Conflicts occur when employees are exposed to a variety of different cultures, individuals with different sexual preferences and people with various personalities within a business. Diversity training is designed to assist people in dealing with these various situations so that civil rights violations do not occur. Diversity is the many differences between individuals including race, culture, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical abilities and even personalities. Diversity is what makes each and every one of us unique.
Managing workplace diversity ensures that with properly managed employees and managers in leadership positions, the business grows when they expand the personalities, the racial backgrounds and the genders in the workplace. Not only will the people hired are of different races and ethnic backgrounds, but there will be more women and older individuals as well; not all of these individuals will speak English, making the workforce even more diverse. This presents one of the greatest challenges in the future of U.S. companies and corporations.
Diversity can also be seen within these groups. For instance, a white group of men can be very diverse from each other believing in different religions, different personalities, and different manner of thinking. Diversity is much deeper than skin color or gender, it’s a person’s personality and beliefs as well.
Benefits of diversity in the workplace
Diversity brings differences in styles and perspectives into the workplace. Diversity can assist organizations in creating new and innovative products and services, they can better meet the needs of their customers and clients and they are able to serve more of the community. Opportunities can arise from conflicts if managed properly.
Diversity has four distinct advantages in the workplace:
- Allows a wide range of views to be presented within an organization that can focus and strengthen the core values of an organization
- Serves as an instrument in organizational change
- Stimulates growth socially, economically, intellectually and emotionally
- Helps the organization find its place in the global community
Identifying Characteristics of Diversity
- Communication styles
Our society as a whole is becoming more comfortable working with people with various backgrounds, but it still presents challenges in the workforce – particularly in communication which includes a wide variety of communication styles, different types of body language and experiences as well as a wide variety of personalities.
Approaches to Working in a Diverse Workplace
There are three methods that are seen as ways to working in a diverse workplace. These three approaches include:
- Team Building
ü Communication is vital and includes actively listening to them as well. Not only does it involve talking to individuals, whether verbally, non-verbally or even through email, communication also involves providing others with the respect, appreciation, support and understanding that they deserve. Communication is often something that must be taught and learned as not all people excel at.
ü Leadership involves communication as well as team work. Leadership is more than delegating tasks, but also listening to the needs of your group, offering guidance, support and then communicating your needs to those who are above you. Leaders must know how to listen, influence and motivate others and then engender the trust of those they are leading. A leader should evoke the best out of their team.
ü Team building is a natural derivative of good communication and good leadership. A team that works well together will be able to solve problems together. The fact that the team is made up of different races, genders and ages only adds to the tools that the team has available to them. Each person in the team is able to bring a unique perspective on the problem at hand because they all have unique backgrounds and skills from which to pull.