As we begin to emerge from the pandemic, there are significant opportunities government and business leaders can take to ensure continued innovation, says Deb LaMere, Chief Human Resources Officer for Datasite. "One way is to embrace and support environments and communities where creativity and collaboration can freely flow, and everyone feels welcome."

The global pandemic has forever changed our world. It has altered plans for everyone and everything in its path - from daily activities to government goals. It’s showed how important technology has become and will continue to be in delivering services, engaging with customers and staff, and providing business continuity. It’s also exposed some of the weaknesses in our systems and institutions.

With vaccines readily available and restrictions easing however, it’s now also possible to imagine life after the virus, and a potentially brighter future. One of the best reasons to be optimistic is the surge in innovation. The pandemic led people to find new ways to do things and adopt new technologies. We saw this first-hand at my company, Datasite, a fast-growing SaaS-technology provider for the mergers and acquisition industry.

Dealmakers quickly adapted to the world of virtual deal marketing, due diligence, deal closing and integration, and found that remote dealmaking actually offered some advantages over in-person dealmaking.

As we begin to emerge from the pandemic, there are significant opportunities government and business leaders can take to ensure this innovation momentum continues. One way is to embrace and support environments and communities where creativity and collaboration can freely flow, and everyone feels welcome.

With Pride month upon us, there’s also no time like the present for leaders to recognise the importance of LGBTQ+ and encourage workers to bring their whole selves to work.

Those that do will find numerous benefits, including: 

Increased innovation.

The correlation between innovation and inclusion is well-documented. For example, research shows that cities which are more LGBTQ+ inclusive have higher innovation ecosystems, entrepreneurialism, and are better able to attract talent and provide a high quality of life.

They’re also more likely and readily able to bounce back from the pandemic. Likewise, businesses that seek diverse viewpoints experience higher rates of innovation.

It’s why many cities and companies, including Datasite, will recognise in June the contributions and importance of the LGBTQ+ community with specific programmes that address tolerance, inclusion and belonging. Our virtual event for all employees will feature a discussion between Datasite Chief Product Officer Thomas Fredell and Esera Tuaolo, former NFL football player and author of Alone in the Trenches: My Life as a Gay Man in the NFL. They will discuss the power of being you, the importance of allyship, and the role we can each play in building environments that foster inclusion and belonging for all employees.

It’s part of Datasite’s quarterly series of virtual diversity events that celebrate and recognise key social topics, such as gender equity, bringing your whole self to work, mental health and volunteerism.

Higher talent acquisition and retention rates. As a fast-growing technology company, attracting and retaining top talent is a particularly important component to our outlook and success. Yet because every company is a tech company these days, the competition for talent is fierce. To stand out to candidates, companies not only need to provide competitive compensation and benefits, but also show potential employees what’s important to how people work together, and the way businesses operate.

For many, the pandemic has clarified what is important, especially at work. Organisations that understand this and foster a culture that supports values that align with a candidate’s own perspectives will secure the best talent.

At Datasite, for example, one of our most important employee values is you – which refers to both to our employees and our customers. In fact, creating and maintaining an environment where you can thrive, and grow is a strategic priority.

It’s reflected in the leadership and training programs we provide, as well as other programmes, including Be You at Datasite, a fun Pride month activity that asks employees to take a selfie with their favourite Datasite employee value and send it in for a chance to win a 'Hate Is Wrong' t-shirt.

Better performance. People work more productively and openly when they feel accepted in their environment. Employees’ work experiences can differ based on age, race, gender, religion and sexuality, for example, but if a part of your identity is ignored or not considered as part of the employee experience, you can’t bring your whole, authentic self to work.

Focusing on creating and maintaining a more diverse and inclusive workplace can lead to more productive and engaged employees, increased customer satisfaction, and improved competitiveness and financial performance. Datasite is living proof of this.

In this year’s first quarter, following an expansion of our diversity and inclusion efforts, our voluntary turnover rate decreased to 8%, while employee engagement scores rose to 80%, and revenue climbed 17%.  

In 2021, the trend toward work-life integration is only going to continue. The pandemic has made sure of that for millions of workers and families globally. At Datasite, we’re seizing this moment to consider how the world of work has changed and what employees want, including supporting more flexibility, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

What are you doing to address the future of work? 

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