Managing diversity in the workplace continues to be a big concern for businesses. The issue is delicate enough that, if not managed suitably, it could become an obstruction to organizational growth.
It should go without saying that HR professionals & business owners must employ every mechanism to promote inclusion in the workplace.
In the upcoming years, businesses proficient at managing workplace diversity will have an extraordinary advantage when drawing and retaining top talent. This article presents practical suggestions and direction on how businesses can approach and manage workplace diversity.
What is the definition of diversity in the workplace, though, before we continue?
What is Diversity in the Workplace?
It’s critical to comprehend what workplace diversity entails for any firm hoping to foster a more diverse and welcoming workplace.
Diversity in the workplace refers to the range of individual variances within a company. Diversity encompasses both how people identify with themselves and how others see them.
Race, gender, ethnicity, age, religion, marital status, citizenship status, military service, and other significant characteristics between persons are all included in the definition of diversity in the workplace.
It also includes things like mental and physical health issues.
The goal of diversity in the workplace is to foster an environment where people from different origins, talents, and cultural experiences are valued.
Diversity management in workplace is an organization’s intended & structured duty to recruit, reward, support, and retain a diverse workforce while blending the assorted employees’ cultural traits for the common good.
The following are the main reasons why managing diversity in the workplace is crucial.
- Diversity results in employer-employee relations that are economically stimulating.
- Positive customer connections are made and established as a result of diversity.
- Diversity encourages innovation, creativity, and adaptability in an organization’s operations.
- Stabilized company growth and economic gain are made possible through diversity.
Managing Diversity in the Workplace Does Not Equate to Inclusion in the Workplace
Making workplaces more diverse has received a lot of attention. Making hiring procedures as open and transparent as feasible is frequently necessary to achieve this. What about workplace inclusiveness, though?
There is a strong correlation between diversity and inclusion. Organizations frequently confuse workplace inclusion with diversity.
Diversity and inclusion differ from one another, and neither happens by osmosis. Initiatives must include achieving a specific goal to increase employee inclusion, appreciation, and safety in the workplace.
Creating an inclusive workplace culture is challenging. Talent is a significant investment, so why hire them if they won’t be happy when they get here?
As a result, workplace inclusion initiatives are significant in and of themselves.
Simply hiring for diversity is insufficient. Inclusivity needs to be a top priority for businesses. Over time, the organization will gain from this as employee well-being grows.
Approaches for Managing Diversity in the Workplace
The first step in managing diversity in the workplace is the hiring process.
Despite their commitment to diversity, many hiring managers find it difficult to understand what diversity means for their business.
Naturally, there are broad trends when it comes to workplace diversity.
However, the reality is that, in practice, diversity differs from business to business and team to team.
There is no “one size fits all” approach to diversity recruitment. This makes it particularly difficult to develop a recruitment strategy for diversity.
Nevertheless, there are steps you can take to ensure inclusiveness and diversity in your hiring.
How to Manage Diversity in the Workplace? -10 Best Strategies
While your hiring practices play a crucial role in fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, there are other diversity initiatives you should be putting in place for your current workforce.
The following are some effective steps to managing a diverse workforce.
1. Compelling Communication
Building good communications at all levels is critical to maintaining a diverse team engaged and everyone on the same page while managing diversity in the workplace.
HR management must prioritize communication, consider feedback, and make use of the data to foster diversity and positivity in the work environment.
Ensure that the employee is aware of the procedures, policies, security standards, and other relevant information.
Focus on overcoming linguistic and cultural obstacles.
Have important documents, like security information, translated if necessary. Ensure that everyone understands a warning, including images and icons on the sign.
2. Foster Open-mindedness
A company that wants to promote employee diversity and inclusion must help staff members accept one another for who they are while managing diversity in the workplace.
Each employee in your company has a unique background, skin tone, and other characteristics. They also all identify with a specific ethnic group. To fully utilize the distinctive contributions that they make, it is crucial to embrace their originality.
Diversity is real, but don’t let it split your company apart. Instead, emphasize how unique each individual is in their way and how their differences don’t matter.
