HOW TO PROMOTE DIVERSITY AT WORK.
Fixedness, invariability as opposed to diversity at the workplace is totally boring, just like having a mental perception in one’s minds-eye of how the world would have been without sexual differences- uninteresting; either just males and no females or vice versa.
People differ; either generationally, per country, family background and others, and so it is not so easy to work with people that are different from your conditioning, but if the goal is to achieve the task at hand, you will understand that each person’s uniqueness has a role to play for the puzzle to be solved.
The fact that variety; diversity being the spice of life cannot be overemphasized, it is therefore important for the culture of diversity to be promoted at any walk of life whatsoever.
This article will look at four (4) ways in which diversity; open-minded and a global company culture can be encouraged and promoted at work; for optimum benefits.
1) Embracing cultural differences and working to build an understanding between one another: this is the first step to promoting diversity.
We have to accept people for the personalities they have, understand them and treat them the way they would love to be treated- this is the platinum rule; as opposed to the golden rule.
Reason is because, treating people the way you want to be treated may not necessarily bring satisfaction to them or tally with their values, so in order to uphold and understand diversity in the work place, we must embrace cultural, religious, age, gender etc differences.
For instance, understanding how different cultures perceive a handshake, maintaining eye contact or the boundaries of personal space can help to avert misunderstandings.
2) Be involved in improving your cultural competency: since cultural differences within the workplace are somewhat inevitable, one must be committed to improving his/her knowledge base on the different cultures there are.
He/she must be very optimistic about learning the varying cultures of colleagues, managers, customers; so as to interact better, improve communication and achieve the organization’s goals.
Personal education on global events and international politics, keenness to travelling opportunities and such like can go a very long way to this effect.
3) Ask questions: this is one very effective way to be practical in promoting diversity at work.
For instance, recruiters when hiring, firing or promoting; should always ask ‘what ifs’ questions- if the person in question was male or female, or from another religion or cultural background, would they still take someparticular decisions so as to avoid bias in their dealings?
4) Let people learn and be creative by doing: instead of just mapping out how tasks should be done for your staff; employers, managers and leaders should learn to entrust responsibilities to these workers and let them use their own initiatives and creativity to accomplish tasks.
CEOs only need to state the vision and leave it to the team to figure out how it should be done; without necessarily giving them stereotyped methods or within the box rules of action. By this, diversity and inclusiveness would be heavily promoted.
Virtue Edoziem is a Content Creator, Research Assistant and Social Media Associate at Talents and Skills Africa Consulting.