Some personal thoughts on Unit4’s Day of Reflection
Last July, we introduced Unit4’s first annual Day of Reflection. This is a designated day away from work for our colleagues around the world to spend time exploring their history and identity, connecting with their families and communities, and discovering differing viewpoints. This year, employees have the choice to take this incremental day off on July 9 or 12.
But this isn’t about merely understanding others and the cultures that influence their world view. I often talk about Ubuntu, a concept from my native South Africa that loosely translates to “I am who I am because of who you are.” If you Google “Ubuntu,” the first result is a definition: “A quality that includes the essential human virtues; compassion and humanity.”
That’s why embracing these differences is critical on multiple levels. One of our values at Unit4 is “be genuine, be true to yourself.” The “check your personality at the door” workplace mindset is demeaning and stifles innovation, so there’s also a business benefit to valuing differences.
And that leads me to one of Unit4’s Operating Principles: “Create an extraordinary people environment so our people can take extraordinary care of our customers.” If you’re noticing a theme here, then we’re doing our job. These principles and values are the very fabric of what makes Unit4 successful.
When we accept everyone for who they are and not only welcome but expect diverse viewpoints, skillsets, and ideas, we drive collaboration and innovation. This is especially true of a global organization like ours. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, as the saying goes.
So, our Day of Reflection serves to reinforce how important it is to broaden our horizons. To move beyond understanding so we can embrace that it’s what makes others who they are. And why they’re valued.
I encourage you to take some reflection time as well. What cultures, traditions, or points of view can you learn about, embrace, and recognize for their impact on your Ubuntu?