Diversity in the WorkplacePosted by Asia Metropolitan University on February 8, 2021 at 1:48 pm
Workplace Solutions Consulting LLC is a consulting company that helps organizations increase performance through workforce enhancement. You are a consultant for WSC and have been assigned to a project involving a large technology company, Informational Systems Inc. The company is considering some organizational changes in order to better respond to rapid changes in the business environment. You are to meet with different departments and areas of the company in order to analyze and evaluate the status quo. At the end of your investigation, you and your team will present recommendations for change in the organization.
Prior to your first on-site meeting with IS personnel, you review a list of issues that have been collected through initial conversations with the new client. One of the issues that has been identified for further evaluation involves the multi-generational nature of the workforce in the software development area at IS. There seems to be a fair amount of friction being reported between the staff. Due to the company’s rapid growth through the acquisition of smaller technology companies, the organization has grown a development organization consisting of Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials. You meet with members of the software development organization to document the multi-generational issues that have been reported—namely that people are not getting along and working well together. During your meeting, you notice that the individuals representing the Baby Boomers are predominately white males, while the Millennials seem to be comprised of people from foreign nationalities, people of color, and women.
Recall the benefits and challenges of having a diverse workforce utilizing what you have learned from the course content and your subsequent class discussions. Think about individual biases. Then explain what steps would you take to foster an inclusive organization? How would you ensure that it is maintained and enhanced?
- 14 Replies
- MemberNovember 21, 2021 at 8:52 pm
Decades of research has proven that inclusive and diverse teams are better teams. Companies who leverage the full power of their people are companies that are successful in the marketplace. Inclusion and diversity stimulate creativity and innovation. An inclusive workplace can enhance an organization’s brand and reputation. With this diversity in mind, let us discuss further on how to identify unconscious bias and how to disrupt it to promote an inclusive work environment.
Unconscious bias is our very human and instinctual reaction to other people’s differences or sameness to us. Although we do not mean to stereotype or think less or more of people based on their differences from us, but it is our natural way of navigating the world. The first step of disrupting unconscious biases is to understand about diversity. The first thing we noticed about others is called visible diversity such as gender, skin color, physical traits, age, socio-economic status, and body size. As we subconsciously process data, our brains place the person into categories.
Then as we learn more about a person, our brain further categorizes them based on perceived differences or similarities to us and our prior experiences. This is represented by what is known as invisible diversity such as marital status, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, values, and beliefs. To foster an inclusive organization, we need to remind ourselves that we are human and naturally have instincts that drive us to categorize others. As a result, we need to be aware of and work to remove bias from our views of others so that we can maximize our working relationship and drive business success.
There are three ways that an organization can embrace diversity and disrupt unconscious bias:
1. Be Aware.
Employees need to be reminded about the importance of looking for potential areas of biases within themselves and their team. This can be done through mandatory trainings for new employees and yearly refresher trainings. These trainings should provide examples of such biases that can occur through scenario-based explanations. These trainings should also reinforce the need for employees to choose their words carefully, to consider abilities when making decisions and learn ways on how to identify biases and how to address them.
2. Practice Inclusion
Leaders in the organization must communicate the commitment towards inclusion in the workplace. Leaders should walk the talk and influence change in the organization towards being more inclusive. Role models that champion diversity and inclusion in the organization should be publicly recognized using the appropriate communication strategies. As part of employee engagement activities, event should be organized for a wide range of community and cultural events without any restrictions for participations. Avenues should also be able available where employees can speak up confidentially if they witness or personally experience discrimination or exclusion. They should be allowed to report such incidents without the fear of retaliation.
3. Review policies and processes
Policies for anti-discrimination should be included as part of the organization’s standards of business conduct that employees need to adhere to. This will set standards for inclusive practices for example during meetings and conference calls. Employees should also be encouraged to review their processes and the way they work to poke holes in the norm if they feel that a process can be done more inclusively.
- MemberDecember 8, 2021 at 4:02 pm
Most businesses understand the need of diversity and inclusion initiatives in order to better represent their communities. Workplace inclusion is a strategy for maximizing organizational performance and results by utilizing each person’s unique and distinctive strengths. Let’s define diversity and inclusion for a better understanding.
