With the increase in globalisation and development in communication and transportation facilities, the world is moving forward with diversity in the workplace in developed countries. Workplace Diversity means employers or organisations prefer to employ a diverse workforce from different gender, religion, race, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, educational background, and many more attributes.
Diversity and inclusion go together to create a unique work environment with a variety of cultures, backgrounds, and a versatile way of working for better productivity. Organisations have recognised the importance of hiring a diverse range of individuals and personalities that can add value to their business.
Diversity can be divided into four different types of categories such as internal, external, organisational, and worldview.
Organisations are aiming for diversity in the workplace by choosing the workforce that has variations in the below attributes:
- Sexual orientation
- Physical abilities and disabilities
- Political beliefs
Diversity is often misinterpreted as a solely multicultural work environment but in fact, it is much more than this. It is represented by groups of people including various attributes like gender, race, ethnicity, age, language, educational background, and so on.
What are the benefits of diversity in workplaces?
Apart from being beneficial to the organisation, has a range of benefits for its employees as well.
Now lets us look at some of the benefits:
Better problem solving. People of diverse ages, gender, educational backgrounds, nationalities, and cultures, bring with them a range of knowledge and experience. Enable the teams to solve the problems more efficiently. Managers and leaders always look for the team for their ability in problem-solving.
Talented and Intelligent Workforces. More and more employees are looking for opportunities in organisations where the talents are appreciated. Due to advanced technologies, it is easier for organisations to look for a diverse workforce from the pool of talented people.
Innovative approach. It leads to innovation. Workplace diversity includes a range of different people with different attributes and backgrounds leading to an innovative approach towards enhanced productivity.
Enhanced Employee performance. Enterprises and organisations are encouraging workplace diversity to motivate their employees to perform at the best of their abilities resulting in overall enhanced employee performance.
Enhanced Profits. An increase in productivity and reduction in downtime due to enhanced employee performance can result in enhanced profits for the organisation.
With all these benefits mentioned above, there are challenges too, for an organisation to put workplace diversity into practice.
Challenges of diversity in the workplace
Versatile Organisation Goals. Diversity requires commitment from the organisation’s top management. Every organisation has to set its own goals and include workplace diversity as a predominant factor, which is compatible with the goals and policies of the organisation.
Dedicated aligned organisation structure. Planning workplace diversity and bringing it into the practice of implementing requires a dedicated, aligned and trained organisational structure.
Training for workplace diversity. Training employees with regards to the goals of the organisation related to workplace diversity is of utmost importance to make everyone understand its value.
Human Bias. Human beings are biased. Workplace diversity and differences in thinking preferences may lead to bias and differences. Expert support to resolve and guide employees can overcome the occurrence of human bias.
Employee Resistance. As all people have a different mindset and since people are coming from the versatile background, not all people in the organisation may be comfortable with it. Developing a workplace diversity culture in the organisation can make everyone believe and care for its integrity.
How to manage diversity?
Below are the recommendations:
Prioritise Communication. Effective communication in all aspects of work, human resources, safety, goals, and policies.
Developing Workplace Diversity Culture. Developing strong Workplace diversity Culture in the organisation by gathering their workforce with a shared attitude can work positively towards developing diversity in workplaces.
Consultation with Employees. Consultation with employees during meetings, with regards to policies, procedures, training, and encouraging employees to discuss any issues related to diversity.
Encouraging Open-Mindedness. Encouraging employees to share their experiences, issues, and suggestions can promote Open-Mindedness and motivate them for continuous improvement in diversity.
By planning with the right goals and policies related to Workplace Diversity along with the necessary training and support, any organisation can achieve better results.
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