What is Diversity Management?
The Business Directorydescribes the definition of diversity management as, “The practice of addressing and supporting multiple lifestyles and personal characteristics within a defined group. Management activities includes educating the group and providing support for the acceptance of and respect for various racial, cultural, societal, geographic, economic and political backgrounds.”
Of course, diversity also encompasses a wide variety of other differences, including work experience, parental status, educational background, religion, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, pregnancy and age.
It should be part of a company’s policy not to engage in discrimination against or harassment of any person employed on the basis of any of these dimensions. However, managing diversity means more than simply observing legal and policy requirements. It also means actively promoting community and comfort with difference.
Companies need to recognize, value and affirm that social diversity contributes richness to the company community and enhances the quality of office life for all individuals. Companies must take pride in its employees various achievements and celebrate their differences. Workplace diversity can provide tremendous benefits in terms of improved morale, outside-the-box thinking, greater teamwork, and an atmosphere of mutual understanding and respect.
An Employers Role in Diversity Management
Some of the diversity management skills required are:
• An understanding and acceptance of managing diversity concepts
• Recognition that diversity is present in every aspect of management
• Self-awareness in understanding your own culture, identity, prejudices and stereotypes
• Willingness to challenge and change the company practices that present barriers to different groups
Tips for Managing Diversity
1. Avoid stereotypes: make sure you don’t fall victim to these stereotypes by employing and promoting individuals solely based on their qualifications and nothing more.
2. Hold regular staff meetings: this allows employees the chance to address any questions, comments or concerns they might have.
3. Be accepting of employees’ cultures: it is important that they feel respected and appreciated. For instance, if you have a Jewish employee, be willing to give them Rosh Hashanah off.
4. Look into diversity training: you can learn more about diversity management training courses for your employees by visiting The Skills Portal.
The more tools and skills that you receive in this area, the better at managing a diverse environment you’ll become.