Today we are talking about managing diversity in the workplace more often than in previous times, aren’t we? We’re also extending its limits. Although the significance of diversity as a concept is generally accepted, its importance in business settings and the workplace is something that has only been discussed in recent years.
Role and Management&HR
Without a doubt, managers are engaging in this practice, and Human Resources is also playing a bigger role. Also, until some time ago, in the not-too-distant past, the management was instead quite different: instead of valuing the differences between the various employees, collaborators, bosses, etc., there was a tendency to favor a business model that canceled, perhaps by virtue of higher corporate values, recognized and become the foundation of the company for years.
That we live in an era in which every social group is distinguished by particularities and distinctions that may concern age, ability, and culture, but also ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious orientation, and gender identity are only one example of the breadth of the idea of diversity.
All of these factors, as we shall see in this article, need to be thoroughly investigated, and if given due weight, may lead to not just a more positive moral climate, but also more workplace diversity and increased output. As we’ve shown, managing diversity in the workplace and enhancement have assumed more prominence in the HR sector. Indeed, in some organizations, diversity management has emerged as a distinct strategy in its own right.
What is Managing Diversity in the Workplace?
We’ve established that diverse teams are those in which members vary in terms of gender, sexual orientation, religion, race, age, or ability level. But, a company’s worth is not always enhanced by employees from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and ways of life. A team needs more than just variety, the richness that comes from different perspectives and experiences, to function well together.
A diverse team works effectively when you start talking about inclusion and do everything necessary to execute it. A definition, please. Employees don’t experience bias or isolation because of who they are or how they look, and they have equal access to opportunities.
This must be taken into account at every stage of the employment process, beginning with the initial selection of candidates and continuing through their ongoing management, training, evaluation, and compensation. In summary, it is crucial that inclusion goes hand in hand with diversity throughout recruiting.
To ensure diversity is valued throughout the recruitment process, it is not enough to simply provide equal opportunity to all workers, whether they are already employed or not.
Organizational Diversity and Acceptance
Nevertheless, diversity and inclusion are not the same things, so it’s important to avoid treating them as if they are. Just hiring individuals from diverse backgrounds won’t ensure that they will feel welcome in the workplace.
Can we tell whether they’re major players in the company’s story or if they just seem like extras? Do they believe they need to conform in order to fit in, or do they have the freedom to be themselves?
As important, organizations must allow themselves to be driven by the qualities of women and their method of working rather than relying on legally mandated quotas for women’s employment.
The same might be said for a business that publicly shows its support for mothers. Some companies encourage bringing kids to the office, while others host holiday parties and play for kids. It’s also crucial to provide mothers with flexible work options like teleworking and smart working and to figure out how to keep them informed at all times and schedule important meetings around their schedules.
On the other hand, employment discrimination may take numerous shapes. TrustRadius’s 2020 Women in Tech report, for instance, has some insightful statistics on the topic. Women who took part in the study reported feeling marginalized in the IT industry for a variety of reasons, including lower pay compared to males of similar experience and a more open bias towards men in the workplace. Workplace biases and stereotypes are pervasive and hard to eradicate because they are fueled by similar attitudes and the misconception that specific occupations are reserved for males.
Generational Differences and the Gender Gap
Of course, wage disparity is just one aspect of the gender gap; women also face obstacles when it comes to advancing their careers, gaining access to certain benefits, and landing specific types of employment. Women who are raising two or more children are often overlooked for leadership positions because it is assumed that they would be unavailable at crucial periods or that they will conform to stereotypically masculine leadership styles.
The same is true of teams comprised of people of various ages. Today’s workplace teams, more than ever before, often include members from widely separated generations who have profoundly different perspectives on work and the firm as a whole.
According to a study on Employee Engagement, conducted by Dale Carnegie Training and reported by Il Sole 24Ore, the over the 50s, for example, feel much more involved than others in the workplace, as do the so-called Baby Boomers, i.e. those born between 1945 and 1960 who have a fairly high degree of involvement, despite being close to retirement. These assets have likely been inextricably bound to the business as a result of their long periods of service and the possibility that they feel they would be seen as less valuable if they retire.
Those of Generation X (those born between the 1960s and the 1980s) are a different story; they are less engaged with the firm than their Baby Boomers or Millennial predecessors. Yet, as shown by Dale Carnegie’s research, this might be because people in their forties are at the pinnacle of their professions and are less likely to feel linked to the firm after having lived through, particularly those born in the seventies, times of high instability and precarity. And it doesn’t even include the Millennial generation (those born between 1980 and 2000).
They have always known a world where the Internet and social media existed, where people worked smarter, and where their contributions were recognized. They are used to making career decisions based on these factors rather than on salary and benefits packages. where they may develop and where mobile employment is feasible, in part because of technological advancements. Terms like remote work, smart work, and goal-oriented scheduling are far more on the table for them than for those nearing retirement.
In addition, Millennials place a higher premium on organizational flexibility than profit culture, and they are more likely to become brand ambassadors and spokespersons for employee advocacy if they find the company’s value proposition appealing.
Clearly, intergenerational teams benefit from variety, but they may be difficult to manage if you don’t know what you’re doing. When there are significant differences in requirements, it may not be the best idea to apply the same business model to everyone.
Instead, we need to learn how to work together, communicate effectively, and appreciate each other’s uniqueness in order to build teams that succeed in spite of their differences. Younger people may help teach more experienced people the ropes of specific technologies, while more seasoned people can provide an overview to those just getting started.
Yet, we emphasized the need for awards that consider the varying expectations of various generations.
HR’s Role in Managing Diversity in the Workplace
These are some things that HR may do to encourage a more welcoming and accepting environment at work. To begin, let’s make hiring fair.
There should be no mention of age or gender in job ads, and job descriptions should be as neutral as possible so that all qualified applicants may feel at ease throughout the interview process, as required by the Law on Equal Opportunity. Even the interview questions used in the recruiting process should be geared at identifying the most qualified candidates for the position at hand based on their abilities and experience rather than their “sympathy” for the candidate.
Multigenerational teams, the inclusion of persons with disabilities, the number of women in executive positions, and other aspects of diversity can all be tracked with the use of software, which is particularly useful for those working in big organizations ( not only related to gender, race but also to age).
Then, HR takes on a new responsibility beyond only recruiting and hiring new employees. They need to be fully invested in creating a diverse organization, and they can’t do it alone; senior management and their teams need to be involved, too. They should work towards establishing a diverse workforce as a core value for the company.
In addition, they need to include all of their employees, regardless of rank or position, in order to ensure that everyone appreciates the value of diversity and knows how to effectively manage it. Taking classes and establishing regulations that everyone can understand and adhere to is essential to managing diversity in the workplace.
Why it’s Important to Foster Diversity?
We have alluded to it to some extent, not just in terms of moral riches but also because it increases organizational productivity. Here you may want to consider Empactivo as a facilitator to promote diversity in the workplace. Empactivo is an end-to-end employee experience platform that puts together surveys, kind-of specified forums for specific interests, sort of a newsletter tool, and all the other aspects that are designed to make business life more fun and easier. Click here to request a demo!