Hang It Up

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filed under Communication, Tips and Tools, Uncategorized.

A picture is worth a thousand words and, as Henrik Ibsen  said, “a thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed.”

© Courtney A. Eichengreen

What happens when a picture is a deed?

Business owners, managers and others have asked, how can I make a good “first impression” when diverse customers walk into my business? How do I communicate a message of inclusion at the front door?

“Hang It Up” is shorthand for a Transformation Tip® that is practical and easy to implement.  Welcome customers, colleagues and employees to your establishment with artwork and decor that reflect their diversity.

Here’s a checklist of simple ideas that convey a message of inclusion in the workplace.  How many work for you?

◊ Artwork, paintings or posters that reflect multiple cultures and/or images to which many can relate

◊ Photos that include different types of people and different family configurations

◊ Reading materials in waiting areas that address diverse interests and viewpoints

◊ Magazines and other reading materials in multiple languages

◊ Signage in multiple languages, including Braille and/or large print

◊ Coat hooks and counters that can be reached by people of all sizes and abilities

◊ Posted non-discrimination statements and phone numbers to call if there are questions about policy or behavior

Signs and written communications convey many different types of messages in many different industries.  Here’s an example of a unique communication found in an award-winning U.S. hotel.  A small card was placed by the phone in each room.  The card read:

“Welcome to [our hotel].  We strive to employ a culturally diverse staff. Therefore, English may not be our Service Associate’s primary language.  If you feel a member of our staff did not understand a request, please contact our Hotel operator for assistance by touching “0” on your telephone.  Additionally, we offer our associates weekly English classes and seminars to assist them in their cultural adjustment. Our commitment is to provide you with a warm, comfortable and enjoyable stay. Thank you for your understanding.”

If your office is your website, photos and the language you choose are even more important tools for reaching out across cultural boundaries to customers and associates!

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