Table of Contents Abstract4 Introduction4 Gender Diversity7 Diversity in Sexuality8 Racial Diversity10 Diversity in Age11 Cultural Diversity12 Religious Diversity 13 Importance of Diversity Training18 Recommendations for Managers22 Conclusion26 References 28 Abstract This research paper addresses the importance of diversity training in the workplace. Having realized how pertinent workplace discrimination is globally, this paper will give a broad look into the various ways that diversity is displayed in the workplace.
The diversity issues involving gender, sexuality, race, age, culture and religion will be explored, and the benefits that diversity training brings in each area will be outlined. Examples of the approaches that many Fortune 500 companies are taking will be touched on throughout the paper, as well as, the strategies behind corporate inclusion. Finally, manager’s recommendations will be given on ways to incorporate diversity training into an organization, and the potential outcomes that it brings to an organization. IntroductionOrder now
People differ in many aspects of their lives. We differ in race, color, sex, religious beliefs and origin to name a few. These diverse characteristics are what make us so unique from one another. Some people see diversity as an opportunity to learn and grow from other people, but others see it as a hindrance, which should be eliminated. Discrimination is defined as treatment or consideration, or making a distinction in favor of or against a person or thing, based on class or category rather than individual merit (http://en. wikipedia. rg/wiki/Discrimination). In most cases discrimination is negative behavior displayed to somebody because of their differences. It has been around for many years and occurs in all areas of life, including the workplace. As the working environment is becoming more diverse, you have people that are in objection to such inclusion, and therefore make it difficult for people of color, race, gender, religious affiliation and origin to fit in comfortably. In fact, laws had to be passed specifically for the workplace in order for people to be treated fairly.
There is the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which is an extension of the 1964 Act that protects individuals from discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion and national origin with respect to hiring as well as compensation and working conditions (Noe, Hollenback, Gerhart & Wright, 2008). The passing of this act was a step in the right direction to eliminating workplace discrimination, but we all know that it takes more than words being inserted in the constitution to change the mindset of people.
This brings us to where we are at now in the twenty-first century, trying to find other ways to eliminate workplace discrimination and encourage workforce diversity. According to The Indianapolis Business Journal, “As companies compete for talent and customers, they realize that hiring women and minorities is more of a strategy than a matter of fairness, said Jesse Moore, Purdue University’s manager of supplier diversity development.
The best way to hold onto our market share, or position ourselves to gain market share, is to make our staff look like our customers. More and more companies have come to realize that diversity is more than just a social program”. (Olson 2008). Diversity training is the approach that many organizations are taking to address such issues. The basis behind diversity training is to change the way that people view and interact with each other’s differences.
Organizations manage diversity through diversity training programs such as, Attitude Awareness and Change programs as well as through Behavior Based programs (Noe, Hollenback, Gerhart & Wright, 2008). The basis of these programs are to increase the employee awareness of stereotypes and beliefs, and focus on changing organizational policies and individual behaviors that inhibit employee’s personal growth and productivity (Noe, Hollenback, Gerhart & Wright, 2008). It is believed that in order to change people, you have to change the way that the think.
The general line of reasoning is that if we learn to incorporate each other’s diverse traits and characteristics in the workplace, we can then use these differences to foster an innovative environment, which will give the company a competitive advantage over the competitors that do not accept workforce diversity. According to the Allied Academies International Conference, “Diversity is rapidly becoming a common practice among companies due to the increasing number of minorities entering the job market today.
As these groups become more prevalent throughout companies, upper-level employees are facing numerous challenges when determining what changes must take place to create a positive working environment for everyone. Management is responsible for the development and implementation of effective policies directly relating to diversity to ensure the acceptance of minorities into the workplace and to aid in minorities’ success through equal opportunities and treatment. ” (Marcia L. James, 2001, Academy for Studies in International Business Proceedings) Gender Diversity
Women account for half of the workforce today, but when looking at their current standings in the areas of salaries and career advancement, there seems to be a gap in comparison to men. It was in 1964, when the Civil Rights Act demanded equal employment opportunity for all individuals, but decade’s later women still only earn seventy eight cents for every dollar men earn in the U. S (Gantz, 2009), and are faced with a ‘glass ceiling’ that determines how high they can go in the corporate arena. This is not only an issue that plagues the women of the United States, but globally.
