Embracing diversity in the 21st Century in the workplace

Globalisation has it footprints all over our lives and workplace is not any different in this dimension. The businesses today are more diverse and pluralistic than any other time in history. From clients to workforce, the businesses are facing diversity challenges and how to integrate the workforce from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds into a well oiled efficient body.

The prospect can be somewhat challenging but its importance cannot be overemphasised for the need of businesses to compete on global level. The current practices for embracing and managing diversity continue to be necessary but are not proving to be sufficient for effective results in present organisational environments.

What affects workplace diversity?

Workplace diversity is a product of: employee – ethnicity, race, culture, gender identity, associated prejudice and stereotyping, and the nature or scope of interpersonal relations on diversity acceptance and support for initiatives related with diversity-management. These variables have a significant influence on embracing of diversity in the workplace. Any approach by the employer has to cater for these variables when planning to embrace workplace diversity.

How is it being catered by conventional means?

Diversity training is the primary method being used to facilitate behaviour modification and change. However, diversity training is not wholly succeeding, calling for a fresh diversity leadership focus to embrace diversity in workplace.


How to get on with embracing diversity?

The managers need to have an ALL INCLUSIVE approach in encouraging and enforcing diversity. Here are a few clues for making it easy:

  • Mental clarity is the first to embrace concept for managers. When you have a diverse workforce then you to adopt ACROSS THE BOARD for employee satisfaction.
  • Encourage new perspectives and ideas
  • Treat all employees as equals
  • Practice fairness within the work group and organization
  • Respect differences in cultural outlook and make them work for the organizational benefit
  • Harness the strength of combined perspectives and talents of all employees
  • Makes all employees feel as contributing members and equal in the work team
  • Have an all inclusive and productive environment
  • DO NOT restrict your diversity concept to race, gender and age, and lifestyle choices. Expand it to family and work issues, including work-from-home options, alternative work schedules, , and elder and child care resources.
  • Ensure collaboration among workers from different groups.
  • Be sensitive when managing cross cultural boundaries.
  • Create groups from different types of colleagues.
  • Understand the business ethics of other cultures.
  • Cross-cultural communication focusing on nonverbal and verbal communications with culturally different groups
  • Teamwork that focuses on work with ethnically diverse groups working toward a common goal
  • Conflict resolution within the company that contemplates the end point when resolving cultural clash or conflicts.
  • Educate people on the obstacles and challenges faced by minorities, women, and seniors in the workplace.
  • Develop cross-mentoring programs to encourage employees from different backgrounds to learn from each another. Pair experienced employees as mentors with promising, less experienced employees. Mentor and mentee will learn from each other and build a new perspective that creates awareness and understanding.
  • Create onboard training programs for all fresh employees to addresses feelings of career objectives, inclusion, business impact and the workplace diversity.

The Last Word

An organization’s complete success is dependent on new talent that has fresh perspectives and ideas. Embracing the diversity in your work environment by supporting diversity initiatives is an all inclusive approach. Leaders must value and leverage human diversity including ethnicity, gender, nationality, age, beliefs and work styles.