Handling Diversity in the Workplace

Working somewhere with a largely diverse staff is a positive thing. New ideas are brought to the table and different perspectives are offered. Unfortunately, while many positives are associated with diversity, it can also make workplace tensions run high. Diversity is a sensitive topic to many so it can be hard to reach a good balance or sometimes even to have productive conversations.

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It’s important to keep in mind that diversity encompasses more than just race or ethnicity. It is religion, socioeconomic statues, gender, sexual orientation, etc. As a manager it’s important to keep this in mind. The definition of diversity is constantly evolving so consider all possible factors.

It’s important to celebrate the diversity of your workplace in order to create an inclusive, welcoming atmosphere. Make all employees aware that it is important to be celebrated, not ridiculed. Oftentimes jokes or possibly unintended prejudiced comments can make people more uncomfortable than an outright insult. Make it clear what language is and is not accepted.

Most importantly, know your staff. Understand their background, their sense of humor, what gets them excited. Ultimately, if you know your employees well everyone will feel more comfortable, thus creating an inclusive environment. As employees it is your responsibility to get to know your peers. Make friends and learn from one another to better improve both yourself and the company.

In what ways do you promote diversity in your workplace?

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