Tim Smedley said in his article in People Management that women in London are still paid up to twenty-three percent less than men. He also noted that this data is current. In fact, London’s mayor Ken Livingstone said in his speech at the launch of the Women in London’s Economy 2008 report, that the situation had sadly remained the same since 2005 (Smedley, 2008). Reports in the Tribune Business News on October 4th, 2008 by Akemi Nakamura stated that, according to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry in Japan, full time female workers in 2007 earned on average sixty-six point nine percent of what men earned.
Nakamura even went on to say that this gap could be attributed to the relative scarcity of women in managerial positions. This scarcity comes as a result of the glass ceiling that has for decades kept women out of certain positions and roles in the workforce. Occupational segregation is an important issue in both the public and private sectors of the workplace. A research paper that was published by Bethany Sneed in the Public Administration Review concluded that although there has been some decrease in this form of segregation, it is still very prevalent.
In fact, research suggests that two thirds of all working women or men would have to change jobs in order to completely integrate occupations (Sneed, 2007). According to an article written by Andrew Taylor, in the U. K. the glass ceiling has become like a “reinforced concrete barrier”. Instead of women breaking through the glass ceiling, the progress has slowed down so much that the Equality and Human Rights Commission in Europe said that in many cases progress is going in reverse (Taylor, 2008).
Diversity in Sexuality We live in a national climate where many religious and political entities actively oppose sexual and gender identity minorities (Brooks & Edwards, 2009). Even though progress has been made in other areas of diversity such as, race and gender, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done in the area of sexuality in the workplace. Many people state that they just do not feel comfortable working with “GLBT” co-workers. The acronym stands for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees.
In fact, in many places throughout the world there isn’t any legislation in place to protect this sector of people from discrimination. In thirty-four states in the United States, it is perfectly legal to fire gay and lesbian employs based on their sexual orientation, and only eighteen states have passed anti-discrimination laws protecting people based on their sexual orientation (http://civilliberty. about. com/od/gendersexuality/ig/Lesbian-and-Gay-Rights-101/Anti-Gay-Discrimination. htm).
Although there is still a long road ahead, steps are being made both in congress and in many organizations to address these major issues. In the Telegram & Gazette, they stated that President Barrack Obama, signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law as his first legislation in his administration (Gantz, 2009). This law reverses a 2007 Supreme Court decision that required lawsuits for wage discrimination based on sex, race and any other factors be filed within one hundred and eighty days of the first unequal paycheck (Gantz, 2009).
This is the most current step towards eliminating wage discrimination for women. According to an article in PR Newswire, the Equality Forum, which is a national and international gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, four hundred and seventy one (94. 2%) of the 2008 Fortune 500 companies voluntarily included sexual orientation in their employment nondiscrimination policies (Anonymous, 2008). In 2008, the Corporate Equality Index produced by the Human Rights Campaign, showed that 195 major U.
S. businesses earned a one hundred percent rating on multiple criteria, which was a forty one percent increase from the year before (Cadrain, 2008). Diane Cadrain stated in HR Magazine that the 2008 Employee Benefits survey reported that thirty-six percent of HR professionals stated that their organizations offered health care coverage for dependent grandchildren, opposite-sex domestic partners and same-sex domestic partners. Many companies are now realizing the benefits of including protection for their GBLT employees.
The talent that you bring to an organization should not be measured by your sexual preference. In fact, many companies realize the benefits that a diverse workforce can bring to their companies. Gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender represent a huge amount of the consumer market, therefore by making provisions for these types of employees; you will stand to gain consumer volume. Racial Diversity Racial diversity issues have been one of the longest occurring and most visible problems in the workforce today.
In order to embrace and accept a diverse workforce with employees from different ethnic background, organizations are training its employees to be all-inclusive and acceptable. The first step in recruiting a diverse workforce is having an organizational culture that respects and values diversity and promotes a positive environment (Lieber, 2008). As shifting demographics today lead to a dramatically different working population in the future, organizations are taking the necessary steps to create inclusive, diverse workplaces.
