Harnessing Workplace Diversity for Success
The Wisdom Man
Workplace diversity may seem as if it is the newest trend of business strategy for international, local companies as well as small business establishments but the truth is it has been moving forward for quite some time. Recognizing diversity as a mark of an evolving society leads to better ways of engaging the market. Thus, companies are looking into assessing and modifying their policies to harness the perspectives of diverse people in engaging different audiences.
Traditional workplace diversity refers to having people from different age groups, gender, social strata and race to compose the work environment. Modern diversity, on the other hand, takes this concept a step further. It refers to engaging the minds and encouraging each employee to work to display their full self at work. Modern diversity harnesses each employee’s different thoughts, and perspectives were thereby bringing more dimension to every career, management, or business decision.
Thus, workplace diversity is the acknowledgment of difference and adaptation of diverse cultures and perspectives in creating new and better market strategies in engaging the market. Difference fuels the drive for companies, even small business establishments, to establish an inclusive environment where perspectives are valued and perceived as a tool to increase workplace productivity.
Any small business establishment restructuring into a more diverse workplace must first acknowledge creativity and change as catalysts of improvement. They can nurture workplace diversity by creating a safe environment where people are encouraged to think, give voice to different perspectives, hone their decision-making capabilities and be thought leaders for their colleagues.
Despite the benefits being clear, creating a diverse workplace is not simple a task. Company executives must have the necessary skills and willingness to make adjustments among themselves before trying to create workplace diversity. First, company leadership must have an understanding of discrimination, along with all its consequences to the enterprise. Discrimination can come in two forms: direct and indirect. Direct discrimination makes certain individuals as ineligible for career promotion because of certain traits such as age or gender. Indirect discrimination, albeit less grave, hampers an employee’s creativity by creating policies that do not encourage employees to express themselves. Likewise, employees must learn to avoid discrimination and learn to stop it at first sight.
Second, company executives must recognize and assess their personal biases and prejudices towards particular people and groups and learn to judge people based on merit. Lastly, leadership must be willing to do a company restructuring or realignment if necessary. Sounds drastic? If the result of the restructuring is significantly better performing company leading to greater productivity, customers, and rising profits, it is worth it. However, this type transformation can be difficult for a small or large business so be sure you are committed.
Furthermore, reaping the benefits of workplace diversity is not without challenges. Diversity in the workforce can lead to difficulty in communication and resistance to change brought directly by differences in perspectives. The company must learn to treat each idea with equal importance to avoid such problems. Also, conflicts can arise at the start of modifying policies in creating workplace diversity. Meeting these challenges leads to more sensitive workplace policies that support diversity. To help small business establishments in espousing workplace diversity, some countries, such as the United States, have enacted laws that promote difference and sanctions discrimination.
Workplace diversity is a continually evolving concept that gives small business establishments more flexibility in tackling new business ideas and improving their employee policies. They can harness the power of diversity by encouraging creativity and innovation as a means towards improvement. Any company can benefit from a workforce that is full of ideas. Therefore, companies must develop and promote workplace diversity.
A successful evolution to greater purposeful diversity will lead to more innovation, more creativity, and a better bottom line profit.
About The Author
Theodore Henderson works with business owners, entrepreneurs, and corporate professionals. He is an Amazon best-selling author, a Certified Career Coach, a Certified Leadership Coach, and a Certified Social Media Security Professional Powered by CompTIA. In addition he is the author of the business program “Launching Your Great Business Idea,” as well as the author of the following books; “The Wisdom Compass”, “9 Simple Strategies to Becoming A Strong Leader” and the Security eBook “30 Smart Ways to Protect Yourself from Cyber Criminals” aimed at owners of Smartphones, Mobile Devices, and also those who have significant online activities including Social Media, financial services, etc. He is available for keynotes, seminars, and workshops. He may be reached through www.TheodoreHenderson.com.