How to Overcome Diversity Issues in the Workplace

How to Overcome Diversity issues in the workplace

Conflict can arise because of several reasons at the workplace. Remember that the workplace consists of people from different walks of life. This gives tendency that there maybe differences in character, perception and diversities of various kinds. This conflicts may be minor of in some cases, may require the intervention of the manager/supervisor of the organization.

To go further let me give you a brief meaning of diversity. Diversity exists in a group or organization when its members differ from one another along one or more important dimensions. The diversity maybe as a result of ethnicity, age, gender or other characteristics.

Conflicts in the workplace if not properly handled may give room for disunity, low productivity, physical violence and generally an unhealthy environment in the workplace. The approach required to handle conflict in the workplace is determined by the level of the conflict. For instance, a staff who slaps another slap may receive a severe punishment than another group of staff who only engaged in an unfriendly argument.

The sources of diversity issues in the workplace can be as a result of jealousy, feeling of rejection, lack of understanding, poor communication and so many other factors. Resolving diversity issues in the workplace can be done by the individuals themselves or better still by the company manager or supervisor. I think that any diversity issue in the workplace that has attracted the attention of the manager should be resolved by him or her.

How to Overcome Diversity Issues in the Workplace

Here, we are going to look at the various strategies that both the individuals and organization can deal with diversity issues in the workplace;

Individual Strategies;

1. Understanding

When employees realize that people are not the same, they will know how to treat each other better. Everyone needs to be treated fairly despite any form of diversity. Coworkers and managers needs to understand that cultural background is among the things that makes people to behave in different ways. These differences needs to be accepted rather than being utilized as an avenue to maltreat anyone by both the management of the organization or coworkers.

2. Tolerance

This is also related to understanding. The ability to accept or enjoy some aspects of behaviors in the path of others may lead to the avoidance of conflicts. A lot of people enjoys arguments not necessarily that they want to pick quarrels with it but as a part of getting work done while another person maybe the opposite who will take it more serious thereby leading to conflicts. When the other party or individual becomes more willing to accept tolerate each other, the conflicts will stop and thus effectively handled.

3. Communication

Another important individual approach to handling of diversity in the workplace is communication. Most people are not willing to openly discuss issues bothering them in the workplace. For instance; Suppose a younger employee has a habit of making jokes about the age of an elderly colleague, the younger colleague means no harm but maybe enjoying the joke, while the elderly colleague maybe finding it offensive. If there is no communication, this joke may escalate into a big conflict.

Most issues that escalates among coworkers is as result of inadequate communication. This may thus attracts the attention of other third parties in the workplace. A proper way of resolving diversity issues in the workplace is having an open discussion of misunderstanding that may have arise, this will lead to an amicable resolution.

4. Empathy

People in a workplace should not feel indifferent when their coworker is uncomfortable with an approach or attitude towards them. They should try to understand the perspective of others so as to enable them to work effectively. When they are uncomfortable with a particular role as a result of not being experienced, they may help him or her feel comfortable by boosting her confidence and guiding him or her in areas that they may be able to help.

Organizational Strategies;

1. By having Strong Organizational Policies

When organizations have effective policies in place to handle diversity issues, the level of conflicts in that workplace will reduce. A law that addresses discrimination, responds effectively to conflicts, and treats individuals that harasses each other in the right way will go a long way in preventing so many conflicts among coworkers.

2. Diversity Awareness Programs

This will go a long way in giving the workers in an organization the best way to adapt with people of different diversities. This training handles issues that have erupted or may erupt in an organization. The similarities and differences between individuals should be explained in this training. It is good to let your workers know how their attitudes also affects others. Training about the predominant cultural group in that organization is also necessary.

3. By incorporating people with different diversities into their key committees or executives

If an organization wants to fight diversity, they should not discriminate. Incorporating people of various diversities as their key committees and executives will be a good example to their workers. People perform better when they see themselves in areas the think they are not qualified to be. Make them feel comfortable by offering them such positions.

Diversity can be of positive impact to an organization if properly handled. It creates a spirit of competitiveness and commitment with the right approach by managers and supervisors. I hope how to overcome diversity issues in the workplace will be helpful to you.

Also Read; Six Possible Causes of Stress at the Workplace