For example, the cable industry has long strived for diversity, inclusion and multiculturalism in the workplace. Executives can agree that over the last year and a half, as the nation followed a historic presidential primary race between an African-American and a woman, operators and networks have ramped up their recruitment and career-building efforts. Most are still loath to use words such as “affirmative action” or “quotas” though (Miller, 2008).
In a study of one hundred and forty-two retail bank units in the United States, evidence is found for a relationship between the racial composition of an organization’s workforce and diversity climate that is moderated by the racial composition of the community where the organization is located. The results suggest that when few racial minorities live in the community in which an organization is embedded, workforce diversity has an impact on employees’ diversity climate perceptions. As racial minority popular share increases, workforce diversity tends to lose this signaling value (Dietz, Pugh, Brief, Wiley, 2008).
There is a growing observation about growing racial and ethnic diversity in the workforce. While Caucasians will still remain the largest group in the labor force, representing roughly 80% by 2016, their share of the labor force will grow at a crawling 5%. The number of Blacks and African Americans, meanwhile, will grow at 16% to comprise 12% of the working population. But the most significant growth will be among Hispanics and Latinos, whose labor-force participation will grow by 30% to comprise some twenty-six million people (Tucker, 2008).
The subject of diversity and inclusion remains a “hot-button” issue, as study after study show that women and minorities are still not being compensated as highly or treated similar to white male counterparts (Heffes, Osdel, Raab, 2008). Because of the changing demographics, management is realizing that a diverse workforce is a key to establishing a workplace where differences are respected and valued. Diversity in Age The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967 defined the “aging workforce” as working individuals who are 40 years of age or older (Bockman, Sirotnic, 2008).
These are the Baby Boomers (born between 1946-1964) who generally accept structure and are relatively easy to manage. They have a wealth of knowledge and experience, and tend to be reliable, fairly patient, and usually reasonable. But this group is rapidly disappearing; many taking early retirement for reasons from not being able to keep pace with the Internet generation to just being unable or unwilling to work long hours (Kuhn, 2008). Throughout most of the 20th century, the typical job required physical stamina and practical knowledge. Once a person’s physical abilities faded, the worker was displaced.
Such an orientation was defended by asserting that there is often a clear cost/benefit advantage in replacing the more mature worker with a younger worker who may be more physically fit for the job, willing to perform the work for less money, and able to acquire the practical experience of the mature worker in a relatively short period of time (Bockman, Sirotnic, 2008). According to Monica Johnson, manager of corporate recruiting at Cox Communication, achieving diversity and inclusion is particularly crucial as the baby boomers age and more workers retire. There will be a shortage of people-the talent crisis is just around the corner,” Johnson warns, adding that employers must also provide room for growth if they are to retain hires more interested in moving up the ranks (Miller, 2008). Cultural Diversity Another diversity issue that affects an organization is culture. Understanding different culture within the workforce is also an important aspect of managing workforce diversity. Culture is defined as the sum total of beliefs, rules, techniques, institutions, and artifacts that characterize human population (Ball, McColluch, Frantz, Geringer, & Minor, 2004).
Culture is learned and affects all business functions. A growing percentage of U. S. workers are immigrants or come from homes where English is not the primary language spoken (Judge & Robbins, 2007). Conversations around diversity have expanded from domestic concerns about race and gender to international discussions around culture. Factors in outsourcing, increased emerging markets, and the growth of multinational companies, have influenced how large organizations conduct diversity training. In its annual study on orkplace diversity, the Society for Human Resource Management reports that the “current global business environment has created many growth opportunities for organizations, however, there are new challenges facing today’s organizations, such as cultural differences, divergent expectations, and dissimilar belief systems (Kanu, 2008). People of different nationalities, for example, often have different assumptions about the root causes of problems and they will also have different ideas of how to solve them.
For example, in a multinational quality assurance team for a global chemicals manufacturer, a team of German engineers preferred to look at the whole industrial system to determine the cause of a problem, while another team of Americans looked at more immediate causes (Jonsen, Maznevski, 2006). This just illustrates how important it is to recognize the differences that cultures bring to the workforce. Religious Diversity Thirty years ago diversity training for religion was almost unheard of.
According to Crain’s New York Business, “Religion has entered the public arena,” says Georgette Bennett, president of the Tannenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding. Tolerance “has become a litmus test for holding public office. Workers are taking their cues from politics. They feel more empowered to assert their right. ” While smaller companies are handling religious diversity more informally, corporations like American Express, IBM and J. P. Morgan Chase are setting policies that go beyond Title VII regulators that protect religious equality.
