You may have your own methods for understanding and coping with diversity, but your organisation will have methods for dealing with these types of changes as well. Most often you’ll find that organisations deal with workplace diversity by setting policies and procedures that govern the entire workgroup. Here are a few examples.
Organisational practices are methods an organisation takes to monitor and control the way their employees are treated – both by management and by their fellow employees. For example, your employee manual will likely have pages discussing how to handle harassment (specifically sexual harassment) within the workplace. These policies apply to victims, perpetrators, and witnesses. I now see companies issuing separate mission statements outlining exactly how they feel about the way their diverse culture should grow.
Organisational policies are a little different than practices. These policies govern how individual can be treated on a professional level – including the way they are compensated. For example, single parents may find they need specific vacation holiday schedules while a woman who wants to help her ailing grandparents may want to flex her work-week schedule. Some people need less insurance than others and may be compensated accordingly as well.
Diversity training is also becoming more and more popular these days. Diversity training is an organisation’s method for making sure all employees are properly informed when it comes to understanding the differences between their cultures, beliefs, and work ethics. Employees who are educated often find it easier to cope with differing personalities.
Does your organisation have a diversity training program? If not, what methods does your organisation take to control or educate its employees about diversity?
Originally published: 23 February, 2009