Really want? The Do and Don’t in Diversity Management
What is a Diversity Management? As we have discussed above, there are perceive advantages and disadvantages of embracing diversity in workplace. It seems that there are evidences and cases indicating that diversity are possible source of competitive advantage and superior performance for businesses. But, the implementation and the management of diversity is not an easy one. Apparently, the mismanagement of diversity or inability of the leader. Or, manager to outline and execute and effective diversity management program will cause troubles to the organization with diverse workforce. In fact, for inexperience mangers, diversity indeed looks more like a curse than a blessing.
If the presence of diversity is well-manage, it can create synergy and improve organizational performances. It is believe that diversity is a powerful strategy as managers can leverage on the strengths of some people in the team while making the weaknesses of some others irrelevant. The strengths in a person can compensate for the weaknesses of others. While his weaknesses are cover by others’ strengths, and this is essential for a high performing team. Consistent with such a view, this section will outline some do and don’t for practitioners to follow. It may serve as a general guideline for managers to refer to in applying the concept of diversity management to daily management tasks.
The first thing the manager should perform in managing diversity is that to ensure effectiveness of the diversity management program. The managers should communicate constantly to employees, managers, customers, shareholders, and other stakeholders at all stages of the program. It is vital to keep people inform as their support is necessary for the successful implementation of a diversity management program. The execution should involve everyone; as such a program is not an issue for only the personnel department or a responsibility of senior managers.
Besides, it is also critically important to apply a change management processes to implement the program. The leader driving the changes should aware that a long term perspective is require in implementation. A diversity management program (i.e., changes involves attitudes and don’t happen overnight. And leaders have to expect that the program will last for years rather than a few weeks or months). Last but not least, the leaders must also have the correct expectations that resources are require for the program. Leaders must prepare to invest money, time and resources to achieve successful diversity management program.
On the other hand, there are two general don’t rules to aware of by managers. Firstly, managers should not confuse equal opportunities with diversity management. The equal opportunity approach can be part of any diversity initiative. But a successful diversity management program should go far beyond traditional equal opportunity issues. Secondly, managers should not design the diversity goals and policies for “them” (i.e., referring to the minorities). But they should instead think of “us” (i.e., everyone involve in the organization).
The Do’s & Don’ts of Workplace Diversity Initiatives (Diversity Management)
Within the S&P 100, 96 companies now maintain some type of internal diversity initiative. And with diversity issues now grabbing national headlines, it’s never been more important for employers to take a stance.
If you’ve yet to develop diversity training, mentoring, recruiting, and other such programs, this post will help you learn from the lessons of companies before you.
Keep reading for the do’s and don’ts of workplace diversity initiatives.
Do emphasize inclusion
Though often used when discussing diversity, inclusion is not the same thing. The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) defines inclusion as, “The achievement of a work environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully, have equal access to opportunities and resources, and can contribute fully to the organization’s success.” Make sure your organization is one where employees feel they can contribute to the success of your company, regardless of race, gender, creed, sexual orientation, or physical ability.
Do survey employees for feedback on diversity and inclusion
An annual engagement survey is the perfect time to ask your employees about diversity and inclusion. Surveying your employees will help you establish a baseline and allow you to gauge employees’ views on existing initiatives. This data can also be used when forming additional diversity and inclusions efforts. As Boris Groysberg and Katherine Connolly said in a Harvard Business Review article about workplace diversity, “metrics are key because, as we know, what gets measured gets done.”
Do use benchmarks
Speaking of engagement surveys, make sure yours includes industry benchmarks. Industry benchmarks can help shape your diversity and inclusion efforts because they provide an opportunity to know where you stand relative to other organizations in your industry, size category, or region. It’s like a built-in competitor analysis.
Don’t treat diversity as an internal, “HR issue”
Diversity is an issue that affects the entire company, and attitudes toward it start at the top and funnel down. Make sure your organization incorporates diversity into every aspect of its purpose and function.
Don’t neglect any employee group
Diversifying your workplace takes more than hiring a few people who aren’t the same race as the majority of your employees. Too often, diversity and inclusion efforts center around employees of color and neglect other aspects that make organizations diverse, like gender and sexual orientation, religious beliefs, physical ability, economic status, and creed. For example, the Center for American Progress reports that anywhere from 25 to 43 percent of gay people have experienced some form of discrimination in the workplace, and 90 percent of trans-gender employees have experienced some form of harassment or mistreatment at work. Make sure your diversity and inclusion efforts encourage an attitude of openness toward all employees in your organization. Your employees should feel freedom to express their opinions and ideas with equal weight given to all.
Don’t overlook senior leadership and board representation as areas that need improvement
Even if your organization has some phenomenal diversity initiatives in play, they’re not going to matter if the board of directors is made up of a homogeneous group. The same goes for company leaders. A diverse board and leadership team helps manifest the benefits of diversity in the workplace.
In an article about diversity in the workplace, Paul Block, CEO of the U.S. sweetener manufacturer Merisant Company, had this to say about diversity: “People with different lifestyles and different backgrounds challenge each other more. Diversity creates dissent, and you need that. Without it, you’re not going to get any deep inquiry or breakthroughs.”
How are your organization’s diversity and inclusion initiatives working? Don’t put it off any longer. Survey your employees today to find out how your organization is fairing with workplace diversity and where it needs to improve.