At a time when 12% of the U. S. population if foreign-born, attention to religious diversity can pay off in higher productivity, better morale and a greater ability to attract and retain employees. Catering to religious difference may also keep legal battles at bay. In 2007, employees filed 2,880 religious discrimination claims with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a 32. 5% increase from the 1,709 charges filed in 1991. ” (Traster 2008) Throughout the years religious diversity has increased due to international business and globalization.
According to HR Magazine, “Many employees are weaving religion and spirituality into company cultures. The push may come from bosses or the rank and file and their motivations vary. Either way, when religion and spiritually cross the threshold, they result in daunting legal and managerial challenges along with perceived benefits. ” (Grossman 2008). Even though there have been discussions on diversity training, it has not actually made sufficient progress in terms of knowledge, awareness and the introduction of diversity training programs for religion in the workplace.
According to The Canadian HR Reporter, “The growing need for HR practitioners to deal with the challenges of religious accommodation is the consequence of an increasingly diverse workforce. In order to effectively tackle these challenges, HR needs to think more proactively rather than simply responding ad hoc to legislation” (Romanow, 2007). Many Human Resources Departments pay little or no attention to diversity training for religion. However, Diversity Training is necessary in the workplace so that differences in religion can be respected, tolerated and accommodated.
Employees with non-traditional religious persuasions are seldom acknowledged due to the lack of information and tolerance on religious diversity. However this mindset is steadily changing. According the HR Magazine, “Also welcoming religion are faith-friendly companies. They value inclusion and promote diversity and religious self-expression. They do not align with one religion, but instead invite workers to bring all manners of religious and spiritual expressions to the workplace.
At Ford Motor, for example, workers’ religious groups have access to facilities after hours for meetings and communicate through newsletters. “Being able to bring your whole self to work is essential to us,” says Allison Trawick, global manager in Ford’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion in Dearborn, Mich. “that means everyone. “At the centerpiece of Ford’s religious diversity: the Ford Interfaith Network (FIN), one of eight recognized and supported affiliate groups. ” (Grossman 2008) Other companies are also encouraging religious diversity by providing places in the workplace to accommodate this.
According to Crain’s New York Business, “when L’Oreal USA’S 150,000-square-foot building is completed next January, it will include a 300-square-foot room for religious prayer or quiet contemplation. That’s because the company’s employees, like many in New York and beyond, have let their employer know they don’t check religious rituals at the door when they arrive at work. “A prayer or space for retreat is becoming an important amenity in the workplace,” Says Paul Eagle, managing director of the New York Office of Perkins & Will, which esigned the New Jersey back offices for the Manhattan-based cosmetics company. The prayer room will have couches, soft lighting and an open area when prayer mats can be rolled out. As New York City’s workforce becomes increasingly diverse, companies are grappling with ways to adapt the workplace to employees of all faith. Above and beyond juggling holiday schedules to accommodate Muslims, Jews and Christians, employers are converting conference rooms to prayer spaces, allowing employees to establish religious affinity groups, catering to food and dress code needs, and offering greater latitude in scheduling. (Tina Traster, 2008) As the world becomes more globalized and large corporations have offices all over the world, it is inevitable that these companies may sometimes inadvertently ignore religious diversity by not following cultural norms and standards. To prevent this from occurring, the Canadian HR Reporter states that the following are “some questions that organizations should be asking and addressing in order to become more strategically responsive to this issue: ? Does the diversity policy address religious accommodation? ?Do dress codes permit modifications for religious beliefs? Are there leave or time-off policies for religious observance? ?Are there any accommodations for religious dietary observance where meals are served to employees? ?Are employees permitted areas or time for required prayers? ?Does the company offer any special programs or publications regarding religious diversity and awareness” (Romanow, 2007)? It is imperative that religious diversity training and awareness are implemented in the workplace. Religious awareness can also be incorporated into the learning environment by adding it into the curriculum and syllabus.