When interacting with one another at work, let all employees maintain an open mind. In this approach, they view their diversity as a tool that should be seized and used to promote corporate development.
It will be impossible for every employee to acquire diversity if the leadership team doesn’t actively model and promote diversity from the start.
Leadership must grasp what diversity means for their business and how it affects the organization’s actions, attitudes, and outlook.
Workforce diversity in management can be booming if top leadership adopts a common aim, as the creation of policies falls under the purview of the organization’s leaders.
Based on that, they can implement policies that either encourage or discourage workplace diversity. The diversity project will be severely constrained if management does not show initiative to action while managing diversity in the workplace.
4. Maintain Transparent Policies
Make sure your staff policies are in line with your equality documentation, which should cover recruiting, compensation, and promotions. The employee handbook should place a strong emphasis on diversity and cover the following topics:
- The company’s diversity strategy must get outlined in the code of conduct.
- Non-discriminatory communication must get covered in the communication plan.
- A non-discrimination policy helps individuals understand the law and what is prohibited.
- Salary and incentive policies.
- Regulation of unemployment and termination based on behavior.
5. Take a Cue from the Businesses That are Doing it Well
It becomes simpler to understand when we put it into practice, just like with any new learning material. There are countless books on managing diversity in the workplace, but until you understand how the ideas translate actually, it can be demanding to put them into practice.
So, take a cue from the businesses dedicated to and committed to workplace diversity.
Do not be reluctant to get in touch with educational organizations that can offer training to the business and instruct employees on how to cultivate a culture that celebrates diversity rather than runs from it.
6. Encourage Employees to Report Instances of Bias and Discrimination at Work
Promoting diversity at work requires proper sanctions. It seems there will be a decrease in the frequency of such situations if employees are encouraged to report discrimination and workplace biases.
Every employee has the right to an office environment free from prejudice. Therefore, it is necessary to outlaw any jokes that use demeaning verbal or nonverbal clues based on race.
Treat each organization member fairly and with respect.
Put an end to stereotypes, both positive and negative. Please refrain from concluding someone’s class or cultural background. Put your biases to the side.
Respond to employee biases or preconceptions right away and decisively. Recognize that your laws forbid discrimination. Encourage employees to evaluate coworkers based on their performance on the job rather than on their attributes while managing diversity in the workplace.
Our unconscious prejudices and opinions can frequently cause us to misinterpret a scenario. As a result, the management must be sincere and careful.
8. Sensitivity Training
You must provide the necessary teaching if your company is new to workplace diversity. Due to being accustomed to a uniform culture, the older staff may be hesitant to adhere to the new standards.
Spend money on sensitivity training and develop a respect- and equality-based culture for managing diversity in the workplace.
Help your people capture the dos and don’ts of diverse workplace culture by providing online awareness training focusing on-
- How do we respect the views of others?
- How should one respond to offenders?
- How can one be adaptable to beliefs that are different from their own?
9. Encourage Diverse Teams
Making your mixed employees collaborate in diverse teams will help to foster their individuality. Teams with a diversity of backgrounds foster respect and camaraderie among the members.
Additionally, diverse groups broaden the team’s perspectives and convictions and value the power of their innate talents and insights.
Businesses must take advantage of the beauty and strength of having an assorted workforce in managing diversity in the workplace. And it all begins with inclusivity and providing equal opportunities to all employees.
The right talent is drawn by their employer brands thanks to a diverse workforce.
Glassdoor research found that 67% of job searchers accepted that a diverse staff was essential when evaluating employment offers, and 57% believed that their employers should be more diverse. Employing a variety of labor pools helps find qualified candidates more quickly.
As a result, hire and seek out individuals from different cultures to foster a diverse workplace. It encircles people in positions of authority and those who decide who to interview and test for expertise to address prejudice.
Employers managing diversity in the workplace should put aside their prejudices and select the finest individuals; those with the required credentials, competence, skills, and abilities may create a diverse workplace.
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For organizations, nurturing diversity is the way to go while managing diversity in the workplace. Businesses that successfully manage workplace diversity will have a typical competitive advantage over competitors in terms of distinction, creativity, and employer branding in a global talent market.