Diversity can be considered any dimension that differentiate a person from another.
Inclusion refers to creating an environment or culture in which employees share a sense of belonging, mutual respect, and commitment from others so that can perform their best work. Inclusion allows organization to capitalize not only on the diversity of employees but also the diversity of customers, suppliers and community partners.
Some of the steps we can take to foster an inclusive organization are as follows:
1. Acknowledge unconscious bias.
What’s unconscious bias?
It’s usually defined as any prejudice or presumption made in favor of or against a person or a group. Exclusion might be caused by subtle biases. To guarantee that all individuals or groups are involved, leaders should ensure that all members of their team have access to appropriate training, personal growth, and professional networks, etc.
2. Establish a meeting agenda.
By drafting a meeting agenda, leaders can ensure that everyone is on the same page when arranging meetings. This makes it easier for people who are more introverted and less confident in their ability to speak up. Each team member can prepare ahead of time in order to participate in the discussion.
3. Focus on responsibilities rather than personalities or cultures.
In relation to point number 2, it can be beneficial to explicitly document each employee’s tasks and responsibilities. As a result, it becomes evident who should be contributing what and when. As an instance, if an engineer collaborates with design team to drive product decisions, it will be great if there is a clear documentation on who are expected to contribute based on their expertise. This will greatly minimize decision that are influenced or affected by opinions from someone who are extrovert. With the defined roles and responsibilities, it becomes more natural to talk about your work and seek advice from others.
4. Pay attention when employees speak up.
One of the most significant impediments to true inclusion is the dismissal of employee concerns. It’s almost never done on purpose. Instead, it occurs because there is a disconnect between what we see in others and what they are going through within. Leaders must work to comprehend it and must commit in working to improve it. Questioning the validity of their viewpoint is not only rude, but it also goes against the spirit of inclusiveness, which is to value all points of view.
To ensure the inclusion maintained and enhanced, it involves more than just effective training programs. It requires a long-term culture reform effort that includes top management backing. Diversity policies and procedures should be implemented in the areas of recruitment, hiring, training, and development. Besides that, administration also need to conduct diversity related surveys among employees to evaluate managers progress on diversity goals. Moreover, organizations should also work to improve diversity and inclusion among suppliers and vendors, as well as in the communities where they do business.
Halcrow, A. (2018). How to Foster an Inclusive Organization. CultureWizard. https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/2327869/PPL_WF/PPL_WF_Culture%20Wizard_2018/How%20to%20Foster%20an%20Inclusive%20Organization.pdf
Hart, M. (2020). 6 Tips for Fostering Inclusivity on Your Team. OwlLabs. https://resources.owllabs.com/blog/inclusivity
- MemberDecember 27, 2021 at 11:22 am
It’s important when we are considering the unconscious bias within the workspace environment. Because it will led to various sensitive topics with will impact the harmony of the company and affect the performance.
- MemberDecember 14, 2021 at 9:45 am
A couple of steps can be discussed: how organizations maintain and enhance in a diverse workforce environment.
1st: Create mentorship programmes to increase diversity
Integrate inclusion into the fundamentals of your recruitment processes, from university recruitment fairs to internship programmes, to ensure that you are recruiting from a diverse pool of candidates. While having a mentor with a similar background, race, or culture may feel natural, there is significant value in collaborating with a diverse viewpoint and perspective.
2nd: Recognize and respect all religions and cultures
While it is difficult, if not impossible, to make all holidays a company-wide closure (history has left us with so many special days to commemorate), there are ways to strengthen and increase cultural diversity and celebration in the workplace.
3rd: Employ diversity managers
To make diversity and inclusion a priority, you must hire individuals who exemplify this ideal. The diversity manager will be responsible for developing, recognizing, and implementing diversity-related policies and practices throughout the organization. More large corporations that embrace diversity and racial equality in the workplace, the more future generations, including those young pupils, may think that the professions they aspire to one day will exist.
Lastly: Make diversity training available to managers on an opt-in basis without being coercive.