This can begin in elementary school through to university. This would encourage tolerance for people with different religious beliefs and people who practice non-traditional religions. In many countries including the United States and The Bahamas, there is an influx of immigrants and expatriates entering a foreign work environment. As a result of this, many different and new religions are coming to the forefront. As these new employees enter the workplace, Human Resources Departments are challenged to create a positive working atmosphere for all employees regardless of their religious persuasion in the workplace.
This positive work environment can be accomplished by the Human Resources Departments conducting religious diversity training and sensitivity to all of its employees. According to the HR Magazine, “In a 2001 survey conducted by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and the Tanenbaum Center for Inter-religious Understanding in New York, 36% of HR professionals reported an increase in the religious diversity of their employees during the previous five years.
While no data are available, many experts say the number of companies that promote or encourage religious expression is trending up” (Grossman, 2008). Research has shown that there is an increase in religious diversity training in the workplace and this is essentially due to the growing diverse religious population. Organizations are now realizing that respecting employees religious beliefs are also imperative to fostering an inclusive work environment. The Importance of Diversity Training
These key areas point out how important it is for organizations to take every employee into consideration. Many corporations in the business world realize the benefits that diversity can bring to a company, and these are the reasons why they have introduced diversity training into the workplace. According to Broadcasting & Cable, “Diversity training is key to establishing a workplace where differences are respected and valued. At Discovery Networks, Alpert-Romm says 2,000 staffers have already gone through the company’s diversity awareness training program, and the rest will attend by 2009.
Time Warner Cable’s Diversity Council, established in 2004, oversaw three pilot programs before finding the right one for a large-scale diversity program. But the corporate council has now also created regional councils to bring the issue closer to home. ” (Miller 2008) An organization’s diversity climate refers to employees’ shared perceptions of the policies and practices that communicate the extent to which fostering diversity and eliminating discrimination is a priority in the organization (Dietz, Pugh, Brief, Wiley, 2008).
To attract a diverse workforce, companies turn to mentoring and educational programs. Recruiting employees who can connect with the customers and the community is essential. Leadership must have a clear understanding of inclusion. Cultural dexterity is essential. Leaders and managers must have the ability to move between various cultures and tailor their communication and problem-solving skills in a way that is comfortable for each culture. For example, when working with a U. S. based auto parts supplier that was setting up shop in Japan, employees were immersed in cultural activities as a way to learn the norms of the society. It worked out well and other clients are using this method of cultural dexterity as well (Selko, 2008). Another reason why diversity training is important is that the goals of restructuring efforts include increasing efficiency and productivity, reducing costs, and stabilizing or increasing a battered stock price. Failure to develop and execute a well-defined corporate restructuring plan, however, can reduce the expected benefits of such efforts.
Given the growing recognition of the value of diversity and the importance of minimizing the risk of discrimination lawsuits, incorporating diversity in the restructuring plan is a small investment that may reap significant rewards in minimizing risk and enhancing the retention of high-potential talent (Williams, Patel, 2009). The Indianapolis Business Journal states “WellPoint launched a Diversity program in 2003, and as one would expect, has a diversity director. She is Linda Jimenez, 54. Jimenez spent 20 years as a labor and employment law attorney and previously was chief diversity officer for another company.
WellPoint’s diverse membership, as well as its presence in 14 states, makes diversity training a critical part of the company’s message, Jimenez said. One of its efforts is known as the Ambassadors program, in which a select number of employees in each location are chosen from an application process to create diversity initiatives, programs or events specific to the location. “Making employees feel respected and valued really create a multiple of innovative and creative thinking. ” Jimenez said, “which ultimately drives your success in the marketplace. (Olson 2008) Often employees recognize the need for training/re-training, but do not know how or where to access these opportunities. Further, some employees don’t feel that they have the time to invest in training given their already busy work schedules and constraints of family life (Bockman, Sirotnic, 2008). Diversity provides adaptive capacity in two ways. First, it gives access to a broader scope of perspectives to help understand and clarify uncertainty. In a complex and ever- changing world, it is hard enough to find the right nformation and even tougher to understand what it all means. When most people in an organization see things the same way, it may seem to run smoothly but there is a greater chance of missing and misinterpreting information. People with different backgrounds and training tend to be linked to different networks within and outside the organization (Jonsen, Maznevski, 2006). Organizations with written and formalized human resource policies are normally the most effective when developing diversity-training programs.
