The truth of the matter is that we cannot allow people to do as they please at work. Yes, we need to accept and respect that people have widely divergent beliefs, values, and principles by which they live.
However, when they walk through the doors of the organisation, there needs to be reciprocal respect for the values, principles, and policies established by the organisation in line with its operational imperatives for smooth functioning and performance.
As such, each manager has the mandate to manage diversity in the workplace in accordance with the business’s standards and requirements. Standards and requirements underpin the evolution of the organisation’s desired culture and climate and should never be left to wide interpretation or individual management prerogative or discretion on core issues.
As an essential first step to enable managers to manage effectively, it is critical that at least online diversity training for employees is available at induction, and refresher courses are made mandatory annually. Managers cannot hold people to account if the organisation has not made its standards and requirements crystal clear to everyone.
Providing clarity does not equate to prescribing or taking away any freedom for people to focus on enhancing relationships and understanding beyond the minimum stipulations of the organisations. Applying the basics of relationship functionality in diverse organisations is eminently reasonable in the interest of establishing smooth harmonious interactions. It is good business to insist on behaviour that reflects diversity is to be valued and safeguarded.
Focus on behaviour
Diversity training companies will highlight diversity-building behaviours in online diversity training for employees which will be incorporated into organisation policies, procedures, and guidelines for workplace behaviour. Managers become the custodians and champions of these within organisations, ensuring that their people are constantly reminded of their purpose and importance.
The most fundamental of these that is familiar to most people is absolute respect. Respect is the cornerstone of a range of other behaviours that will secure positive relations. This includes enhanced participation, collaboration, creativity, and innovation as when we demonstrate respect, everyone gets to have a voice, present ideas, and share in a safe space without judgement or fear.
Genuine respect opens the door to each individual feeling greater levels of freedom to be their authentic selves and that others are there to help them grow and expand their talents. A manager’s role in managing diversity in the workplace is to facilitate this behaviour within individuals, groups, and across groups. They do this effectively by not only modelling, listening, and incorporating others’ input into decisions but also by pushing others to be flexible and strive to be more inclusive in everything they do.
Online training diversity for employees will assist managers as it makes clear the important linkages between different orientations that work collectively to enhance diversity strength within organisations. People must learn that respect without empathy is unlikely to achieve trust which is crucial to attaining sustainable progress. Showing sensitivity towards others’ experiences, perspectives, views, and concerns from diverse backgrounds builds confidence that the other actually cares—not only about work-related results but the persons involved too. Compromising and building rapport are always important aspects of all exchanges in a diverse workplace.
Showing how it’s done
Diversity training companies will also orient managers on leadership skills that are essential to developing when managing diversity in the workplace which they must also upskill their people in.
Amongst these are the behaviours that create stability in interactions. Interactions often need to be calm, composed and controlled. Responses that are volatile or ill-considered do not build confidence that organisational standards will be adhered to conscientiously at all times. Every interaction and situation we encounter needs to be oriented toward learning and growing.
This is demonstrated by managers and individuals within teams showing that they are open to trying and experiencing new things. This flexibility and adaptability will reflect that people are more interested in solutions and problem-solving than the source of these.
Awareness and reflectiveness needed to enhance diverse relationships can also be demonstrated by our ability to welcome and encourage feedback on how we are doing, not only from a personal opinion perspective but against organisational standards and requirements. Without this, there will be little opportunity to identify further improvements and why we are not achieving what we set out to do.
We want to ensure we are acting in a way that is aligned with our values, principles, and policies. Insights gained from feedback from a diverse workforce not only allow us to modify our behaviour appropriately but are also significant for further reviews and adjustments in organisational diversity strategy, standards, and requirements.
When we strive to ensure that our behaviour is not only aligned with the organisation’s and people’s needs and requirements but also in service to them, which is at the heart of good management, we have the humility to learn to evolve collectively.