Home » Business » Companies Must Promote Diversity [opinion]

Imagine a workplace with employees that all behave in the same manner, speak the same language and seeing things the same way. It would be an absolute bore to work in such a place. Most workplaces are interesting because everyone has unique talents, feelings, gifts, thoughts, personalities, histories and beliefs. It is this diversity that sets us apart. It would really be a more interesting world if we avoid putting people in small labelled boxes.

People are unique and diverse in other aspects such as race, gender, age, disabilities, religion, job title, physical appearance, sexual orientation, nationality, multi-culturism, competency, training, experience, and personal habits.

It is therefore critical that management studies this diversity in order to fully utilise the human resources that is at their diversity. This process is also critical in building and cementing relationships. Diversity in the workplace adds a special richness, but also special challenges.

As a manager, effective diverse work relationships are critical for your success. Managers who are aware of the diversity of their subordinates appreciate those differences rather and don’t usually mourn about why someone is not matching their description or their likes in thought, behaviour, and ability or in any other way.

Once managers change our focus from seeing the differences to appreciating the uniqueness, we can see the glorious patterns that these differences can bring us.

They enable the employer to tap into a richer variety and find more creative ways to solve everyday challenges.

In learning about diversity, we learn to appreciate that everyone really is unique and has unique talents, feelings, gifts, thoughts, personalities, histories and beliefs.

So, rather than put people in small boxes with labels, we can just let them be whatever they are in all their glory and learn more about a wider variety of people, even if they see things very differently than we do. Or, more importantly, we can appreciate people because they see things differently than we do.

The good things about this is that as you do so you are connecting a great variety of gifts that people bring to work and service.

Recognising diversity gives us the chance to provide meaning, fulfilment and purpose. I remember we had to deal with a situation regarding age differences where the generation gap became an issue among employees.

We discovered that the age differences were triggering cliques and dishevelling team unit. Bridging the gap between multiple generations of workers can sometimes become an issue for employers attempting to establish teamwork.

Unfortunately, workers who are mentally or physically handicapped sometimes encounter discriminatory behaviour from insensitive co-workers.

In some cases, employers innocently overlook handicapped workers needs, such as ramps or special needs equipment.

Creating a fair and comfortable work environment for disabled employees is important in a diversified workplace.

Sadly, some individuals harbour unfair prejudices against people of different colours, cultures, ethnicity or religion than their own. Such prejudice should not be tolerated in the workplace and should be dealt with firmly and promptly.

Company policies and appropriate training help build acceptance and respect among a well-diversified employee body.

One of the oldest and most common diverse issues in the workplace is the “men vs. women” topic.

It is sad that some companies have trouble dealing with the fact that a woman can perform as their male counterparts.

The key component in achieving a favourable diversity is establishing teamwork and mutual respect among staff members. Acceptance of individual differences is essential in creating a productive work environment. Acceptance leads to respect, and ultimately opportunity.

One scholar described diversity as learning from others who are not the same, about dignity and respect for all, and about creating a good workplace environment. Diversity in the work environment promotes acceptance, respect and teamwork. I really believe that companies that overcome certain diversity issues often achieve greater productivity, profit and company morale.

Conflict among employees becomes inevitable when prejudice, racism, discrimination and a lack of respect creeps into a work environment.

If not distinguished, such animosity in the workplace can become explosive or even violent. Businesses that provide a diversified work environment and provide sufficient diversity training often reduce or eliminate such occurrence. Till next week, may God richly bless you!

The author is an aisor in management issues.

Source : The Herald

Archives