These programs develop increased awareness to such issues as examining and confronting stereotypes, acknowledgement of prejudice, and cross-cultural awareness (Longerbeam, Sedlock, Balon, & Alimo, 2005). Overall the goal of diversity training is change in behavior. Diversity training methods such as educational programs, seminars and support networks are being used to compliment the policies that promote inclusiveness in organizations. One cannot assume that the policies put in place will have the impact to change many people’s perceptions.
In order to change the behavior of people, there has to be a system to train and help employees develop the skills needed to work in a diverse environment. Diversity training is a tool that assists to change employee attitudes about diversity in the workplace, and fostering an inclusive work environment. If we look at a company like Kodak, they’ve made diversity a business imperative, and offer their staff a wide range of programs, in addition to diversity training (Henneman, 2004). The company has five educational programs that address workplace inclusion of GBLT employees (Henneman, 2004).
In fact, employees risk termination for practicing any kind of harassment or discrimination toward any member of the organization. Due to all of the efforts that Kodak has made for the equality of its employees, they have earned a perfect score on the Corporate Equality Index, which is published annually by the Human Rights Campaign (Henneman, 2004). The Xerox Corporation is another organization that utilizes diversity-training techniques to help their GBLT employees. The corporation has a GBLT support group called Galexe, in which the company CEO Paul Allaire supports all the way (Melymuka, 2001).
He has said that he does not tolerate intolerance, and any act, any word said that goes against their policies, will not be tolerated (Melymuka, 2001). This is the approach that many Fortune 500 companies are taking to create an inclusive environment. Organizations see the advantages that a diverse workforce can bring. Diversity increases innovation, productivity and the companies bottom-line, which is the underlying goal of all corporations. According to the Indianapolis Business Journal, “flurries of universities and big companies also have added diversity directors in recent years, WellPoint Inc. nd Clarian are among local firms with such a position. While diversity has crept into the corporate vernacular the past few decades, more companies began to take a longer look in the mirror after the Washington, D. C. based Hudson Institute, which left Indianapolis in 2004, published “Workforce 2020” in 1997. The think tank’s report predicted that, between 2004 and 2015, more than half the net work-force growth in the United States would be from Hispanics and Asians. ” (Scott Olson, 2008) Recommendations for Managers
Discrimination comes from the Latin word “discriminare”, which means to “distinguish between”. However, discrimination, is more than distinction, it is action based on prejudice, resulting in unfair treatment of people. Managers need to be aware of the diverse employees in the workplace and must continue to train their employees how to interact with each other in the workplace. Hiring people who will help the organization succeed is increasingly important, and yet it can be difficult to identify the right person from among many applicants.
During the selection process of the hiring phase, it is recommended that managers ask the prospective employee how he/she feels about working with someone who is from a different culture, race, age, gender or religious background. The manager will get a sense of the type of personality that the prospective employee will be bringing to the company. This will allow the company to better decide if the person would fit into the inclusive environment that they are trying to create. From a survey that was conducted in the U.
K by Fiona Colgan, Chris Creegan, Aidan McKearney and Tessa Wright and published in Equal Opportunities International, a list of policy initiatives were compiled by them of steps that can be implemented in any organization to help incorporate sexual diversity within the organization. This list included: ? Appointment of senior managers to act as diversity champions ? Initiating workplace campaigns highlighting inclusion and safety for all GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender) staff ? Enforcement of equal opportunities policy on sexual orientation and ?
Integration of equality and diversity into job roles and performance appraisal systems These steps along with other programs create awareness of the attitude and behavioral changes needed to manage diversity. Additional suggestions for Managers regarding Diversity Training from Sadi Mehmood, Managing Director of the Noble Kahn Cultural Awareness Training Center in Nottingham, United Kingdom are as follows: ? Training in sensitive areas is a two-way street. Employers and staff alike need more confidence to talk to those from a different culture. Specialized training is needed. See training as an investment. Don’t opt for “cultural diversity” programmes that are half-a-day or e-based learning packages. They are too broad and won’t cover what’s really needed. Make sure you know what you are getting for your money. Face-to-face training is the most effective training out there. ?Learn to understand your colleagues’ different culture. Many people fear difference and are too afraid to communicate and work with people who are of a different ethnic origin. This can lead to tension and misunderstandings that could end up in a courtroom.
