Two high profile diversity surveys are currently underway: the CIPD asks Is Diversity and Inclusion Fringe or Fundamental? while HR Magazine is asking Diversity: Business strategy or just a ‘nice thing to do’?
In the context of globalisation and international teams, managing diversity is an area that attracts much research, training, consultancy and debate. It is, however, vital to the success of any team, department, region, organisation, company, business, etc. Indeed, understanding and valuing diversity in any team is a crucial component of a productive and healthy workplace.
Managing diversity in a way that recognises the benefits and the challenges of differences (cultural, personal styles and behaviours) in the workplace does, however, require a level of managerial confidence that is not always evident.
Interviews with all types and level of worker for Recognising and resolving inappropriate workplace behaviour consistently revealed managerial and individual reluctance to deal with differences before they escalated into allegations of bullying, harassment and unfairness.
Exploring and developing ways to build on the benefits of differences and overcome the difficulties can be a sensitive area. Without this, however, there is real potential for damaging, disruptive and costly workplace conflict.
- Implement diversity strategies that recognise the benefits of differences, personal styles, behaviours and culture
- Build managers’ confidence to manage diversity openly and constructively
- Identify ways to overcome difficulties, including cross cultural issues
- Encourage open and constructive dialogue on the benefits and challenges of differences in the workplace