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  • Jessy Ng

    December 23, 2021 at 1:26 am

    Many research found that having a diverse workforce contributes to increase of productivity. When there is a team of diversified employees, we will be able to have distinctive opinions and perspectives within the team to further improve the business, regardless whether its in terms of processes or strategies. With this, we can increase work productivity and provide better innovative ideas for the organizational changes. When there is increased in productivity and innovation, it will lead to increase revenue, because most probably the diverse team is capable of providing services and products to cater to a wider target market, attracting new customers for the business.

    However, there are also challenges we need to face if the diverse workforce in the organization is not managed effectively. Such as possibilities of communication barriers and individual biases.

    Individual bias is one of the challenges often faced in a diverse environment or workplace. Although many belief that bias is human nature and is difficult to be changed, there are still suggested ways to control individual bias. But before we can work on reducing individual bias, we need to acknowledge and recognize the presence of biasness and that it affects the organization. Example of individual bias are gender bias, ageism, confirmation bias, etc. Gender bias occurs when someone associates certain gender specific stereotypes. Ageism is the discrimination against others based on their age. This can happen to both younger and older team members. Confirmation bias is trying to validate point of views with skewed interpretations to support it.

    Having said that, one of the most important way to reduce individual biases is to promote and foster diversity, inclusion, and equity in the workplace. Having a diverse workforce is more straight forward where it can be realized by having headcount with different races, genders, sexual orientation, and educational background. To foster an inclusive organization is more challenging, but the benefit it brings to the organization once succeed is definitely indisputable.

    The main goal for organizational inclusion is to build a company culture that everyone in the workforce feels included. The basic requirement we need is that the management of the organization is supportive, and that diversity and inclusion is carved into our core value. Next, managers are considered frontliners when forefacing the employees, therefore it is important that the managers are trained to understand and support diverse teams, so that they are able to lead in cultivating an inclusive culture in the workplace.

    Thirdly, the management and the HR functions needs to make sure that the company policies are aligned with the value of inclusion. But before that, make sure to identify the needs and perspectives of the employees so that the strategies carried out are suitable and effective. If there is a need to strengthen the anti-discriminatory policies, do it. Long term wise, it is good to create a team of inclusion council from different departments of the company to review the policies and employee feedback from time to time, in order to maintain the organizational inclusion.