Diversity and Inclusion: Leading by Example
August 19, 2019 •Tina Semotan
We recently received some very exciting news! In case you missed it, Franklin Energy shifted its ownership to Abry Partners. We are excited by this new partnership and the ability this gives us to continue to focus on growth and meeting the needs of our utility clients.
As our company grows, we are intent on evolving our culture and strategies to meet our objectives. Our purpose is to help ALL people use our world’s precious resources more efficiently. To achieve this, we believe that we must continue to mature in the Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) space. For Franklin Energy, diversity and inclusion means EVERYONE, not just a person of minority status. The fact is, the most successful companies are realizing and leveraging the benefits of inclusion in the workplace. Encouraging people from all different backgrounds, cultures, education levels, learning styles, etc. to share their insights only makes us stronger.
One characteristic I really value is our company’s ability to maintain the feeling of a close-knit family despite our dynamic growth. But in order to maintain this, we’re constantly working actively at it. This is why D&I is so important. The more we grow, the more we need to connect with each other and learn from one another’s perspectives. Simply put, inclusion generates more favorable outcomes by facilitating deeper discussions.
We all come from different experiences. Each of us possesses our own unique worldview. Coming together and sharing our worldviews enables us to formulate strategies that not only connect us to each other within the Franklin Energy organization, but also connect us to our clients and their energy consumers.
The traditional view of D&I is that it’s the right thing to do. We view this as a given, but we’re now moving past this antiquated model of thinking. Instead, we are more focused on the business imperative of D&I. It’s proven that inclusion brings many benefits to a company, including:
- A much stronger brand position
- Increased customer loyalty and repeat engagements
- Increased engagement, fulfillment and productivity among employees
- More insightful discussions leading to unique solutions
Inclusion starts at the top, where it is then driven deeply and widely into an organization. As an executive, I strive to live by this idea. When I conduct my one-on-one meetings, I ask the following direct questions: What are your hurdles? What can I help you with? What do you need from me?
I ask these questions because inclusion requires communication and involvement with every employee within the company. At times, the answers are not the easiest to hear, but they are usually the most important concerns to address. I ask these particular questions because they really get to the heart of building a personal and corporate brand, increasing loyalty and engagement, and mining for innovative approaches to complex challenges.
I am also the executive sponsor of our D&I roundtable, which is a proactive approach to bringing unique individuals together throughout ALL levels and regions of our organization. We meet to discuss real issues and topics impacting our organization and industry so that we can better respond as a company.
Our end goal is to perform at a world-class level as an inclusive company. As such, we are committed to continuously developing and strengthening the following characteristics:
Personal Growth – Inclusive organizations will encourage personal growth by bringing people from different backgrounds together and exposing them to new experiences. Through meaningful collaboration and partnerships, each employee gains a greater worldview and appreciation for the strength of differences and inclusion.
Engaged Employees – Our employee engagement will grow naturally as having productive conversations about real topics drives positive team dynamics and understanding, resulting in organizational success.
Empowered Employees – Employees feel more confident and empowered by being able to speak up and share their insight. Diverse backgrounds and opinions offer new views, thus fostering innovation and evolution.
A Dynamic Work Environment – Our already dynamic and fast-moving work environment will only become more dynamic as we continue developing our D&I initiatives! We all sense when our opinions are being heard, and it leads to a deeper, more close-knit culture, like I mentioned earlier.
Inclusion is a firm belief of mine. There’s no downside to Diversity and Inclusion. I can tell you from personal experience that when we work together, we grow together and we reap the rewards together! Franklin Energy is functioning at its highest capability when we act as an organization that is leading D&I initiatives by example!
To join our team or apply to become a diverse vendor, visit our D&I web page!