Rather than holding a single annual workshop or day of training, organize a series of events, celebrations, and programmes to promote ongoing learning and awareness. For example, raising awareness of culturally diverse events throughout the organization. Utilize online diversity calendars to inform personnel of all religious, ethnic, and racial holidays. The more informed and aware your employees are, the easier it will be to encourage and celebrate diversity while scheduling business hours to accommodate everyone. This activity will contribute to the transformation of diversity training from a lecture to a culture.
- MemberDecember 15, 2021 at 2:01 pm
Diversity in the workforce includes religion, age, disability status, economic, educational level, lifestyle, gender, race, nationality or anything that makes us unique individuals and interesting people into one’s organisation. Diversity also means the organisation is supporting, nurturing and utilising these differences to the organisation’s advantage; thus, companies with these qualities will attract and retain the best talent in the workforce.
Diversity in the workplace can bring better opportunities such as better innovation, a more productive team, skills, solving problems, broader experiences, better communication, and creating growth for the business. In other words, diversity is about building an organisation rich in talent, skills and perspectives so that problems can be solved, everyone in the organisation can be successful and more profits can be generated.
However, diversity also comes with challenges such as communication barriers that increase the chance of miscommunication and dissatisfaction. The challenge appears because the team now has members with different nationalities and may not speak fluent English or fluent Bahasa Malaysia because they are native speakers of a different language. Another thread is on culture clashes which can fail a company’s diversity and inclusiveness objective because culturally diverse members will come with their opinions, thus creating integration issues. Lastly, diversity creates slower decision-making processes. It opens opportunities for more people to talk, throw ideas, room for debates and arguments, and the management team needs to look into many angles so that a win-win decision for everyone. It is never easy to come with a solution that satisfies everybody in the organisation.
When organisations want to adopt diversity and inclusiveness as their culture, top management must instil and show proof that they are really into it. Otherwise, the employees will comply, not feel, and the biases will grow like a virus in the organisation; thus, the intention to have a diverse organisation will fail.
Based on this, effective leadership is needed where leaders need to be diversity savvy, cultural savvy, have the highest level of tolerance for people of different races and ethnicity and use these differences to become an opportunity to grow the business and organisations.
Furthermore, HR must provide training with case studies on this subject so that managers and employees are aware of each other’s differences. When everyone integrates and have a good understanding of each other, working in a team gives everybody job satisfaction. After all, everyone wants to make a living and bring home more money, right?
- MemberDecember 17, 2021 at 11:06 pm
The advantage of workplace diversity is that employees of diverse backgrounds enrich the company with creative new ideas and perspectives shaped by cultural experience. Diverse workplaces help companies better understand their targeted demographic groups and their motives. It also increases customer satisfaction by improving the way employees interact with a wider variety of customers and the general public. However, the diverse workforce also has challenges such as communication issues, cultural misunderstandings, and discrimination.
Bias is a natural tendency to agree or disagree with an idea, object, group, or individual. Unconscious or implicit prejudice is an attitude that is unknowingly retained and influences the way people think and feel about others around them.
In order to manage diverse workplaces, organizations need to ensure that they communicate effectively with their employees. Policies, procedures, safety precautions, and other important information should be designed to overcome linguistic and cultural barriers through the translation of materials and the use of images and symbols where appropriate. Avoid guessing about employees with different backgrounds. Instead, consider each employee as an individual and perform to determine success or failure rather than ascribe action to the background. Encourage employees to work in different groups. A diverse work team allows employees to know and appreciate themselves individually and help eliminate prejudices and cultural misunderstandings. Aligning standards with objective standards. Establish a unified rule standard for all employee groups, regardless of the background. Ensure that all employment behavior, including disciplinary action, is treated equally by all employees in accordance with these standardized standards.
- MemberJanuary 15, 2022 at 11:49 pm
I like your points about avoid having prejudice or stereotype of one’s race/ethnic.
- MemberDecember 18, 2021 at 8:54 am
Having a diverse workforce will help to organization to build an innovative team with better productivity and skills. However, there are challenges that the company encounter such as culture differences, languages barrier. The personal bias about others can affect the individual’s behavior by how they interpret the differences between them and others. In order to build an inclusive organization, the first step is to train the leadership for the correct mindset. Then, form a team with diverse team members who have the power of influences. Define the culture of inclusive in the organization and collect the feedback from the employees. And most importantly, we need to cascade the vision and mission to everyone in the company and repeatedly measure the progress to ensure the culture can be maintained.
