Workplace diversity goes beyond race. It includes gender, religion, age groups, citizenship, even mental and physical conditions. Is your organisation embracing diversity to bring out the best in the team?
Here are 3 best practices to get you started.
1. Practise and Promote Inclusion
Communicate to your staff that there is an emphasis on working towards embracing diversity. Create a platform, where new ideas are welcomed, that everyone can participate in. This will create an accepting environment where your team will feel safe to voice out their genuine opinions.
This can be as simple as getting teams to organise the next office get-together activity or your company dinner and dance. When team members get to know each other better, their prejudices will likely recede and they will start seeing colleagues as unique individuals.
2. Treat Each Employee as an Individual
It’s common to see cliques form in the workplace. Usually, those in the same age-group will have lunch together or those with the same cultural background tend to naturally help each other. To effectively manage your staff, you must see them as individuals and not treat them as a one-size-fits-all group.
Although they are similar, each individual has his own sets of strengths and weaknesses. Making assumptions that they should be treated the same way is the opposite of empowering and embracing diversity.
3. Take the Professional Approach
When it comes to tackling sensitive issues, management and employees may fear to speak up as they are not experts on the subject. Consider bringing in professionals to give talks and training in areas such as the following:
Soft Skills Training – Soft skills offers a range of skills including emotional intelligence and communication. Learning to coexist with a diverse range of people is key to a harmonious environment. Soft Skills can help employees become more self-aware and make them understand their own cultural biases and prejudices.
Conflict Management – People with different backgrounds may have different views and conflict is unavoidable. Effective conflict management skills will help your team achieve positive results in unpleasant situations. Ensure that the team is equipped with resolution techniques. Use it to promote camaraderie regardless of what group they belong to.
Diversity is a double-edged sword. It may lead to conflict and mistrust among team members. However, when managed well, diversity can bring the team to the next level of excellence because …
- it brings out different views.
- it promotes new ideas.
- one’s strengths can be used to complement the weaknesses of others.
- Embracing diversity leads to synergy!
Start your journey towards embracing diversity today. Visit www.beacon.com.sg to find out more about our many training programmes and other services