MReport July 2017

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 37 of 67

36 | TH E M R EP O RT FEATURE W e've all seen the compelling shift in demographics. Our world is changing. Our customers are changing, and our employees are changing as well. As mortgage professionals, we must understand these external changes, and they should drive us to make internal changes within our organizations. When working to recruit and retain future talent, organizations must have the competency to understand, enjoy, and celebrate dif ferences. Simultaneously, organiza tions also must have the competency to consider differing customer values as the demo- graphics of borrowers change. Employees are people, and cus- tomers are people, too. The beauty is all of our aspira tions and efforts to advance a culture of inclusion and diversity apply to both our employees and our customers. Ingrained in Strategy C hange begins at the top and will not occur until it is integrated into the strategic archi- tecture of the company. Diversity and inclusion must be a part of the strategic plan and must be wholly understood and supported by leadership. When I became President and CEO, I felt we needed a clear strate- gic architecture to govern all aspects of our business. Thirteen years later, this framework still guides our progress and success to this day. In addition to other strategy com - ponents such as core purpose, mis- sion, and vision, we have developed five areas of strategic focus. One of these is "Enable Our People to Succeed." This incorporates the very essence of diversity and inclusion. Our strategy architecture also identifies a set of values to guide our behaviors. Several of our values speak to working as a unified team, being respectful of each other, and listening more. Living these values enhances our cultural competency. Inclusion's Not an Add-on D iversity and inclusion should not be thought of as an "initiative." This suggests it has a beginning and an end. In reality, building a healthy culture is about constantly striving to make things better. Once this journey begins, it must become woven into daily thoughts and actions. Companies should take a very broad view of diversity. By embracing the simple definition of "diversity happens anytime you have more than one person in the room," organizations can view the internal dimensions of diversity as those that come with each person—their ethnicity, race, age, etc. This also allows organizations to recognize external dimensions as those that change as we live our lives, such as marital status, work experience, and educational background. There are also organizational aspects of diversity such as work location, seniority, and manage - ment status that add additional dimensions to our differences as employees, and all of these compo- nents make each person unique. In the end, inclusion means cre- ating a trusting environment where everyone, regardless of these unique differences, feels they belong. Adding Accountability A s President and CEO, I hold myself accountable for devel- oping both strategy and governance regarding our diversity and inclu- sion efforts and, ultimately, our way of living. I devote several hours once a quarter in my staff meeting to diversity and inclusion, and our Diversity and Inclusion Committee, comprised of the entire executive team and eight diverse members of our workforce, talks about strategy and provides feedback and sugges- tions on a regular basis. Though these are certainly steps other organizations can mimic, there are other actions one can take, too. Encouraging engagement, for one, is a start. By conducting monthly "culture chats," executives can spur one-on-one conversations with employees, asking about their good days, their bad days, and their role in the overall team. Gallup Culture Surveys can also facilitate rich dialogue on many topics so that organiza - tions can continually improve and work to build a healthy culture. As executives, we should con- sider every person and every role as critical to our success. In recogniz- ing this, we must work to know and understand how we can help each employee achieve ultimate job satisfaction both with the company or, more broadly, anywhere in the real estate finance community. Two Parts of a Whole T here is no doubt that companies can be inclusive It Starts at the Top Executives can—and should—play a role in their organization's diversity and inclusion efforts. Pulte Mortgage's CEO provides a roadmap on just how to do that. By Debra Still MREPORT'S DIVERSITY ISSUE * * *

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of TheMReport - MReport July 2017