- MemberDecember 26, 2021 at 3:33 pm
Benefits and challenges of having a diverse workforce:
• Organizational diversity brings together people with a wide range of experiences, educational qualifications, age groups, and backgrounds in one place.
• Benefit of organizational diversity is individuals get to learn lots of things from each other. In IS case, employees having diverse experience based on their age and cultural background. Young talents are generally keener on upgrading their knowledge as compared to older employees who are used to status quo.
• People tend to connect with others who share similar interests, experiences and backgrounds.
• In IS, we might see several social grouping such as Baby boomers, Millennials, whites, foreign nationalities.
Steps to take to foster an inclusive organization:
• Individuals from different backgrounds and experiences can also sit together, brainstorm ideas and reach to better solutions benefiting the organization.
• Organize teams which has various age groups (ie; Baby boomers to work together with Millennials for a project).
• During festival seasons, everyone can bring their cultural delicacies and have a gathering at workplace. This can introduce people from different backgrounds on their own cultures so everyone is also familiar with others
How to maintain and enhanced all-inclusive organization:
• Leaders need to ensure everyone is given the same level of opportunity in the company regardless of age, race, gender.
• Rewards and incentive plans need to be similar for everyone. Merits should be given based on performance and not seniority or race.
- This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by Stefanie Ng.
- MemberDecember 29, 2021 at 11:39 pm
In current era workplace diversity is very common. Diversity refers to the variances in identity that exist among and between two or more individuals that can have an impact on their life as employee. Some of the examples of Identity based variations are race and ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age and many more. Every organizations make every effort to make sure that individuals of varied groups are recognized and treated fairly inside organizations.
Diversity provides many benefits to both companies and employees, including enhanced creativity and innovation, as well as a more enriching employee experience. Employers simply cannot afford to ignore diversity in today’s competitive economic environment, and they must encourage diverse individuals in the workplace.
There are many forms of challenges in diverse workplace such communication barrier, stereotypes prejudice, racism, gender discrimination, differences in professional etiquette and many more. When it comes to diverse workplace, every employee will come from different culture, religion, lifestyle and family background. Therefore, it is very common to have issues or misunderstanding among themselves.
In order to improve the situation in Informational Systems Inc, as a consultant I will take few steps. There are as follow: –
(a) Survey – to determine the real issue that everyone is facing in their company and to let the employees to give their feedback/comments on their office politics and/ or problems. This survey is to target on their job satisfaction too.
(b) Team building and training – to promote diversity and to mentor the employees on how they can work as a diverse team.
(c) Equal opportunity for everyone when it comes to career advancement, salary, training and commissions.
(d) Recruiting underrepresented minorities.
(e) Encourage to communicate via e-mail or by letter to share their thoughts -as a communication tool to discuss sensitive issues.
(f) Legal action against individuals who discriminate others and against workplace violence.
- MemberJanuary 5, 2022 at 1:20 am
If an organization has diverse workplace, then it is the best place to harvest the best working environment if we can manage and maintain the diversity culture. Having different nationalities and cultures, the organization is able cultivates creativity and innovation, greater opportunities for personal and professional growth and many more advantages which could benefit the organization. However, it is not easy to manage and maintain diverse workplace. Discrimination, negative stereotypes of each culture, communication issues due to accent and conflict of work culture or style are some of the challenges faced at diverse workplace. There are few actions need to be taken to ensure the workplace diversity is accepted healthy and reap the benefit. Below are the actions: –
Commitment from Board of Directors
First foremost, the commitment from the Board of Directors is very important for diverse workplace. Without their commitment, any steps taken to establish successful diversity workplace is not possible.
