Diversity sensitivity in the workplace ensures everyone, irrespective of their gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and other attributes, enjoys full participation. The aim is to make every employee feel valued and respected for their perspectives, skills, and experiences. The practice is not just to force diversity toleration but for its celebration.
Why Go for Diversity Sensitivity in Your Workplace?
The employees are an organization’s biggest asset, as they are the ones who directly determine the company’s productivity. So, companies must provide them with a safe and inclusive environment to freely voice their opinions.
So, how can one set a foundation for increasing diversity and inclusivity in the workplace?
The Instances from 7 Pillars of Inclusion
Diversity and inclusivity always go hand-in-hand to provide a sound environment for multiple ideas to prosper, and so do creativity.
Physical accessibility is crucial, especially for those who are specially abled, are elderly, or belong to marginalized sections. You can improve sp by:
- Building ramps for wheelchair users.
- Reserving a parking space exclusively for people with disabilities in parking areas.
- Provision of transportations and carpooling services.
- Positive Attitude
- A positive attitude of accepting differences makes the environment inclusive for diverse ideas.
- Encourage participation of minorities in decision-making. It will build the trust of both employers and employees among themselves.
- Space for Choice
It is essential to provide every employee the space to experiment and upskill themselves by trying out different roles as per their potential.
- Promote Partnerships
- Diversity sensitivity in the workplace is never just about showcasing diverse faces but also mutual coordination and cooperation.
- You can promote a positive outlook for different cultures and attributes by promoting team-building and open-end discussion.
- Open and two-way Communication
- Healthy communications, open and two-way, ensure every employee shares their thoughts and concerns without hesitancy.
- Such communications can also cater to a diverse range of ideas for resolving any potential loopholes in the organization.
- Supportive Policies with Bias-Free Language
- The organization must ensure every policy is not discriminatory and is in the best interest of each employee.
- The inclusion of anti-harassment and anti-discriminatory measures is crucial in the code of conduct to exert an organization’s seriousness on such sensitive matters.
- Promote Participation
- It should be a company’s top priority to provide an inclusive environment so that all employees can share their opinions. It is possible only when they feel their differences are not a barrier but are considered valuable for the company.
- A 2019 study found that diversity sensitivity and inclusivity increased average productivity performance by 25%.
5 Top Benefits of Diversity Sensitivity in Your Workplace
- You have more creative and innovative ideas put up on the table.
- Establishment of a strong bond with customers and vendors.
- Resolving conflicting opinions is no big deal and can be dealt with by discussions.
- You can develop an all-rounder approach for dealing with situations with different outlooks in your pocket.
- Diversity training can make employees aware of how their behaviors can unintentionally harm others, thus decreasing discriminatory practices.
4 Things to Keep in Mind Before Introducing Diversity and Inclusion Training
- It should be relevant to your organization’s policies and values.
- It has to be interactive and digital-friendly.
- The training should include real-world examples to equip employees with skills to promote inclusivity.
- It should not promote any insensitive remarks or bias in any way.
12 Best Strategies to Boost Diversity Sensitivity in the Workplace
- Awareness of Unconscious Bias and strive for its interruption.
- The organization can partake in several ways to spread awareness regarding unconscious bias and its consequences.
- Leaders must prevent bias from influencing their decisions and ensure fair treatment of all employees.
- Digital training can help alleviate defensiveness and instead promote analyzing their assumptions.
- Addressing the issue of Pay Gap
HR leaders can look through the issue of increasing the pay gap among people from diverse backgrounds through thorough analysis.
- Acknowledge Multi-Cultural Holidays
- Every organization must value all religions and cultural festivities and recognize their significance,
- You can promote dialogue exchanges based on cultural celebrations to amplify trust and belonging among the employers.
- Allow Feedbacks
- Anonymous feedback like pulse surveys can help the employees convey ongoing issues freely.
- Such information can help uncover internal biases and thus enable managers to undertake immediate measures to address them.
- Analyze Company Policies that may Hamper diversity
- Employers must ensure no policy directly or indirectly supports the segregation of ideas and backgrounds.
- Diversity and inclusion-friendly policies can replace negative experiences with positives.
- Organize Mentorship Programs
- Though recruitment considering minorities can fill in gaps, still, there is more to be done than just hiring for a long-term solution. You can decrease opting out of your diverse hires by adopting mentorship programs.
- The program comprises a mentor who facilitates the parties to break free from their fears and prejudices.
- An effective mentorship program establishes strict no to interruptions, transparency, cultural competency, and anonymous feedback on its objectives.
- Acknowledgment of the Issue is the Key
The leaders need to make diversity a major priority and acknowledge when it’s lacking. They can list the statistics of the organization’s diversity at all levels and present them to the higher-ups for conveying their consequences.
- Don’t Make Diversity Training a Forced Affair
- We humans never like something to be forced upon us. Similarly, forcing diversity sensitivity onto the employees can backfire.
- Voluntary participation serves the objective by impeding the bias by increasing awareness of its consequences.
- On the other hand, forceful participation feels like an attack on their freedom of choice that can bring on resentment for diversity than support.
- It needs to be Ongoing Learning rather than a One-Time Event
- The events like seminars, time-to-time workshops will make the learning more fun.
- Share cultural and religious holiday calendars to embrace diversity more than a curriculum to stick with but a culture to celebrate.
- Ramp Up Your Grievance System
- The reality at ground level must match those written on the paper.
- You have to make sure the employees can freely file complaints or share their grievances without pressure from higher-ups.
- Alternative complaint and grievance systems like an informal mediator system and diversity panels can help the employees file for mediation without getting overpowered.
- Celebrate Differences with Open Arms
- An organization should promote unity in diversity by making everyone feel valued and respected for their contributions and who they are as a person.
- You can celebrate differences by undertaking few but significant steps towards diversity and inclusion.
- Hold celebrations for the days and months, significant for other communities like Pride Month in June, The Black History Month in February. It thus can promote awareness and a sense of inclusiveness among employees.
- Providing an organizational publication to serve as a medium for employees to share their beliefs and instances when they faced prejudice within the organization.
- Communicate Your Priorities Straight
- Use social media handles and various other channels to communicate to the audience how strictly the company adheres to maintaining diversity and inclusivity.
- The direct message of inclusion will increase the company’s reputation while making the applicants aware of how strictly discriminatory practices are intolerable.
Diversity sensitivity is essential for bringing up your business higher on the ladder of prosperity. A safe and inclusive environment is the road to innovation and creativity. Thus, training to celebrate diversity helps an organization become a haven for talent.