we have explored thus far.
A Day of Understanding
This all-company event built around the CEOAction model, focused on unconscious bias, providing a collective opportunity to encourage open dialogue and inspire change through listening to employees, building trust with one another, and learning from different perspectives on this difficult yet relevant topic. Our day included candid discussions, jam board sharing, group activities, and an opportunity to take an individual pledge.
- We all make assumptions that can lead to snap judgments and unconscious bias.
- Being aware of our unconscious bias is an essential first step.
- The impact unconscious bias has on someone is more important than the intent.
- By seeking to understand our unconscious bias, we can take action to create real change.
Cultural Competency Management Training
Our management team participated in a workshop led by Al Hill, Senior Director of Diversity and Cultural Competence for Milwaukee Center for Independence. The workshop aimed to equip InCheck’s leaders with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to personalize, motivate, and engage a diverse group of employees and clients. Through eye-opening discussions and reflection activities, the team took critical steps to cultivate cultural competency, get comfortable with being uncomfortable, and grow both personally and professionally.
- Diversity and inclusion are interconnected concepts but far from interchangeable.
- Building a diverse organization is important, but it is just as important to build a culture of inclusion where everyone feels valued and heard.
- Fairness, respect, belonging, a safe and open culture, and an empowered and growing workforce are all needed components of inclusion.
- Cultural competency provides a set of crucial skills we need to communicate effectively in a diverse world and build relationships based on trust.
April focus topic was Autism Acceptance Month
During April, we turned our focus on neurodiversity and autism acceptance. Teams shared information on our collaboration platform throughout the month. We also brought in a speaker from Islands of Brilliance (IOB), an organization that offers hands-on learning experiences for children and young adults on the autism spectrum Working with professional mentors like InCheck’s own Brittany Watson, IOB prepares these capable, creative minds for the next step in post-secondary education or entering the workforce.
IOB’s Creative Director Matt Juzenas enlightened us on this community’s unique abilities and creativity. Key Reflections:
- The neurodiverse brain is wired differently, but these differences are not deficits.
- Neurodiverse thinkers bring a competitive advantage to the workplace, including rapid technology learning and exceptional focus.
- Many do not see a future for themselves. 90% of adults on the autism spectrum are under-employed or unemployed.
- People with autism represent an untapped, highly competent pool; however, they need help finding their fit.
In May We Explored Mental Health Awareness
In addition to dynamic posts and updates within our internal collaboration platform, we were fortunate to have the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) facilitate an all-team educational opportunity. NAMI provides free programming, support groups, advocacy, and education on mental illness from a lived experience perspective. NAMI spoke to us about a very relatable topic, stress. We learned about ways in which stress presents itself and valuable techniques and exercises to help all of us deal with stress.
- Stress is highly personalized and can look and feel different for each of us.
- Stress is not curable, but chronic, high-stress levels can be relieved.
- Beyond medication and therapy, several techniques can help reduce stress, including acupuncture, aromatherapy, meditation, reducing caffeine, and dancing it out.
- Exercises, such as the 5 Senses Grounding Exercise, and the 4 A’s of Stress Belief (Avoid, Alter, Accept, Adapt), are good tools to incorporate in daily living.
“We’re going to have a better culture because we have more people that are bringing unique life experiences to the table. And we’re better off for it.”
-Andy Gallion, InCheck CEO
Today, we are proud of the culture we are nurturing for our employees, clients, and community. We know there is more work to be done on this front. And we embrace it.
To learn more about InCheck’s DE&I journey, please download our DEI Overview.