As businesses around us continue to be global and more internationally competitive, diversity at a workplace bears a higher significance than ever before. Firms aim to harness diversity in all shapes and forms to achieve better productivity and creativity. Diversity among employees also leads to new attitudes and an increased display of tolerance. However, employers may also face issues of conflicts and irregularities inflicting damage to the firm’s progress.
Get HRM in function
Having a proper Human Resource Manager role is a key solution to many employee-related problems. A large number of firms go without such role only to see conflicts arising in areas which could have been easily avoided had they paid heed to HRM. Even when firms do make a so-called “HRM” department, it is more of a dummy subdivision, with no real authority. Although the fundamental nature of HRM deems advisory, it is important to give certain degree of authority.
Enforcing a “family” culture at a workplace
Having a “home-like” feeling at workplace increases tolerance amongst employees. This is much called-for if they are from different backgrounds, with diverse ideas. They are more likely to accept the “different” others when in a “home” company, and not where they feel no more than a small tool in a large money making organization. Even should the conflict arise, employees would more willing to get on with it. From day 1, firm should aim towards an environment where employees feel like an essential part of the venture; a team working towards a single goal. Let them speak. Being open will make diversity more beautiful.
Most firms are seen making seminars on diversity and its importance. They however miss the track by not having worked on the previous two steps. Only if there is a functioning vigilant HRM department and a good corporate culture in place, such education programs are likely to work. A sizable amount of employees tend to ignore these sessions. Those who attend, do it for the sake of formality. That being said, communication in this regard is an important aspect to avoid diversity related problems. Besides seminars, try making more personal group meetings, or even individual ones. If the HRM department/personnel suspects a strange behavior from an employee, he could be invited (not summoned) to a session (not meeting). Communication, both from the employee and the employer can be the ultimate way to solve problems pertaining to a diverse workforce.
Proper regulations, procedures and guidelines
Firms should ensure all their employees are aware and comfortable with the legal framework of the workplace. This is more relevant to bigger firms as employees tend to feel lost in a huge hierarchy of departments and managers. A step-by-step procedure of reporting a conflict should be devised. They shall also be reminded how reporting small issues can actually prevent any undesirable engagement in future.
Diverse workforce is highly prone to conflicts in absence of a well-defined HRM role, and a family culture in play. Finally, communication between employees and employers plays a very crucial part in smooth running of diversity at a workplace.