For those who manage a workforce or lead a group of people within a business or company, part of your role is ensuring that everyone who works under you is comfortable and supported enough so they can take on and carry out their tasks each day and do the best for you and the company. In a majority of businesses, this is seen to through training and simple intuition. However, there are instances like in any situation where people from a variety of backgrounds and ways of thinking come together, that incidents can occur regarding diversity. Here are a few simple tips or guidelines to take into consideration:
Your company will either hire themselves through their recruitment or HR department; or uses an external recruitment agency to do this for them. Either way, in accordance with government guidelines set out so there isn’t any discrimination in the hiring process, as part of the application process, applicants will be asked to check their racial background and sexual orientation but only have to if they wish. This way an employer can monitor themselves. It is always good for this process to be reviewed every now and then by someone in HR or in another department.
Taking part in charity-work as an office or workplace not only promotes yourselves and is good PR but more importantly, is about working for a greater good. It’s a great way to build team morale if the task is taken on as a group or multiple individuals. If you can find causes which promote diversity or oppose discrimination of a minority group, not only can you make a donation but you can also educate others about it. Sometimes teaching others about something is the best way to learn yourself. If successful, this can be an annual tradition and you can build long-term relationships. From a business standpoint, it can receive major press coverage for yourselves as well within the local community, and show to those who may want to join your company that you’re welcoming of all groups and minorities.
Keeping morale up during the workday is important so staff don’t feel like they’re being undermined or undervalued. If as a boss you can show that you’re a human being like them, they can relate to you and possibly see you as more approachable about problems which can affect their work. Humour is a good way to do this but is also incredibly subjective. What some find funny or just light relief, can offend others. This includes things like email-forwards and things posted on a communal bulletin board. Keeping your eyes open as to the topic of these jokes is important and possibly going to your HR department or a superior anonymously if you hear something that doesn’t seem appropriate is perfectly right.
Though it is customary of many workplaces to have training seminars and workshops from an external speaker every now and then, these can be especially helpful if an above average number of complaints or issues are brought to attention. Corporate training can be as simple as a refresher course of what is and is not proper conduct, or go into more depth as and when it warrants. Usually an outsider who has no affiliation to the company will be brought in so they can teach in general terms. Never should a manager or someone unqualified take on the role of teaching diversity.
Everyone is Equal:
It is incredibly important to not pander to one particular orientation. Sometimes, when words like ‘diversity’ or ‘orientation’ are thrown around, people wrongly think only of one particular type, or limit it to just race or just sexuality. Other times, when the topic of diversity is brought up, individuals feel like they’re pandering to a particular employee or that one group is more important than another. For someone who is a minority, if they feel like all the attention is on them, it can be incredibly uncomfortable. Sometimes, what can be just as bad as ignoring a subject is paying too much attention it. This can come across as condescending or patronising.
Paul has worked in a few different office environments and has witnessed some questionable conduct and behaviour in terms of diversity. As someone of mixed race descent and who has friends from a range of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, he is very much interested in promoting diversity in all facets of life.