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Proposal & Objectives
Sept 2016
Introduction
This document aims to summarise the aims and objectives of the Muslim
Network. As well as defining the purpos...
Furthermore, this has helped develop harmony and a sense of belonging within
their respective organisations.
The establish...
normally include an element of charitable works.
We would like to work closely with HR to organise events that benefit the...
Retention and development of existing members
The organisation will improve the satisfaction of Muslims working across its...
Promoting awareness and encouraging communication
The network wishes to contribute to diversity training events bringing g...
while representing the interests and concerns of Muslims within the
organisation. The network would work with HR within th...
- Increased employee satisfaction, motivation and well-being.
- Staff empowerment and increased engagement with the
organi...
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A model proposal to set up a Diversity network in a professional setting

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Template for setting up a professional Muslim Network in a workplace. This has been developed through consultation with government, HR specialists and students of Islamic knowledge. The proposal covers high-level aims and objectives and articulates the benefits to the organisation for employees, the brand and customer engagement.

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A model proposal to set up a Diversity network in a professional setting

  1. 1. Proposal & Objectives Sept 2016
  2. 2. Introduction This document aims to summarise the aims and objectives of the Muslim Network. As well as defining the purpose of the network and its key activities, this proposal will also provide an overview of the perceived organisational benefit from the perspective of employees, stakeholders and the company. Aim To represent Muslims within the organisation, thereby helping promote a greater understanding between employees and liberating the benefits of diverse backgrounds. Objectives  Help increase all-round employee well-being by strongly supporting our organisational ethos and diversity strategy, aiding staff recruitment, retention and diverse working environment.  Supporting an ethos where all faiths, cultures and nationalities across the organisation cooperate to support the community.  Raising awareness of Muslim issues and supporting the professional development for members through mentoring, shadowing, seminars and cultural activities. Recognising diversity There are many examples of organisations within the corporate world that have established Muslim networks such as Accenture, BT, EY and HSBC. This has helped empower their employees and reflect their broad and diverse workforce.
  3. 3. Furthermore, this has helped develop harmony and a sense of belonging within their respective organisations. The establishment of societies, associations and social networks is a reflection of organisational diversity as it recognises the interests, needs and aspirations of all that interact with it, whether as employees, suppliers or customers. This helps to create an open, honest and unprejudiced workplace that encourages people to reach their full potential. The PHEMN seeks to facilitate this openness and awareness about Islam and Muslims within PHE. BackgroundActivities We will endeavour to deliver the following professional and social activities for the benefit of the organisation, its staff and external organisations (e.g. charities):  Organising seminars – focusing on key issues related to personal and professional development such as: time management and balancing faith obligations with work constraints. These seminars will be open to non- members and persons of other faiths as a means of promoting awareness about Islam and improve employee well-being in the workplace.  Networking events – helping members to build up contacts in appropriate environments which do not conflict with Islamic social principles. Corporate events usually serve alcohol which may lead to Muslims either being unable to participate in such useful events or participating very reluctantly.  Charitable & Social Events – supporting and encouraging charitable works by organising events and setting up emergency appeals where necessary in coordination with registered charitable organisations. Any funds raised shall be for causes across cultures, nationalities and faiths. Muslims participate in communal activities throughout the year as part of their faith. These vary in frequency from daily congregational prayers and fasting for a whole month (Ramadhan) to annual Eid celebrations. Such occasions will be ideal opportunities for social networking outside of work hours and
  4. 4. normally include an element of charitable works. We would like to work closely with HR to organise events that benefit the members and others across the organisation thereby encouraging greater cultural diversity across the company. Currently we already have the following activities which we would like to develop further upon being recognised as a network:  Prayer room – Members really appreciate the fact that there is a multi-faith prayer room onsite which helps a great deal to schedule prayers during working hours. Through speaking to members it seems that this prayer room is frequented at least 50 times a day by Muslims alone. This figure increases by a factor of at least three over winter when prayer times are closer together to shorter days.  Weekly meetings - Every Friday on the way to congregational prayers, members meet and discuss what they have found interesting and challenging about work and any areas they require further advice on.  Quarterly lunches - Members get together periodically to have a social lunch.  Communication – There are currently two main forms of communication between members: The first is through email and the second through Whatsapp. Email communication is for more formal matters whilst Whatsapp tends to be less formal and a wider range of topics are discussed. Benefits to the organisation There are a number of benefits to the organisation, not least the access to different perspectives and insights of our prospective or current service users. These include:
  5. 5. Retention and development of existing members The organisation will improve the satisfaction of Muslims working across its sites due to the range of appropriate activities available to them. This will also provide increased awareness of the Islamic faith amongst work colleagues and will develop a positive working environment in turn leading to higher employee retention. One of the aims of the network is to promote personal and professional growth of employees. We have a significant number of Muslim employees and through recognising their diversity preferences we expect to see them become more efficient and effective in their professional roles. This will in turn improve the work we provide as a company and relationships with other stakeholders. Activities offered by the Network are open to members and non-members so this benefit will be felt across the organisation. Recognition as a diverse employer Having an established Muslim network will help to attract Muslim professionals to the organisation. There is evidence of other professional organisations having achieved this through a Muslim network with activities such as representation at University Islamic societies to raise awareness of their respective organisations amongst Muslim graduates. The network aims to be a forum for employees and new recruits to share their experiences and learn about Islam. It also aims to advise other employees about Islamic practises and values as well as to generate dialogue and gain greater interaction within the wider community. This will enable employees to gain an awareness of potential external sponsorship events that attract the community at large.
  6. 6. Promoting awareness and encouraging communication The network wishes to contribute to diversity training events bringing greater awareness and sensitivity to the organisation and its employees through addressing misconceptions about Islam and its values. During a time where there are many mixed messages in media and conversation, it is paramount to Muslim employees that they feel their belief and culture is understood correctly. The network will act as a forum aiming to work together in the best interests of the organisation feeding back concerns, issues and ideas to HR and respective business units helping to motivate and empower its diverse workforce. Benefits to members Personal and Professional growth through networking opportunities Supporting individual and collective development through engaging activities such as workshops or seminars and then feeding back key issues or suggestions and liaising with HR to address these needs. The organisation will promote existing initiatives such as charitable work and employee engagement initiatives to exchange knowledge, skills, information and experience. This will also improve engagement with company strategy and encourage participation of Muslims within their corporate cultures. Indeed, most of our corporate values resonate with core Islamic values such as honesty, trust and responsibility. Providing a forum for Muslims within the organisation The network will be open to any employee regardless of belief or background and aims to:  Act as a voice for Muslims and a point of contact for highlighting any issues related to the Islamic faith for members and non-members alike. This will be an ideal forum to share experiences, interests and aspirations
  7. 7. while representing the interests and concerns of Muslims within the organisation. The network would work with HR within the policy framework to support new and existing employees to ensure effective inclusion into the wider organisation.  Assist in providing a safe environment so Muslims within the organisation feel at ease following their religious practises (where appropriate in a corporate environment), through increased awareness of religious boundaries and sensitivities. In offices where a specific need is highlighted, the organisation will help to coordinate a case for these needs to be catered for. Through regular interaction with HR this forum can be used to raise awareness of the annual month of fasting (Ramadhan) for the benefit of line managers and work colleagues dealing with Muslims. Conclusion The network is an initiative suggested by existing Muslim employees working in the organisation who recognise the value the network could bring to the organisation, the workforce and customer relations. By empowering staff members to practise their faith, the organisations openness and diversity policies are manifested. The network could deliver significant impact across the organisation in a number of areas including: - Effectively raising awareness of different interests and diversity within the workforce helping to shape a mutually compatible work environment. - Strongly supporting our diversity strategy including recruitment and adding value to our brand.
  8. 8. - Increased employee satisfaction, motivation and well-being. - Staff empowerment and increased engagement with the organisation - Increased affinity with organisational brand values and helping to promote them within social circles. - Developing an ethos where all faiths, cultures and nationalities within the organisation co-operate to support the wider community. As a social networking and employee development initiative this could lay the foundation for other employee communities to express themselves developing real synergy with the organisation as a great place to work.

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