Educating or Promoting
Many employees including management do not understand how diverse workplace can benefit individuals in the organization and benefits to the organization itself. Most of the time diverse team will normally disconnect from their managers, especially if the manager is from the local nationality or majority ethnic. It is important to promote diversity within the organization. Conduct internal training for better understanding and benefit of diversity. Add in the culturally different and sensitivity in the training so everyone understands difference cultures and know the sensitive issues of the culture to maintain their limits.
Create Comprehensive Policies
Discrimination in workplace can be seen there and then but having diverse workplace, discrimination will be seen more often. It is important to create policies to eradicate discrimination at all levels. Career enhancement, self-development and benefits shall be given equal opportunity to all people regardless of nationality, ethnicity etc. The policies also need to clearly communicated to every level. Evaluation of the policies and effectiveness also need to be done periodically to ensure the policies are upheld and not just act as a decorative paper.
Establish Task Force
Creating inclusive policies will create rules and regulations to follow but to maintain workplace diversity, it is important to have constant audit of the effectiveness. However, the audit should not be like the traditional way where it is referred to documents as sampling, it should be human connected audit and it should be available all time. Therefore, creating task force that comprises of diverse team will create the best platform for everyone to approach. Any employees feel uncomfortable or harassed due to ethnicity, sexuality, gender or other factors, they can approach the task force team anytime for solutions. The task force team shall transparently handle the matters with the support of Top Management. This establishment will ensure all the employees adhere to the policies and accept the diversity of workplace in long run.
Celebrate Each Other Culture
Every cultural festival in the diverse workplace should be celebrated together. This will educate others about the culture and enjoy the celebration together.
- MemberJanuary 5, 2022 at 2:57 am
Benefits having a diverse workplace includes:
– Helps the company innovate by bringing in new skill sets.
– Enhance customer service by top performers who help the firm achieve its goals.
– Exposes workers and consumers to other cultures and beliefs.
Challenges having a diverse workplace includes:
– People with various personalities don’t always get along.
– Disagreements in viewpoint lead to disputes that adversely impact work force diversity.
– Workplace discrimination
– Higher risk of failure due to limited knowledge of possible solutions.
Though we should strive to be as fair in judgment as possible, the reality is that we all have biases that affect our judgments. Managers are certainly no exception to this rule, and a number of common biases affect how they evaluate their employees. Steps to promote an inclusive association and ways to assure its upkeep and improvement are as per the following:
1- Workforce Diversity Assessment
The company must submit a survey of employee satisfaction that was conducted with consideration for the diverse composition of the population. This will provide management with insight into the aspirations and challenges that representatives confront in an organisation.
2- Creating an inclusive workforce strategy
The company must develop strategies and goals that are inclusive of all employees.
3- Training in Sensitivity
Employees must be sensitive to one another’s characteristics, interests, social and societal foundations. This will boost confidence, allowing them to cohabit peacefully with one another by promoting mutual respect.
This way, the company can cultivate and strengthen an inclusive association.
- MemberJanuary 8, 2022 at 1:35 am
Diversity means much more these days than in days of yore. Genders, religious belief systems, races, sexual orientations, degrees of ableness, and other categories are all currently recognized and must be accommodated.
Diverse workforce has a lot of impact on the current business days, as below:
Improves Company Performance
Improving diversity in the workplace is crucial to improving performance. People who feel respected and at ease will outperform people who are stressed and disrespected.
Improved Employee Engagement and Retention
Employees who feel appreciated and empowered remain more loyal than those who are treated shabbily. A diverse and inclusive workplace delivers that.
Improved Public Perception of Your Brand
If a company is public with its diversity strategy, then it will build its image among aware people, which will help it grow.
Employees From Diverse Backgrounds Bring Creativity, New Ideas, and Perspectives Because of Their Cultural Experiences.
A stagnant workplace results in poor results. Stagnation foments discontent. A vibrant, creative workplace builds camaraderie and esprit de corps.
Creates a Better Understanding of Target Demographics and What Drives Them. Members of a diverse workplace understand what people of similar backgrounds as they have want in both the products and services they buy and the companies from which they buy them.
A Diverse Workplace Can Better Align an Organization’s Culture With the Demographic Makeup of America.
When people in a diverse workplace feel as if they identify closely with their clientele, then they can use their own experiences and understanding to assess the American people’s preferences accurately. The culturally diverse workplace is a cross-section of the U.S. as a whole.
