The Talent500 Blog

Top Tips For Managing Diversity In The Workplace

Diversity management is an institutional process of practicing, strategizing, communicating, and executing the principles of diversity and inclusion in an organization. It entails addressing, promoting, and accommodating employees from other cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds who have ideas, ideals, culture, and more. As per a McKinsey’s study mentioned in Forbes, a higher profitability was observed in 43% of the organizations with diverse management.

Let us dive into how to strategically manage workplace diversity to enhance diversity in an organization.

Understand Workforce Diversity

Major workforce diversity includes people who follow different customs, and belong to different cultures and backgrounds. Since diversity groups in the workplace help extend perspectives, develop a better understanding, and enhance communication, diversity can be regarded as a significant element in the workplace. 

Fairness and equality are also other aspects of today’s workforce. When an employee receives unequal treatment because of age, gender, color, sexual orientation, or other personal attributes– discrimination arises, which must be addressed. Today’s workplaces, especially big corporations, are focusing on the nitty-gritty of diversity, inclusion, and equity. 

It’s crucial to consider the type of diversity we’re referring to when we talk about:

  • Inclusion – This refers to embracing all facets of diversity, including gender identity, sexual orientation (LGBTQIA+), and religion or philosophical convictions.
  • Equity and equality – Regardless of one’s background or skill, employees should have equal access to the same opportunities.
  • Representation – Everyone must be able to perceive a reflection of themselves in society.

Create a Work Environment that fosters inclusion

Companies today need to be more flexible and inclusive than ever before, given the fast-paced, competitive nature and culturally diverse workplace. Employee engagement, performance, and well-being are some of the factors that fall into the landscape of an inclusive environment. As a leader, supporting these factors will help build an equal and inclusive environment.

The following actions could help establish an inclusive work environment and manage social diversity in the workplace:

-Build a diverse staff by hiring individuals with a range of experiences and cultural backgrounds.

-Promote collaboration among individuals from various origins and cultures to create an inclusive business culture.

-Offer employees chances for professional development and progress through mentorship connections, training programs, etc.

Conduct Regular Review Of Your Organization’s Culture

Culture refers to the way we conduct ourselves and it constitutes our behaviors, values, and beliefs. It defines who you are as a business and sets you apart from rivals. How does an employer ensure the company culture is fruitful for demographic diversity in the workplace?

Initially, as an employer, you need to conduct regular reviews of your organization’s culture and initiate reviewing the company’s core values, such as:  How the external reviews are relevant to your business, the company’s mission statement, requirements, and changes to reflect the organization’s environment; does the mission statement align with the company’s values and beliefs; Is there any adjustment required to align with the desired values and ethics. 

Effectively accommodating diversity in the workplace is a step that top organizations are succeeding in. Secondly, employers need to assess the status of employee involvement in their company by conducting employee engagement surveys. 

Know The Implications of Unconscious Bias

Implicit or hidden bias is another term for unconscious bias. It’s more likely an instinctual response based on your personality and life experiences than a conscious choice. These biases may have a range of consequences on employment decisions, including hiring managers possibly passing over talented applicants who may not match the “ideal employee’s” criteria in their minds.

As per a 2019 survey report by Deloitte, 83% of respondents classified the bias they have encountered and/or observed in the workplace as subtle, indirect, or microaggressions and 68% of respondents claimed that encountering bias had a negative effect on their productivity.

Influential leadership in a diverse workplace is responsible for breaking such unconscious stereotypical biases.  According to the above-mentioned survey report, 73% of participants indicated that they felt at ease while discussing workplace bias with others. Tackling unconscious bias is a collective effort, therefore educating employees on the signs of discrimination in the workplace, results in empowering them.

Even if the candidates are equally qualified for the position, employers might be more likely to choose someone with a similar educational background, cultural background, or physical characteristics than someone who doesn’t fulfill those criteria. Due to perceptions about applicant’s abilities based on the employee’s ethnicity, gender identity, or sexual orientation, employers may unknowingly reject them for positions. 

Track Business Results That Are Related To Diversity

It’s important to monitor, analyze and track your diversity efforts,  spot trends and learn how to improve in leading a diverse workforce; every business should monitor its diversity metrics over time.

Aspects like gender parity in leadership positions–executive or management positions– are one of the most crucial KPIs, yet tracking this figure alone is insufficient because it differs by industry. For instance, there is frequently more gender parity among senior leaders in banking or finance than in retail or hospitality, where there is still a sizable gender difference in these positions.

Make diversity a priority with leadership

The most crucial individuals in every corporation are its leaders. They act as models for how others engage with one another. Fairness is essential, but so is fostering and discussing diversity in the workplace to create an atmosphere where everyone feels appreciated and respected, as wise leaders are aware.

Diversity is about establishing a culture where everyone feels appreciated, respected, and acknowledged, not just hiring more women or people of color if the objective is to improve customer service.

Demonstrate inclusive behavior to set an example. Employers and employees must practice equal treatment to work cooperatively. Speak up if you notice someone not receiving fair treatment because of their race or gender rather than allowing them to endure unfair treatment because they don’t meet your ideal of what an employee ought to be.

Provide Cultural Training to Employees

New hires must go through the introduction of the company culture through cultural training. Training ensures that diverse workers know how to communicate with their coworkers and clients. The objective is to ensure that employees embody the company’s values and that these values are reflected in their behavior. Teammates need to understand one another to be able to operate well together, and this understanding must go beyond just speaking the same language. Businesses run the risk of their teams disintegrating owing to miscommunication, and a lack of trust if these demands aren’t met. Cultural training teaches employees about cultural variances to improve their ability to collaborate with coworkers from various cultural backgrounds. Cultural training can be given at the beginning of a job, during the probationary period, or even after hiring the candidate.

Cultural differences should be viewed as a source of strength rather than a liability. It’s not always simple to deal with cultural differences, but if you do so right away, you won’t need to make any more adjustments afterward. The fact that people from different cultures frequently have distinct ways of thinking and acting because they were raised in circumstances that differed depending on their family history and customs is essential to understand. 

Creating a proper plan to progress and track the change in the organization builds trust among the employees as their organization is taking the right steps to change. While some individuals might first find it difficult to adjust, after they become accustomed to their new surroundings, if you keep motivating a diverse workforce, they will start feeling more at ease around their coworkers.

Strategy For Evaluating Diversity Management Systems

The procedure of putting policies and programs in place to promote diversity in the workplace is known as diversity management. Top organizations such as Deloitte, Boston Consulting Group, PwC, and Mckinsey & Company set up achievable benchmarks to evaluate and achieve diversity and inclusion goals. Ensuring equal opportunity for diverse employees is an important annual goal for these top organizations, and so are tackling new genres of issues and creating solutions for a safe and innovative environment at the workplace.

For retaining diverse employees,  affirmative action laws that support equal employment opportunities for women and minorities are frequently linked to diversity management. Another crucial component of diversity management is diversity training, which teaches managers how to handle varied staff.

The objective of diversity management is to increase an organization’s productivity and profitability by building a culture where all workers feel appreciated and included. It has been demonstrated that diversity management boosts morale, lowers attrition, and makes retaining diverse talent easier.

Monitoring and evaluating your diversity management system frequently is the right approach to determine its effectiveness. Continuously tracking your development will allow you to make any necessary corrections and ensure that your company thrives.

Taniya Pan

Taniya Pan

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