#MyWTW: Creating Connections Between Speech and Hearing-Impaired Colleagues
How long have you worked at Willis Towers Watson?
I recently celebrated my first year at Willis Towers Watson.
What are you responsible for at Willis Towers Watson?
My role involves assisting various Technology and Administrative Solutions clients. As the global pandemic developed, our clients started working from home, which resulted in an increased volume of client queries. However, I was able to successfully meet the service level agreements that we have with our clients. This was a rewarding experience that increased my expertise, strengthened my confidence as a professional and gave me the opportunity to participate in new client-facing projects.
How was your experience of joining Willis Towers Watson as a speech and hearing-impaired colleague?
Joining a new company can be overwhelming and this is especially true when you are differently-abled. Being speech and hearing-impaired, I’ve always been apprehensive about communicating with new colleagues.
On my first day at Willis Towers Watson, I was amazed to find out that the company’s Mumbai Inclusion & Diversity core committee and the Talent Acquisition team had partnered with Eklayva Foundation to conduct a two-day workshop for my team to get acquainted with the basics of Indian sign language. This made me feel welcomed and provided an insight into the company’s culture and commitment to make everyone feel comfortable in bringing their true selves to work.
How has this differed from past experiences?
My experience as a new colleague at Willis Towers Watson was completely different from what I’ve encountered in the past. In other organizations, I would sometimes struggle to communicate with other colleagues. My former team members and I would type out messages in order to have conversations with each other which was very time-consuming.
The fact that a few Willis Towers Watson colleagues already knew sign language made it easy to not only coordinate tasks but also strike a conversation, express myself, and build healthy relationships.
How did Willis Towers Watson help you to seamlessly communicate with other colleagues?
Colleagues who work closely with me attended the Eklayva Foundation workshop that the company had organized on sign language, which helped to set good foundations for communication. This was the first time that a workshop like this had taken place at Willis Towers Watson India, so I was very grateful to experience the results of it on my first day.
How did you adapt as we transitioned to working remotely during COVID-19?
I am used to working with colleagues and teams in person. As the pandemic continued to develop, I started feeling anxious and stressed at the thought of working from home, since this could potentially impact how I communicate with other colleagues. However, this was not the case thanks to Willis Towers Watson’s support and internal communication platforms.
I must say technology has played a crucial role in my work from home experience. Since some of my colleagues understand how to use Indian sign language, video conversations are mainly what we use to communicate during trainings, one-on-one meetings and daily interactions with the team. Also, popular messaging apps help me to stay connected with fellow team members.
Is there anyone you would like to thank or who was integral to your experience?
I am extremely thankful to my colleagues, Asha and Rajiv, for always being there for me and making my experience so fruitful. I also appreciate the technical support and workshop on sign language organized by the company that has made communication seamless and effective.
What is your favorite part about working for Willis Towers Watson?
I love to work across the different areas at Willis Towers Watson and my team has always guided me to excel in every task. The company culture and the values leave no stone unturned to make every colleague feel appreciated, I truly respect this.
I also appreciate the fact that Willis Towers Watson’s unwavering commitment to I&D truly gave me the tools to carry out my daily operations confidently. Each of my colleagues has exemplified the inclusive culture of the company. They clearly know how to create connections between the hearing and hearing-impaired world. These thoughtful efforts are a direct reflection of the culture and this is truly inspiring.
What advice would you give to a differently-abled person that is looking to apply for a role at Willis Towers Watson?
I would encourage them to join an organization like Willis Towers Watson in order to experience the all-inclusive culture that connects colleagues and creates an environment where they can reach their full potential.
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