|By hiring people with different personalities and experiences, it can open up a whole new outlook and give different ideas and perspectives/ Photo By rawpixel via 123RF|
Diversity matters. Many people who have previously been discriminated against are now speaking up to be counted and heard. The big companies are also beginning to notice. Today, workforce diversity is no longer a term but is a strategy that can strengthen an entire organization.
According to Workology, workforce diversity is bringing together different types of people into one workplace. Diversity means getting access to more talent and not just the typical talent that a company is used to. Sometimes a fresh look can help provide new insights.
Workplace diversity is such a good idea but the implementation is not easy. Why? There are organizations that have not adjusted their vision and mission to adapt to diversity. The policies and implementation somehow get mismatched. Workplace diversity looks good on paper but the practice of having it is incredibly lacking and incorrect.
How to Start Actually Having Workplace Diversity
To start truly having workplace diversity, the first step is to identify what you want to achieve. It has to be described in detail because a simple goal of "workplace diversity" is not enough. While a company may be open to the idea of diversity, they have to thoroughly consider the impact this will have, such as having diversity in leadership positions.
Each goal for diversity is different from one organization to another. Copying from a template alone will not work. One method may work for them but not for your company. Hence, it has to be fit for a company's culture.
The idea may be good. The plan may be above average to excellent. But when there is no consistency and proper implementation, it will not survive. No matter how good you have designed a plan to be, if it is not carried out the right way, it will just become a disaster.
The plan for diversity must be supported by everyone in the organization. This is a very vital piece of the puzzle into making workplace diversity work in a company.
What are the advantages of having diversity in the workplace?
Every person is different. In any organization, no matter your differences, you all work toward one goal, and that is the betterment of the company. By hiring people with different personalities and experiences, it can open up a whole new outlook and give different ideas and perspectives. Below are some advantages of diversity in the workplace.
-People who came from different background also have different sets of skills, talents, and experiences that can be beneficial to the organization. When hiring people, choose the skills that are complementary to the roles of other employees. Having different skills and experiences within the organization can also mean that everyone can learn from each other.
-Diversity among employees can create innovation. Ideas bounce off each other until a new concept can be created. It is important to play on each other's strengths and work together as a team.
-For companies that are looking to expand overseas, cultural differences and language barriers can be serious obstacles that hinder expansion. When an organization truly practices diversity, employees who can speak other languages can help a lot in working with others on a global level and reaching a wider client base. When you have more nationalities in the company, it makes a company more relatable.
-A company that is open to diversity can attract various candidates that are very talented. It can also improve employee performance. When employees perform well, morale is high. As a result, everybody is in a good mood to work.
How do you manage diversity in the workplace?
Companies that are more diverse perform better than those who have uniform staff.
While diversity has its advantages, there are also some bumps along the way. Below are some of the ways that you can manage diversity and turn them into assets.
|Diversity among employees can create innovation. Ideas bounce off each other until a new concept can be created/ Photo By rawpixel via 123RF|
-If the entire team is culturally diverse, there may be a difference in religion and beliefs. Food might be different. Identify other issues that may come up from a diverse team and correct them to avoid more problems. The company must learn to adjust and adapt to diversity.
-Do not treat employees as representatives of their culture because that is stereotyping. Treat each person as an individual who has something to contribute to the organization. Know each person's skills and interest and how they work. Know their potential and capabilities. Team-building activities are a good way to get to know each other on a more personal level.
-One setback of workplace diversity is that sometimes, the staff might think that they are being discriminated. To avoid having this problem, set standards to be followed and provide each employee with the company policies so that they are aware of what their responsibilities are.
-There will be mistakes along the way. Since there are practices that may be considered as a cultural taboo for others, there will be times that an individual might get offended. Hence, to avoid misunderstandings, always be open and accept feedback from employees.