Diversity is one of the major priorities of 87% of companies. This is not surprising since having a diverse workforce comes with numerous benefits and enhances the performance of organizations. In addition, companies that promote diversity in the workplace generally have fantastic reputations and are regarded as adopting global best practices. They profess to be “equal opportunity employers”. So, in this article, you will learn how to promote and manage diversity in the workplace.
How to Promote and Manage Diversity in the Workplace
1. Educate Managers
Organizational leaders influence the behaviours of the members of their teams. They are capable of grooming and mentoring team members to behave in certain ways. Therefore, diversity training should begin with managers. Once leaders understand the benefits of a diverse workforce they would most likely consciously implement it in decision-making. It is also recommended that companies hire leaders who understand the importance of diversity in the workplace.
2. Hire for diversity, and objectively
The hiring process gives companies an opportunity to systematically build a diverse workforce. One way to avoid having homogeneous personnel is to minimize cases of internal referral for vacant positions as people tend to recommend those with whom they have certain things in common. Sometimes, the best candidate becomes the opportunity cost. This may also happen in cases where religion, age, gender or disciplines are given primacy over competence.
A homogeneous workforce can also be avoided by deliberately hiring for diversity without necessarily sacrificing competence in the process.
3. Be fair to all
If you consistently allow your biases, sentiments or prejudices to interfere with your judgment and decision in your treatment of others, you will soon be busted and regarded as an unfair leader. This can eventually dent the morale of your team members and a long string of other consequences may follow. Therefore, it is important that you identify your biases and set them aside during recruitment, remuneration, evaluation, promotion and conflict resolution. Doing so will make others trust you and have confidence in your leadership.
Several research findings reveal that organizational justice has a positive impact on employee performance.
4. Organize diversity training for employees
Training employees is also critical to managing diversity. This will help to create an inclusive environment where employees can feel valued, express themselves freely and contribute diverse perspectives on critical matters. Training will help employees appreciate individual differences and treat each person as a unique individual rather than judge with unfounded, group-targeted prejudices.
5. Maintain a written anti-discrimination policy
Having a written anti-discrimination policy will send signals to employees that your organization is genuinely committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce. Making the manual accessible is just as important. This way, employees can be more cautious and sensitive in their actions and use of words.
6. Celebrate foreign holidays and cultures
One of the various ways companies express commitment to diversity and inclusion is by acknowledging and celebrating other cultures and holidays other than those of their origins. These can be done in different, creative ways. For example, observe specific days to celebrate different cultures and have employees dress and make culture-based presentations.
Promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace is highly rewarding. What’s more, it is a practice that benefits both employees and employers. Therefore, concerted efforts should be made by organizations and their personnel to create working environments that celebrate differences, while renouncing discrimination.
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