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Inclusivity boosts employee satisfaction, morale and engagement

Executives from Parimatch Cyprus outlined the importance of having an inclusive and diverse work environment in a special feature that was published in GOLD magazine recently. Starting off with an interview with the company’s HR Director, testimonials from more employees follow.

Marianna Hadjiandoniou, HR Director at Parimatch Cyprus, outlines the importance of an inclusive and diverse environment to corporate sustainability and success, through meaningful and holistic policies and solutions.

What does diversity mean to you and why is it important for your company?

Diversity means having a workforce inclusive of different backgrounds and national origins. It means gender, socioeconomic and cultural diversity and beyond. Inclusive working environments that value diversity, foster a sense of belonging and create a workplace where employees feel respected and valued for their unique contribution. This inclusivity boosts employee satisfaction, morale and engagement, ultimately reducing turnover and increasing retention rates. A diverse workplace allows for more ideas and processes. A diverse pool of talent means a broader range of skills, as well as a variety of perspectives and experiences, which increases the potential for improved productivity.

What are some of the strategies that you have implemented to create an inclusive environment that respects and values diversity?

We follow diversity-driven and inclusive hiring processes, as we accept candidates from a variety of backgrounds. By opening the field to a diversity of talent, our hiring processes help attract a wider pool of candidates, without discriminating against anyone on the basis of gender, age, race, religion, sexual orientation or mobility difficulties. Furthermore, we provide flexible working hours by taking into consideration the needs of diverse employees – for example, employees from different religious backgrounds may need time away from their desk for religious purposes during the day and time off when observing religious holidays, while parents need working hours that match their child’s school or childcare schedule. We encourage our employees to openly discuss their needs, which is an excellent inclusive practice. Moreover, we have implemented anti-discrimination policies with the aim of protecting a diverse team of employees, ensuring that they all receive the same opportunities and don’t feel judged by their gender identity, race, sexuality and other characteristics. Our most recent action was the implementation of a Gender Equality Code of Conduct across all offices and functions, while recognising the importance of achieving gender equality, in order to create an impartial society, in which all people enjoy equal rights and equal opportunities.

What are the main challenges associated with managing a diverse workforce?

A very common challenge is overcoming communication barriers; these may be language barriers, different communication styles or preferences, or even working with people with hearing loss. It’s important to address these challenges before they become problematic. Misunderstandings can also be common when you bring people from different cultures together – for example, certain gestures or body language may be perceived as offensive in some cultures. Other challenges include aligning diversity with organisational goals, which is crucial for the creation and sustainability of a diverse and inclusive workplace. There is also an increased need to conduct relevant and adequate training so that everyone is familiar with notions such as bias and prejudice. Lastly but extremely important is the need to be aware of the risks arising from the increased versatility of a diverse workplace which, by default, will bring together people from different backgrounds. Despite their best intentions, some employees may base their decisions and judgements on unconscious biases and mistrust can arise if they doubt their colleagues’ ability to do their jobs properly.

How does diversity in the workplace contribute to organisational success and how can it be leveraged as a competitive advantage in the business world?

In recent years it has become clear that diverse teams are pivotal to producing successful and innovative services. A diverse team brings talent from all areas of human diversification, allowing organisations to reflect their employees and customers and reach new markets. Diverse teams drive innovation, allowing for a broader set of perspectives to come together, leading to more effective problem-solving and decision-making. It’s becoming increasingly evident that diversity and inclusivity in an organisation can lead to greater job satisfaction and lower turnover and can even contribute to the creation of a more positive company image, which will in turn attract and maintain top talent who will be given the opportunity to grow professionally and elevate the organisation’s success to a whole new level.

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Charalambos Michalias, Head of Client Operations

“An unwavering dedication to fostering diversity and inclusion lies within Parimatch Cyprus and defines its corporate culture. This commitment not only inspires our employees but also drives the implementation of HR policies that reinforce a profound sense of belonging. Upon joining the team, one will experience an inclusive and open atmosphere that values every individual, irrespective of their ethnicity, age, religion or sexual orientation. This environment fuels innovation and creativity, yielding enriched workplace dynamics and outcomes that truly set us apart.”

Vasilica Moreanu, Office Administrator

“The company embraces all cultures and the team I work with every day are wonderful people; they are my second family. I have had the pleasure to participate in many new interesting and wonderful HR activities here and my colleagues have welcomed me with love, respect and kindness. I wish to stay curious, to learn more, to be able to help and work with love.”

Andreas Sazeides, Legal Advisor - Responsible Gaming Officer

“Parimatch Cyprus is a multicultural company with people coming from numerous countries with different customs and traditions, religious ideals and lifestyles. For that reason, our HR department provides diversity and inclusion training to employees at all levels of the organisation. This can help raise awareness, reduce biases and create a more inclusive workplace. Also, the company offers benefits and policies that support diverse needs, such as flexible work arrangements, parental leave and healthcare options that are sensitive to diverse family structures.”

Reneria Rosales, Housekeeper

“During my five years in the company, I have been so blissful, thankful and happy to be part of Parimatch Cyprus. This company is the best place to work for me. It embraces all different kinds of cultures without any barrier of your personality. That’s why I am happy to have been working here for so long. People are very loving and respectful. I have never felt that I was different from them; on the contrary, they are always friendly and very close to my heart. That’s why I am so happy to work for this company, as it feels like my home and my second family here in Cyprus.”

Yurii Shevchuk, Head of Compliance

“Within our organisation we have created an atmosphere where ideas, such as diversity and inclusion in the workplace are alive and no one needs to be reminded that their voice matters. Anyone can stand their ground and say the things that he/she thinks are important, and their peculiarities matter, because they enrich the society they live in, making human relations more open and real. And there is no secret to achieving this: we simply try to listen and not just hear.”

This Special Feature first appeared in the November edition of GOLD magazine. Click here to view it.

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