Introducing Diversity Policy In The Workplace: Plan Of Action

A diversity policy is just a written agreement for your company on how you will prevent discrimination against employees and provide a diverse and welcoming environment for your employees. 

In fact, it also improves a company’s competitiveness and community reputation, as well as employee morale and happiness. It can also help you in determining how to handle a scenario when someone in your workplace is treated unjustly or hatefully.

The policy must apply to all employees, including full-time, part-time, casual, and contract workers. Although it is not required by law for all organizations to establish a formal diversity policy, the law does imply that all companies must conform to the values of diversity and justice.

Diversity Policy Elements

A diversity policy must be applied to the unique workplace and should have the CEO, board, and/or responsible manager’s approval. It might also contain supporting documents such as an ethics guide, a code of conduct, workplace behavior rules, and recommendations for dealing with unacceptable workplace behavior, as well as a complaints mechanism.

The policy should start with a diversity framing statement that explains the firm’s diversity ideology, which should include the need for workers to represent the American community by incorporating individuals of all abilities, ages, genders, ethnicities, and origins.

The following elements should be included in a diversity policy.

  • Definitions of discrimination, harassment, and workplace conduct that will not be permitted.
  • The ramifications of policy violations.
  • Responsibilities of management in terms of equal employment opportunity.
  • Complaint procedures, including how to file and manage them.

Complying With Diversity Policy

Employers must be aware of how to effectively comply with the policies and prevent noncompliance while implementing the diversity policy in the workplace.

Here are some examples of diversity laws and policies.

  • Age

When recruiting a new employee, age should not be a factor.  Discrimination based on age might include hiring exclusively younger individuals or not recruiting younger workers even if they have the necessary abilities for the job. Your company may be able to hire older people by modifying the physical requirements of specific tasks or hiring them on a part-time basis.

  • Ability, aptitude, or impairment

Work opportunities should be based on a person’s competency. It is against the law to refuse to hire somebody with a disability that does not impede them from doing their duties.

  • Personality

Staff will be hired based on their competency to accomplish the job, not on their personality. Discrimination occurs when an otherwise qualified candidate for a position is rejected based on personality (for instance, ‘She’s overly outspoken to be a supervisor’).

  • Culture

Celebrating key cultural occasions at the workplace, as well as allowing workers to dress according to their customs as long as this does not violate safety rules or dress codes, are examples of encouraging diversity. It might be discriminatory to refuse leave requests submitted on time to attend cultural or religious festivals and rituals.

  • Language

Relevant announcements should be translated into local languages and posted on bulletin boards. It is discriminatory to hire someone who does not speak English and not provide them with safety information in their native tongue.

  • Ethnicity and race

Irrespective of race, employees must be hired, promoted, trained, and paid based on merit. It is prohibited to provide superior circumstances to members of a certain ethnic group. The race of a person should not be a factor in recruitment, promotion, or behavior at work. Allowing blatant racism, such as jokes shared in the workplace that demean members of a certain race, is illegal.

Put the Policy into Action

Once the policy has been made, there are various approaches to guarantee that it is executed successfully.

Here are some techniques and pointers for executives who are in charge of implementation.

Implementation Strategies

  • Pay attention to how employees interact with others daily.
  • Verify that the protocols for hiring and promoting employees are being followed.
  • Compile a list of the type and quantity of harassment and discrimination complaints received.
  • To ensure that everyone is on the same page, discuss diversity during performance review sessions.
  • Check that suggested improvements, such as recognizing various cultures, publishing diversity pieces in newsletters, or allowing parents to work from home, are being followed.

Implementation Advice

  • Inquire with a coworker about how to handle a client or customer from a similar cultural background.
  • Learn how to say “hello” in a variety of community languages and utilize it to greet coworkers who speak them.
  • Speak out if you hear a joke or a statement that looks to be disparaging based on certain human characteristics such as age, gender, ethnicity, or sexuality.
  • When examining rules and procedures, look for any indirect discrimination, such as when a regulation that should apply to all employees mistakenly excludes particular employees due to specific attributes or characteristics.
  • When contacting employees as volunteers for a certain duty, strike a balance; for example, urge both old and young workers, as well as males and females, to volunteer.

Success Should Be Measured in Some Way

There are several approaches to determine whether a diversity policy’s adoption has resulted in beneficial improvements in the workplace or not.

Here are some examples of how to assess success.

  • The levels of comprehension and acceptability of the policy can be determined through employee responses to monitoring, sampling, questionnaires, and quizzes in the company’s newsletter.
  • Creating a profile of employees by age, gender, ethnicity, and other factors can reveal the workforce’s diversity and if it is more diverse than before.
  • A job satisfaction survey might demonstrate a rise in job happiness, as well as good feedback on flexible work hours.

Review the Policy in a Rigorous, Critical Manner

A review of your organization’s diversity policy takes preparation and is a more formal means of assessing the policy’s adequacy and usefulness.

Ensuring that all employees are consulted will reveal how successful the policy is. Examine each component of the policy to see if it is up to date, how well it applies to the business, what changes or improvements could be implemented, and whether it may be worded more clearly.

Following are some examples of measures that might be conducted as part of a diversity policy review.

  • Setting up informal meetings that enable feedback, discussion, and a sharing of ideas and perspectives.
  • Organizing for workers to visit different workplaces to explore best practices.
  • Surveys or questionnaires for employees, supervisors, and board members.
  • Discussions with important stakeholders.
  • Using state/territory bodies in charge of enforcing diversity legislation to assess the company’s diversity policy and practices.
  • Role-playing exercises that test employees’ ability to handle scenarios involving possible violations of the diversity policy.

Make Recommendations for the Improvement of the Policy

Following a comprehensive evaluation, employee input, observations, and informal talks, you may be able to offer a variety of modifications. Also, follow the company’s protocols for adopting proposals, such as submitting a formal report to management, discussing the changes with employees, and ensuring that training is scheduled.

In a Nutshell

A diversity policy aids a company in developing and implementing a management system and culture that promotes diversity, as well as putting in place processes and procedures to guarantee that the policy is followed.

Businesses that can effectively manage diversity in the workplace will have a distinct competitive edge over their competitors in terms of distinction, creativity, and employer branding in the global market. In fact, there are professional firms that can assist you in achieving diversity in the workplace.

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