Workplace diversity is referred as the variety of differences between people in an organization. It may sound very easy; however, diversity consists of gender, age, education, organizational function, tenure, cognitive style, personality, race, ethnic group and more. It’s a tall list.
Diversity is about how people perceive others and not how they perceive themselves. Those perceptions among people have an effect in their interactions between each other. In an organization, professionals in human resource require to effectively deal with issues such as adaptability, change and communication for smooth functioning within the organization. In the coming years, we’ll see a significant increase in workplace diversity. The need for immediate and effective action has been recognized by many successful organizations and they are prepared and willing to spend resources on managing diversity in the workplace at present.
Benefits of Workplace Diversity
The competitiveness and success of an organization relies upon its preparedness to accept and embrace diversity and realize its benefits. When a company assess their diversity issues, handling of workplace, create and enforce diversity plans, they end up reporting multiple benefits, including –
- Wider Service Range
An organization is able to provide a wider range of services to clients globally as a result of a diverse collection of experiences (e.g. cultural understanding and language) and skills.
- Higher Effectiveness in Execution
An organization which assists and encourages diversity in the workplace motivates all of its employees to give their best and perform to their highest ability. It results in higher profits, productivity and return on investment due to the execution of company-wide strategies.
- More Adaptability
More variety of solutions to issues in sourcing, allocation of resources and service can be provided by organizations that are employing a diverse workforce. Employees with diverse backgrounds bring in more ideas and individual talents along with their experiences in providing ideas that are flexible in adapting to customer requirements and fluctuating markets.
- Diverse Viewpoints
A larger pool of experiences and ideas are brought about as a result of a diverse workforce that feels comfortable while discussing varying viewpoints. An organization can benefit from that pool to finalize their business strategy requirements and requirements of customers more effectively.
Challenges of Workplace Diversity
Workplace diversity also comes with a unique set of challenges for employers and organizations. Here are few of those challenges that you must be prepared to face –
- Opposition to Change
Change is inevitable yet we are very reluctant to change. You will always find employees who will be unwilling to cope with the fact that the cultural and social makeup of their workplace is changing – for good. The mentality which says, “We have always done it this way” mutes fresh ideas and hampers progress.
- Managing Diversity
Diversity training alone will not be enough for an organization’s plan for diversity management. There is a need to make a strategy and enforce it to form a culture of diversity each and every function and department of the organization.
- Enforcing Diversity in the Policies
This can be a huge challenge to everyone advocating workplace diversity. One needs to form and enforce a customized strategy to maximize the output of diversity in the workplace for the organization. This can be achieved with the assistance of the results of research data and employee assessments.
- Communication Barrier
Cultural, language and perceptual hindrances need to be overcome for the success of any diversity programs. Improper and ineffective communication of crucial objectives will result in low morale, lack of teamwork and confusion.
It takes time to create an organization culture that celebrates diversity and inclusion, however, this webinar on workplace diversity and inclusion programs by expert speaker Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, will provide you with unique tools and strategies to help your workplace celebrate and benefit from diversity rather than fighting against it. The session will explain how to conduct diversity audits, put together a strategic plan, and expand your talent pool in order to expand diversity in your candidates.