In early June of this year AMS employees felt the need to do something in response to the horrific murder of George Floyd. Encouraged and supported by management, employees organized an event… a March for Peace, Diversity and Inclusivity. This march took place on June 11th. It was a great success, and also an inspiring one. AMS Chief Workforce Development Officer, Ken Wiseman, spoke to the crowd and made the following commitment: “Acceptance of a diverse and inclusive workplace will be a condition of being in this family.” Ken promised renewed and expanded diversity and inclusion efforts at AMS.
It has now been more than three months since that day. On September 15 a second meeting with employees was held in which Ken spoke about the inspiring and ambitious initiatives that AMS has undertaken. Here below are some excerpts from his speech:
Diversity & Inclusion Breakfast: “One of the first changes we made was to start having our Breakfast meetings during the start of the workday, as a paid meeting, not before. We are not inclusive when we have meetings that prohibit many from the opportunity to attend.”
Learning Opportunities: “Learning Opportunities at AMS need to be more conveniently offered. Single moms or dads, those with commute challenges, or even those that may have 2nd jobs, are often excluded from pre or after work educational opportunities. Allowing for more work-day learning opportunities makes us more inclusive in our efforts to help our team develop valuable skills.”
Empathy, Respect, Trigger and Action plan: “We learned that our ‘I want to be a Leader’ and our ‘Advanced Leadership’ classes had to involve more discussion on Empathy, Respect, understanding our “triggers”, and creating Action Plans on how we can manage ourselves and others when we face situations that make us feel uncomfortable.”
Role Playing has changed: “In our Leadership classes we typically have role played how managers can address important matters with employees. Now, in many of our classes, we also role play how employees can sit down with their managers to discuss opportunities for change. At AMS, communication is a two-way street.”
Up-Skill matrix: “We are now in development of a new program called the ‘Up-Skill matrix’ that will allow our associates to view the skills necessary to move up in their careers. Signing up for the program gives our Leadership awareness of your interest, while also tracking with you the progress you are making on attaining the skills. We are launching the program on Inventory and Receiving Clerk positions, first at HQ, then other buildings, and then we will look to set-up other AMS career path positions.”
Paycom job registration: “We also have a new program being launched in Paycom that will allow people to register for positions at AMS they are interested in so that they can receive a message when those opportunities are available.”
90-minute lunch meetings: “Many attendees at the Diversity and Inclusivity Breakfast meeting felt that our changes would best be realized when ALL of our employees were engaged in the mission. To that end, we initiated 90-minute lunch meetings with all AMS Supervisors and above to share our journey and review the critical responsibility that our Leaders have in driving our success.”
Share our Journey: “A few of our Diversity and Inclusivity Breakfast associates have offered that they would like to share their stories of past struggles in hopes that we might better learn of the challenges they have faced. Our next Breakfast meeting in a few weeks will be an opportunity for the Leadership team to listen.”
Congratulations AMS on Keeping Your Promises!
Ken concluded his message with the following words: “I stand with you right now knowing we have miles to go and more progress to report but I am grateful that we are doing this together, and extremely confident that we will build a better company, one which will bring you pride in knowing that you helped get us to our destination, you made a difference in our journey.”