Workplace diversity refers to the variety of differences between individuals in an organisation. Diversity is just not about how people understand themselves but also how other people in the organisation understand them. When we talk about diversity at workplace it may comprise of gender differences, religion, physical conditions etc.There are many advantages of having a diversified workplace. If we talk about hiring at first place, organisations that encourage diversity, gets large pool of people to choose from, thus saving time and money. A diverse workplace can better align an organization’s culture with the demographic make-up. Following mentioned are a few steps to help organisations manage diversity effectively.
1. More Emphasis on Communication: For managing diverse environment, communication is very important. Communicate more and more with your employees. Make sure that they have understood your policies, safety rules procedures and other important information quite well. Avoid making assumptions that an individual must have understood everything properly.
2. Create a team Building Environment: Managers should create an environment where people feel themselves a part of a bigger team. They should not feel left out or become a part of small groups and feel that they are not involved. Find ways to help people understand each other. Bring in some team building exercises, some fun games etc.Through this entire people will get to know each other better and will be able to work together as a team forgetting the cultural differences.
3. Provide Orientation: Orientation plays a major role in aligning people to your workplace. Through orientation new people in an organisation become familiar with company’s operations, goals, vision and present workforce. In the orientation people are welcomed and their queries are answered and they are not left with question marks on your face.
4. Mentoring: Mentorship programmes should be undertaken by various organisations. It can start from anywhere, may it be local schools, universities or various youth groups.This will ensure that people from all walks of life are aware of the opportunities available to them around.
5. Accept feedback: If working with a diverse crew you sure will happen to make mistakes unknowingly. If your team people tell you that you have crossed a few cultural taboos, hear them well. Apologise for the same and try not to repeat same mistakes again. Taking a feedback from people you work with is always good for you personally as well as for the organisation.
6. Be Open Minded: Being open minded is very crucial for managing diversified culture. You have to understand it quite well that only your background and your culture is not superior to others. You have to be very receptive and understand from other people’s point of view as well. This way you will be able to accept people properly.
7. Understand Discrimination: The colleagues, supervisors, and management should know and understand the laws against discrimination and the penalties if found guilty. Being HR professional, you can help and conduct trainings for the team leaders’ and managers to know more about the laws and policies of discrimination and consequences of violating the same. Proper knowledge can reduce the number of behavioural issues and conflicts related to discrimination in the workplace.
Thus, in today’s scenario encouraging diversity is the way forward for organisations. Organisations that can manage diversity in the workplace will definitely have a competitive advantage over others in terms of differentiation, new techniques, innovation and branding. Managing diversity also brings out the best of an individual’s creativity, skills, experience and knowledge. The workplace will work smoothly creatively and productively. It will help the organisation fit in today’s tough and competitive market.