As our organization celebrates its first 25 years in existence, it is appropriate that we reflect on and recognize what has made our organization successful over the years — our people. Our people include the many employees who helped build and grow our organization in its early days as well as those who have been a part of navigating the more recent historic challenges facing the U.S. Postal Service. This diversity of backgrounds and strengths, and the eagerness to tap into them, has defined our OIG from its inception. As we move forward, we are excited and committed to continue, and improve upon, that journey.
While there are many aspects of diversity, we define diversity in its broadest sense. It is everything that makes us unique and different from everyone else, and allows us to come together and celebrate our uniqueness. When we foster diversity across our organization, whether it’s diversity of race, religion, gender identity, thought, ethnicity, background, or experiences, there are far greater opportunities to spark creative insights, develop better solutions, and maximize overall performance. At our OIG, we strive to create a work environment where we share our similarities and celebrate our differences.
Though diversity is a big piece of the puzzle, diversity without inclusion only reinforces systemic barriers where people feel excluded and held back. The power of diversity is greatly amplified when inclusive leaders tap into the strengths of all team members. Inclusion prizes the talents, backgrounds, and experiences of each unique employee so that together they maximize their talents, creativity, and innovation to deliver the best possible work product, processes, and services. This level of engagement naturally leads to greater employee satisfaction and higher productivity. That’s why inclusion and innovation are core values that make our OIG a workplace where creative ideas are encouraged and pursued – a place where people want to work.
Finally, to grow diversity and inclusion across our OIG, we must ensure equity. Equity is about access and opportunity, with the understanding that we all start with different advantages and challenges. Equity is a process of continually evaluating our organization to make sure that all individuals within it are receiving the individualized support they need to thrive. To foster inclusion within our OIG, we must make certain everyone has an equitable seat at the table, by identifying and eliminating barriers that limit participation. Without equity, efforts to promote diversity and inclusion are laudable but not sustainable.
If we don’t actively seek a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), we distance those we can and should connect with, and risk minimizing the value of the work we do. If we don’t listen to, learn from, and act on diverse perspectives, we limit our opportunities to excel and continue to grow as individuals. DEI makes the OIG better at what we do, and a better place to be. As an organization, we are committed to championing all three and continue to look for ways to ensure we foster a workplace where our employees feel they belong!