managing diversity in the workplace
To manage diversity in the workplace it is important to understand the demographics of your staff.
Managing your employees’ diversity through questionnaires
The best way to find out this information is to monitor diversity in the workplace is through pre and post-employment questionnaires. You may find staff are happy to give this information freely, or in some cases are reluctant to impart this information. The best advice is to always give staff the option of ‘preferring not to state’, and educating staff to the reasons why you as an employer need this information.
For most companies the need for this information relates to meeting the needs of customers by having a staff group that represent them. It also meets the needs of your staff; if you treat everyone as a homogenous group, you will certainly leave someone’s needs unmet, which can nurture disengagement.
Using diversity forums for staff to discuss their needs, share ideas and receive communication are essential ways to manage diversity in the workplace. In large organisations there may be sufficient staff to hold face to face forums, in small or geographically spread companies, the best option is to use an online forum, whether dedicated or shared. Just remember, a forum for two people of a shared characteristic may make them feel even more isolated – for this reason many companies may wish to consult transgendered staff to see if they would like to link in with the Sexual Orientation or the Gender strand.
Sharing good practice in diversity
There is open dialogue and communication between all groups of staff, this can only benefit your company.
If you have a public servicing company, then ensuring all staff are best abled to serve your customers confidently and fairly is a must.
Effectively communicate your diversity in the workplace
Two-way communication will help you manage diversity in the workplace, and help your staff and customers feel confident that you consider their needs and they are consulted about issues that are important to themselves. This will promote more efficient and effective workers, repeat business, possible increased retention of staff, and a much happier working environment.