Managing Diversity In The Workplace: 5 Points To Consider

Managing diversity in the workplace helps create and maintain a healthy work environment in which individuals’ differences and similarities are appreciated so that everyone may attain their full potential and contribute to the organization’s objectives and strategies.

Religion, age, color, gender or sexual orientation, permanent residency, political affiliation or viewpoints, service in the military, physically and psychologically conditions, personal traits, skills training, or favorite basketball team are all examples of diverse culture, which, if not handled properly, can lead to charges of discrimination or employee relations issues. So, diversity management at the workplace is essential.

Classification of Diversity Management in the Workplace

Any organization’s success depends on its diversity. According to a study, 57 percent of workers believe their workplaces have to be more multicultural.

Workplace diversity is classified into two types:

  • Acquired diversity: Differences in talents, training, and experiences are examples of acquired diversity. When it comes to problem-solving, cultural differences, encourage meaningful dialogue among individuals to assist them in reaching the optimal answer. As a result, debate based on differences should be welcomed because it may be beneficial to the organization and isn’t destructive if managed.
  • Inherent diversity: Gender, ethnicity, and age disparities are examples of inherent variety. However, because of personal prejudices towards unique individuals, this form of diversity can lead to interpersonal conflict among employees. Conflicts arising from natural variety can be long and drawn out, necessitating careful administration to minimize low productivity and morale.

Managing Diversity at the Workplace: Challenges Faced

Diversity problems may quickly grow, resulting in a loss of production and, in some situations, legal ramifications. Here are some challenges to diversity in the workplace:

  • Acceptance and respect

Consideration between workers in the workplace is a basic trait that leads to a successful diverse workplace. Conflicts can emerge when employees do not accept the various cultures and ideas of their coworkers. Acceptance promotes mutual respect and helps to avoid confrontations. Organizational staff will benefit from diversity training because they will be able to recognize, accept, and appreciate one another’s uniqueness.

  • Accommodation of beliefs

Various individuals tackle the same problem and present their opinions in different ways due to their unique backgrounds and experiences. Employees who do so are incredibly useful to the company because they will continue to drive new ideas and discover problems. 

Many of the viewpoints, on the other hand, might make it difficult to achieve an agreement. Among many other ideas, unique answers to issues might be ignored. So, employees need to keep in mind not to impose their ideas and beliefs on the other coworkers so as to avoid disputes and arguments.

  • Communication issues

Communication amongst members of the team can be difficult when you have a varied staff. Difficulty in completely understanding instructions may result in a considerable reduction in performance and team camaraderie. The staff may find it difficult to communicate with one another if demographic disparities drive them to utilize slang or certain types of language.

  • Generation gaps

Millennials will account for approximately 75% of the workforce by 2025, and they are transforming the workplace culture. Employees from previous generations may find it difficult to adjust to alterations in the workplace and workplace culture brought about by the millennial population. The age groupings in bigger organizations are more diverse, ranging from teens to older citizens. As a result, cliques and social connections may emerge, and certain team members may become isolated.

How To Manage Diversity in the Workplace?

In order to ensure the cooperation and participation of different groups, conscious efforts and activities must be carried out inside the firm. Below are the things to keep in mind for effectively managing diversity in the workplace. 

  1. Recruit outside the box

In some businesses or industries, finding people with diverse backgrounds and experiences might be challenging. If that’s the case, seek new and innovative ways to recruit. 

Only by ensuring that your recruiting strategies support and embrace diversity will you be able to achieve this. For example, if you want to hire highly skilled female engineers, broaden your hiring needs to include professional associations where they may be members. Look for career fairs in different sections of a town or different cities.

According to one survey, only 4.1 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are women, while men called David or John comprise the fortune 500 CEOs list with 4.5% and 5.3%, respectively. Two single male names exceed an entire gender. You’ll need to overcome bias in the evaluation and interview process if you want to employ diversity.

  1. Put your policies in writing

Standardized policies are beneficial, but they must also be understandable. Make sure the published standards are clear and simple to follow. This helps employees understand why one person gets a massive project while another gets the boot. Talk to the employees frequently to ensure that you’re being as clear as you believe you are about your choices and procedures. The following components of your staff handbook must cover diversity:

  • The company’s diversity policy must be outlined in the standards of ethics.
  • Nondiscriminatory communications should be detailed in the communications management plan.
  • Non-discrimination policy informs individuals about the rules and what would be and what would not be permitted.
  • Welfare, compensation, and benefits for employees. 
  • Employment and severance policies.

Confirm that all of the company staff rules, especially recruitment, salary, and advancements based purely on performance, contain documentation concerning equality. 

  1. Invest in sensitivity training

Employees may treat their coworkers insensitively not because they wish to be cruel but because they don’t know how to. Diversity training helps workers, particularly those in leadership positions, recognize and appreciate variations in religion, color, ethnicity, cultural values, gender, and thinking styles. It can assist employees in: 

  • Examining and adjusting their attitudes about others who are different from them
  • Appreciate the views of others
  • Learn exactly what is offensive
  • Communicate calmly if someone offends them
  • Apologize if they unknowingly offend someone
  1. Acknowledging and capitalizing on cultural diversity

Cultural variety is not centered in one geographical place in some worldwide firms, but rather happens across numerous global sites, each with its own culture and personality. Make sure the company’s purpose, goal, and fundamental values are shared across all sites to bring together culturally diverse and geographically separated personnel.

  1. Facilitate effective communication

Among the most difficult aspects of managing a diverse staff is ensuring that messaging is clear and complete within the company. Ensure that the employees are aware of all processes, regulations, safety standards, and other necessary details to assure that everybody is on the same side.

When talking with your staff, make an effort to bridge cultural and linguistic hurdles. If at all feasible, have critical work documents such as operation manuals translated. 

In a Nutshell

Managing workplace diversity is similar to arranging a lively dinner party. The first stage is to put together the correct mix of personnel in your organization, but you’ll need to be diligent and devoted to making it a success. If employees inform you that you’ve broken a cultural stigma, pay attention to what they’re saying. It also helps to be receptive to recommendations. In fact, it would be a pity not to make use of your company’s diverse cultural ideas and experiences.

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