Nobody wants to feel isolated or discriminated against. Effectively managing diversity in a business is crucial to the economic success of the business. If diversity issues are poorly managed, it may result in low morale around the office, a high employee-turnover rate, absenteeism and various kinds of harassment and discrimination. Create a diversity strategy that helps achieve your business’s short- and long-term goals.
In order to manage diversity effectively, it is necessary to take several factors into account. First, it is important not to stigmatize workers for their difference from the dominant social groups. They must feel that their differences are tolerated and, in many cases, welcome. It is also important to take changing demographics into account. Decide if your workforce reflects the traits of the wider community in which you do business. Companies that reflect these patterns will be appealing to a wider range of customers.
Education and Short-Term goals
The number one goal when it comes to diversity management is to get your workforce on the same page. Start by having the company’s CEO write a letter to all employees outlining his expectations regarding diversity. The letter should make it clear that discrimination against minority groups will not be tolerated and that everyone must all work together to discover the insights members of minority groups have to offer the company. This attitude should be maintained throughout the workplace via regular diversity training.
Consider which type of goal is best for your business. Some might consider an end-state goal, whereby a certain percentage of the workforce is from group X, another percentage is from group Y and so on. Affirmative action programs fall into this sort of strategy. Others might take a more laissez-faire approach whereby the values of diversity are instilled in employees at all levels of the organization and policies that are fair to all groups are put in place. The result of this strategy may not necessarily be a workforce that reflects the wider community, but nevertheless one that respects all cultures and values their insights.
Finally, an effective diversity management program must be continually evaluated. Assign a person or group of persons to evaluate the goals of the program on a regular basis. Use these evaluations to determine how often diversity training should be carried out.
Mike Evans has written policies and press releases since 2008. He is particularly interested in writing on politics, law, ethics, church-state separation and science. Evans holds a Master of Arts in philosophy from York University and an Honors Bachelor of Arts with a double-major in philosophy and law and society.