The concept of Diversity Fatigue initially emerged in 1990, when the equity and diversity of opportunities became a notable organizational concern. Also, according to a report, the term diversity fatigue describes the sense of exhaustion and frustration associated with endeavoring to attract applicants from diverse talent pools and create opportunities for more diversity and inclusion within businesses.
Apart from this, diversity fatigue shows up in almost every workplace in a variety of ways. It can trigger anxiety in the workforce dedicated to the work but notice incompetent outcomes. Moreover, it can annoy people who perceive diversity work as being solely for political correctness.
What do we Mean by Diversity Fatigue in a Workplace?
In simpler terms, diversity fatigue refers to the weariness and anxiety that results from diversity and inclusion discussions. Notwithstanding public focus and knowledge on diversity and inclusion, there are no substantial walks in developing diverse and inclusive teams.
In addition, organizations and the workforce interest began to evaporate. It is related to the amount of time and means required to address the complex matters in diversity, equality, and inclusion. As a result, it gets more challenging to stay dedicated to long-term measures.
Moreover, diversity fatigue is a severe threat to numerous organizations because when diversity fatigue sets in, the business progress gets hindered. Also, when employees in a workplace have apprehensions concerning the efficacy of a diversity and inclusion program, it can only make change more challenging.
In addition, given the enhanced awareness of diversity and inclusion matters, one of the adverse outcomes may be that individuals have become exhausted and bored of talking about diversity. Subduing the apprehensions of management and employees who may not believe that the diversity program will present a higher return on investment can be pretty complex but is not impracticable.
Additionally, it is better to eliminate the diversity label from your training program. It is because even mere use of the word diversity can sometimes create an adverse impact on the mind of your workforce.
Tips to Overcome Diversity Fatigue in the Workplace
Mentioned hereunder are some of the top ways to overcome the issue of diversity fatigue in the workplace.
1. Evaluate the particular diversity and inclusion issue the organization is facing
Every diversity and inclusion plan in the workplace looks transcendent on the outside and demanding on the inside. Therefore, while making the diversity and inclusion plan, you must try to answer the question such as why do employees require your diversity plan and what problems will it solve?
In addition, most administrators hold no idea that diversity fatigue creates opportunity differences and oozes out severe hurdles in an extended time. For instance, if most employees in a workplace follow a misogynistic work culture, merely presenting an on-site creche will not serve the purpose.
Similarly, if organizations do not work on employee retention or engagement, the investment done in recruiting a diverse workforce will fail. In addition, spending efforts on the wrong resolution cannot include the actual problems. Therefore, for functional diversity and inclusion strategies, you need to understand your workforce’s pain points before deciding to overcome diversity fatigue.
2. Set small win objectives with practical expectations
Diversity and inclusion in a workplace is never an overnight journey. Therefore, it is always better to consider workplace diversity and inclusion as a long-term objective. Sometimes, it might look like a hard-fought struggle that will need significant means.
Hence you cannot anticipate magical outcomes merely after one or two years of commitment. However, as you transcend with your diversity campaigns, you will notice definite small winning objectives that will evaluate the progress so far.
In addition, yearly or quarterly employee engagement polls are the most dependable way to map and verbalize your objectives around diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
3. Make your diversity and inclusion efforts related to every employee in the company
According to the latest survey, male employees in the workplace strongly believe that there are no constraints to the organizational diversity and inclusion strategy compared to their female counterparts.
Also, a common shortcoming of diversity and inclusion programs is that they focus solely on diverse groups that often leads to diversity fatigue. It tends to ignore employees who might not consider themselves different.
As a result, a substantial portion of the workplace might not understand how to promote a diverse team. They fail to realize how profoundly a messed up workplace diversity culture affects others. Therefore, making your workforce remain informed of what you are planning to improve belongingness, diversity, and inclusion remains imperative.
Also, it is essential to hold a yearly briefing on the growth accomplished against overall diversity and inclusion goals to the whole business. In the same manner, organizations can further inform the workforce about the new objectives for the forthcoming year.
Moreover, to strengthen the momentum of your diversity and inclusion program at the organizational level to overcome diversity fatigue, engaging diversity training programs can be the initial step. It will teach your workforce how to communicate and tolerate diversity.
Every employee should receive authoritative and fair chances to welcome people from different backgrounds instead of making diversity a compulsion immediately. For instance, creating organization-wide education about ethnicity can enhance knowledge and help reduce the distress suffered by the black workforce.
4. Regular reinforcement of diversity and inclusion initiatives by team leaders
The assistance of CEOs and other top administration leaders in helping the workforce overcome diversity fatigue is essential. Nevertheless, the operation and business unit administrators should actively encourage workplace diversity initiatives in their everyday dealings. It is only then your workforce will feel the impact of the comprehensive diversity programs by the organization.
Administrators may further remain flexible in their diversity strategy by being open to brand-new ideas from employees. It will assist them in understanding the significance of a feeling of belongingness from an extensive range of diverse perspectives.
5. Empower your workforce to take part in the diversity program
The workforce in every organization must remain empowered and motivated to assist in building a more welcoming workplace. Usually, diversity and inclusion get recognized as “all words” and “no action,” which leads to diversity fatigue.
Nevertheless, your workforce can prevent this impact by understanding the functional tasks they should perform. Only when administrators present scope for them to build and implement any of their plans will help boost workplace diversity.
Mentioned hereunder are some of the top ways you can empower your workforce:
- Beginning an Employee Resource Group or panels that organize workplace diversity-related activities and events.
- Inspiring your workforce to become the spokesperson for workplace diversity matters
- Assisting with suggestions for managing diversity and inclusive meetings
- Welcoming opinions for diversity and inclusion exercises that are more exciting, inventive, and engaging
- Educating employees who initially were reluctant to work with particular classes of individuals like people with disabilities or any other gender prejudice
The bottom Line
After looking at the points above, we can say that diversity fatigue is a real problem that organizations can overcome through consistent efforts. Also, building an inclusive and diverse workforce can be a notable cultural transformation for a company.
Therefore, it is vital to embrace the virtue of the change, not just the methods, procedures, and numbers. Moreover, as companies make significant progress in deliberately building a workplace environment for diversity to flourish, they will readily leverage that talent and witness the higher organizational accomplishment.