Ignorance can be solved by quality training that benefits all without the fear of political correctness. ?Don’t assume knowledge of “common” workplace practices. For example, if you employ migrants who are new to the United Kingdom, be sensitive to “culture shock”. You may want to put them on to a course to get them up to scratch on how we work, live, socialize. ?Consider having your internal training audited regularly by an outside company. This way you can ensure that the training you provide is adequate and covers the necessary issues.
You may want to extend this to your diversity managers. ?Knowing who you’re speaking to is key to avoiding causing offence and risking potential discrimination claims. For example, it’s amazing how many employers can’t distinguish between Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. ?Train staff at all levels, not just management. If your frontline staff is not trained, they are more likely to fall victim to the “race/religious card”. Enhanced cultural Knowledge can only improve customer service. (Mehmood 2007) It is recommended that managers incorporate these steps in all reas of diversity, and management can start by reviewing their current equal opportunities policies that protects all employees. Stipulate what is considered acceptable and not acceptable behavior towards employee differences. In addition to that, outline protocol for reprimanding employees when these rules have been broken. If it requires firing an employee over their non-compliance, then I recommend that you do it. If employee’s can really see that top management supports diversity inclusion, they might be more inclined to support such programs.
As we said in the beginning, we have to retrain the way that people think, and this is going to require that managers take a proactive approach towards the issue of discrimination in the workplace. By appointing senior managers to act as Diversity Champions, they have a responsibility to the organization to encourage and provide support to all employees. This can take the form of arranging seminars, educational campaigns and even providing one-on-one counseling support. These Diversity Champions are there to help employees that are afraid to be themselves “come out of the closet” so to speak, and ensure that when they do, they are protected.
By integrating equality and diversity practices into the formal appraisal system, will also hold people accountable for their contributions to the working environment. Rating employees based on the way they have obeyed and practiced the diversity policies can shed some light as to how the organizations efforts are really working. Managers will be able to identify the employees that are in line with the vision of the organization, and those that need more work. With both management and the organization being on one accord, there can be a steady flow of oneness through the entire corporation. Conclusion
Overall, managing diversity can be seen as a strategic response to changes in the labor markets and allows organizations to utilize the entire workforce (Sippola, 2007). Tolerance and acceptance of other people help to mesh the working environment. The more you make your employees feel appreciated, the more productive they will become. In the past, many business owners have sought a culturally and ethnically homogeneous workforce, but practices have changed. It is becoming more and more obvious that businesses must address the issues related to diversity in the workforce (Gudmusdson & Hartenian 2000).
Even though progress has been made through training and introducing programs about diversity, managers still have a long way to go in order to create an inclusive workforce. Often diversity is thought of in terms of race and gender; however diversity is also seen in the work-place, religion, age and sex. As the world becomes a global village, Organizations and Companies are slowly changing to accommodate the diverse populations. This change has occurred more rapidly during the last thirty years. Diversity training is being implemented in many organizations, so that employees can be taught and exposed to inclusion and diversity training.
Diversity Training covers tolerance, and the ability to respect and value differences between people. This training is imperative as its increases productivity, efficiency and goodwill. Many organizations are even hiring diversity training managers. These managers must be aware of the laws as it relates to discrimination, so as to not find the organization a recipient of lawsuits. Diversity Training Managers must work closely with the Human Resources Department to ensure proper and correct diversity training.
This is a continuous and ongoing process and all the stakeholders must work cohesively to develop an inclusive, sensitive workforce. Diversity Training is a mutually beneficial relationship which creates a positive environment for the employees, employers and the general populace. As the world becomes a global village, Organizations and Companies are slowly changing to accommodate the diverse populations. According to the Allied Academies International, “Hiring a diverse work force is not the final step in the process to creating diversity within an organization.
Once companies employ a range of individuals, they must begin teaching the employees how to use their diverse backgrounds to excel and how to combine all differences into a cohesive team (without losing the diversity of the group). This can be achieved by using several techniques; Management can show employees that they support diversity in the work place and are open to new ideas from each individual regardless of gender, cultural background, disability, etc. (Marcia L. James) References: Bockman, Shel Sirotnic & Barbara (2008). The aging workforce: An expanded definition.
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