Workplace diversity goes well beyond the traditional categories of race or gender. Indeed, as a professional employer organization (PEO), Total HR Management has experienced firsthand the modern nature of workplace diversity across the American landscape. Today’s workplaces celebrate diversity by bringing together people of different ages, ethnicities, education, income levels, and physical abilities. Although such a celebration reflects the very ethos of the American dream, it also leads to certain difficulties.
As Josh Greenberg describes in his paper on “Diversity in the Workplace: Benefits, Challenges and Solutions, “Workplace diversity refers to the variety of differences between people in an organization. That sounds simple, but diversity encompasses race, gender, ethnic group, age, personality, cognitive style, tenure, organizational function, education, background and more.” Such workplace diversity needs to be addressed.
The Challenges of Workplace Diversity
Such difficulties arise in the context of sharing ideas, working on group projects or communicating effectively with our co-workers. When diversity is not recognized and valued, it can lead to problems like resentment, low morale and the siloing of employees. In contrast, a focus on mutual respect can turn workplace diversity into a valuable asset that greatly benefits a company. Indeed, workplace diversity can lead directly to a strengthening of a company’s culture and a boosting of overall productivity.
The best way for employees to embrace workplace diversity is by encouraging ideas that may arise from different value systems and life experiences. Since every employee is unique, each person brings his or her values and life experiences to work. By respecting different viewpoints, an organization can gain insight into an understanding of these values. They can even improve their ability to adapt to changing marketplaces. After all, the face of the modern consumer is more diverse today than it has ever been in the past.
In the context of a company and the needed teamwork between employees, different viewpoints can help new ideas to the table. Rather than be threatened by workplace diversity, managers can see it as an opportunity to learn and grow. Like the Chinese character for “crisis” that also implies an opportunity, workplace diversity can contribute to a positive updating of your company’s take on the 21st-century global economy.
Workplace Diversity Begins With Respect
If differences are respected and recognized in a company, then employees become more comfortable with sharing ideas and offering new solutions. Although the wheel does not need to be reinvented, approaches to new marketplaces and the ongoing adaptation to changing consumer trends can greatly benefit from workplace diversity. It begins with genuine respect between and for employees.
By joining the team concept with an inclusion plan that prioritizes workplace diversity, your company can thrive not only within but without as well. Workplace diversity opens the door to an ongoing evolution within and without a company. Such an evolution truly reflects the changing face of today’s dynamic economy.
As the majority of managers know from experience, teams within a company work best when members feel valued. When a company team is comprised of a group that includes different ages, races, education levels and background workplace diversity needs to be addressed. However, rather than see this necessity as a hindrance, managers need to learn how workplace diversity can be a productive and profitable benefit.
By engendering a foundation of respect, team members will feel comfortable across the board. Indeed, when employees are more open-minded, they also tend to be more productive and better able to deal with challenges when they arise. By avoiding siloing, workplace diversity allows for a company to thrive as an integrated unit. A PEO can help institute such a change through an optimized workplace diversity program.
Optimized Workplace Diversity Programs
An optimized workplace diversity program begins with a foundation of policies and culture that promote diversity. For example, the mission statement of a company should include a nod to workplace diversity. By making workplace diversity part of a company’s core, it will flow outward from the center and become part of each team and each department.
In the 21st century, Total HR Management has found that fostering the values and experiences of a diverse workforce is no longer a choice. As a professional employer organization, we are clear with our client companies. Given the face of today’s America, workplace diversity is a necessity. By encouraging and recognizing workplace diversity from the bottom to the top of your company, you can ensure that unneeded difficulties are avoided.
To learn more about how Total HR Management can help address questions in regards to workplace diversity, please call us today at (800) 975-5128 to set-up a consultation.
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