'You must eradicate racism and promote diversity in your workplace immediately. South African courts have zero tolerance for racism in the workplace and you will suffer the consequences if you ignore this issue,' warns the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.
How do you do this?
Use these five methods to curb racism in your workplace
#1: Adopt a zero-tolerance approach
Send out a strong message to employees at all levels of your organisation, that you won't tolerate racism and false accusations of racism. Actively encourage open communication between the various reporting lines to enable employees who are the victims of racism to speak openly about it.
#2: Implement sound policies and procedures
Ensure you have active policies and procedures in place which are aimed at combating racism in your workplace. Your policies must send out a clear message of equality and that you won't tolerate racism and false accusations of racism in your workplace.
These policies and procedures can incorporate action plans detailing the measures you'll take to provide a non-discriminatory workplace. Review your policies regularly and update them when there are new developments in case law.
Ensure that these policies are accessible to all your employees irrespective of race. Policies and procedures that deal with the eradication of racism in the workplace should include grievance and disciplinary mechanisms, which outline the processes an employee must follow if an incident of racism occurs.
#3: Foster an organisational culture that doesn't tolerate racism
Promote an organisational culture that accommodates differences and cultural diversity. This'll mark your commitment to a zero-tolerance policy on racism in the workplace.
4. Celebrate diversity
Celebrate diversity by encouraging managers to learn and understand different cultures and develop an intercultural ethos in staff areas, such as the canteen.
#5: Investigate any incident immediately
If an incident of racism occurs in your workplace, you must investigate it immediately! Once you have, you must deal with it in line with your disciplinary or grievance procedure.