A lot has been spoken about diversity and doing rounds these days. What is diversity, and why is it important to manage diversity in a workplace? Diversity in the workplace refers to the recognition of individual variations among workers and the purposeful creation of a welcoming environment that values those differences. People of different racial backgrounds, genders, ages, religions, and ethnicities are employed in an environment that values variety. Many companies establish diversity programs that enlighten employees on what diversity is and how it benefits every employee. HR personnel and business owners must deploy every strategy to foster inclusion and diversity in the workplace.
Let’s check out the tips from our HR experts who help you successfully manage diversity in the workplace:
Fair Recruitment: Hiring and selecting talents from diverse backgrounds is crucial to create a diverse workplace. How is it possible? It all starts with recruiters overcoming bias in the interviewing process itself. There should be a right mix of an interview panel, ensuring that the recruitment and selection process is free from prejudices and biases and that assessing the candidate is purely hired based on talent, skill sets, experience, qualification, and merit. However, the organization should also ensure that the recruitment policies embrace diversity.
One cannot shy away from diversity at the hiring stage, as one needs to be sensitive to these and inculcate the right work culture which has diversity inclusion embedded. Let the pool of talent that you’ve chosen reflect multi-culture settings, and let it represent people from all walks of life and backgrounds. A fair recruitment policy is essential to get a fair representation of people from diverse cultures, which in turn shows an organization’s ethos in a true light.
Create inclusive policies: As said earlier, you will have to ensure that the company policy is in place and is inclusive of everyone. An employee might feel demoralized if the organization does not favour or discriminate against a certain set of employees. Not just that! Apart from written company policy, it is also vital to ensure that each and every employee also understands the unwritten policy and rules to guarantee diversity and inclusion right from the inception.
Leaders and managers play a major role in ensuring diversity. They must encourage their staff to open suggestions and feedback on the company policy, and should be open to any amendments if their fellow members oppose them. Every employee has a right to work without experiencing workplace discrimination. When such inclusive policies are incorporated, policymakers should consider the impact that might create on the diverse workforce.
Provide training: Train the employees to respect diversity and accept the differences like race, religion, gender, thinking style, etc., of other employees. Diversity training aims at emphasizing the way that every employee, irrespective of their characteristics, works together. Diversity training encourages an inclusive company culture. Organizations can also remotely manage and train through their smart onboarding tool for new hires.
The management should ensure that every employee has undergone the diversity training program. An employee receiving diversity training becomes self-aware, understands disparities, supports them, and is always willing to make progress.
Facilitate effective communication: Effective communication is the key to a diverse workplace. One of the challenging tasks for any organization is to maintain effective communication across all levels. There are times when communication is misinterpreted. Hence, in order to overcome the cultural and language barriers, important information and materials must be translated and depicted with pictures and symbols, wherever required, as these are easily understood.
Organizations should adopt adequate language translation methods to ensure that the communication passed has been understood. They should also avoid complex language and jargon. In this way, organizations can facilitate diversity in the workplace and ensure everybody is on the same page.
Create diverse teams: Working in diverse teams can help dispel stereotypes and cultural misconceptions by allowing employees to know and respect one another personally. People that work in different teams are better able to comprehend one another, which fosters mutual respect and teamwork in situations that are advantageous to diversity management. Thus, when seeking creative solutions and product creation, a diverse team’s shared competencies bring a range of skills, personalities, and capacities to the table.
Leadership: A true leader needs to assume responsibility to carry out diversity strategies, policies, and goals and implement them. To ensure that diversity in the workplace is maintained and is a success, this is a critical factor. As mentioned earlier, the leader is someone whom their followers look up to. A leader is also supposed to be taking his people along with them and give them ample opportunities to give their ideas and opinions. In other words, true leader rallies behind their people and stands up for them. They give a sense of direction to an organization and pave the way for the managers to devise strategies to tread along the path to achieve organizational goals. An organization without a sense of vision and goal is directionless and moves in all directions. A true leader’s the ability to give a sense of control to their teammates and take them along the decided-upon path.
It is a challenging affair to have people from different diversities be a part of one big corporate family, as everyone has a different cultural background and ethos. But this is the way forward to have everyone included in the organization and, without any discrimination, get them involved, thus helping the organization scale global heights. Also, this way, the organization is able to attract top talent and get an edge over its competition. Managing diversity allows employees to understand different cultural mores and practices, thus dispelling myths that might be there in one’s head. People working in different teams are better equipped to be empathetic and thus fostering mutual respect for one another. For an organization, this is a very advantageous situation from a diversity management standpoint. Thus, while working on a project together which involves creative thinking and working towards solutions, a diverse team’s different competencies bring a lot of ideas and capabilities to the table. We at Enspire HR also follow inclusion and diversity as part of our HR process.