Better Customer Satisfaction by Improving how Employees Interact With a More Diverse Clientele
It should go without saying that people of the global majority, in other words nonwhite, will appreciate a company that tailors its presentations and brand to them and respects not only them themselves but also their culture and history. A diverse workforce will know how to work with these folks to make their experience as good as possible.
I would take below actions in order to promote inclusivity in meaningful ways.
Lead from the top.
Leaders must visibly model respectful behavior and practice organizational values. Managers should promote inclusion at all levels and across all departments.
Put clear expectations in writing.
Employers can establish a code of conduct and recommit to organizational values. The strategic plan should promote inclusion, and the employer should periodically evaluate progress toward meeting stated goals. Job descriptions and performance evaluations can address responsibilities to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Seek input and value contributions from diverse talent.
The organization must go beyond simply ensuring that it employs a diverse workforce. Everyone should have a seat at the table. Seeking out diverse perspectives helps to amplify marginalized voices. Working groups and teams should include a diverse cross-section of the workforce.
Assess the culture regularly, accept critical feedback, and take action to address concerns.
Anonymous surveys, focus groups, and informal discussions can help to identify concerns about the workplace climate and potential solutions. Employers should ensure that a diverse cross-section of the workforce is involved in identifying problems and implementing responses. Inclusion should be a regular focus of discussion.
- MemberJanuary 15, 2022 at 11:02 pm
Q2; Workforce Diversity
Benefits of having a diverse workforce :
Creativity is improved in the diverse workforce as workers are from various backgrounds. Due to the diverse line of thought of the employees, they can incorporate new ideas in the organization and myriad ways of observing multiple factors in the organization based on their ethical experiences. Diversity also improves the productivity in the organization as there is the accommodation of more ideas, are more talents in the organization, improving the productivity potential. The organizations’ market opportunities expanded as potential clients and consumers adore the organizations that embrace diversity and treat employees equally. Variety also provides a positive reputation for the company, attracting potential and talented employees.
Challenges of a diverse workforce :
Communication issues arise due to diversity in the Workplace due to language barriers and the different communication styles in the organization. For example, young employees prefer new communication such as emails, while older employees prefer phone calls. When people from various cultures work together, there are chances of cultural misunderstanding, with the use of gestures being misinterpreted in the organizations. Diversity also lowers the decision-making process’s rate as the employees have diverse opinions, which requires adequate time to come into consensus in the organization; hence, more time is needed for the final decision to be reached. Discrimination may also occur in the organization with forms such as biasness and harassment experienced.
Individual biasness in the organization:
Individual biasness in the organization occurs in various forms. Gender baseness in the organization occurs when one gender is favoured over the other; this happens due to gender stereotyping and can be avoided by creating diversity goals supporting gender balance. Ageism, which is biasness against the older members, are also experienced and is overcome through mentorship programs and collaborations. Biasness may also occur based on the name structures of the members and mainly occurs during the hiring of employees and can be avoided through software that unveils the personal identification of individuals.
Steps in fostering an inclusive organization :
Leaders in the organization are educated to embrace and appreciate workplace diversity. The leaders are trained concerning workplace diversity and its significance. The organization should oversee the formation of a diversity council headed by a competent leader; this would ensure workplace diversity and gender and cultural balance. The organization’s variety of employees should be appreciated and celebrated, such as decision-making. Besides, the employees should be listened to provide better engagements. Furthermore, fruitful diversity meetings should be held regularly to address inclusiveness. In conclusion, the awareness goals and evaluation are communicated to provide for the strategic ambitions.
Ensuring diversity is maintained and enhanced:
Diversity is maintained and enhanced in the organization through various ways, including developing a company culture that accommodates the opinion of all employees regardless of available differences. The organization should embrace a multicultural workforce to make all the workers feel inclusion. The organization needs to adapt diverse thinking, which should be illustrated during the employees’ hiring process and seen as appreciating different versions of viewing issues. Diversity policies are also used to inspire the changes needed in accommodating diversity.
- This reply was modified 7 months ago by [email protected].