"Opportunity for all, Responsibility from all, Community for all" are some of the words said in the South African parliament soon after democracy was embraced in the country, as sergaygroup.com recalls.
Managing diversity in the workplace represents only a smaller piece in the bigger picture. Equally important is that a major change is possible through many other smaller ones.
Let's take a look at each of the values you should manage as an employer when it comes to diversity management.
Opportunity for all
By this you should understand that everyone is entitled to have access to equal opportunities for development and growth.
'Simple statistics clearly indicate that in this way we can exponentially enhance the performance within our organizations. It would be a fool who ignores the potential of all employees and does not allow the competence levels to be increased, nor the performance to be realized. By implication, it means that those previously disadvantaged in a global or national context need concerted efforts to accelerate their development and exposure so that they can more fairly compete in an extremely competitive global job market,' writes the previously mentioned source.
However, make sure you understand the value of diversity, what is means to harness it, thus see its opportunities. Many companies, unfortunately, tolerate diversity only on paper, while being afraid that a multicultural variety, for instance, will change the company's culture instead of changing their approach.
*********** Recommended For You ***************
Labour Watch can solve all of your labour problems
• It's time to stop worrying about missing important labour law changes and deadlines;
• Save time with our quick hints and handy tools that make managing employees 100 times quicker and easier;
• Save money by reading about expensive mistakes employers have made in the latest court cases so you can avoid these in the future;
• Avoid legal wrangles by getting specific and detailed advice on common problem situations for managers and employers.
All of this you can get on the monthly Labour Watch Newsletter – you can rely on this toolkit to solve all of your labour problems…
Responsibility from all
'The management of diversity is the process of successfully managing people who are different. It is the act and practice of leading different people in attaining organizational and personal goals,' according to the same source.
Having to deal with diversity and managing various opinions doesn't mean that the arguments should be divided according to that. In other words, being different, only enriches the results with new perspectives and dimensions related to the situation.
As a manager, you have the responsibility to identify and 'use the added value of individual differences in a positive way to meet the needs and objectives of an organization'. You'll use them to improve productivity and efficiency and diminish the 'interpersonal dysfunction that inevitably seems to plague different people who must work together'.
At the end of the day, if we want to talk about a real new organizational culture, individuals have to communicate, colaborate, show mutual respect and understand the core values of such a mission.
Community for all
Going further, a community for all also implies a strategic alignment which helps makig sure that the final goal is being accomplished.
'In order to integrate efforts, cohesion amongst the workforce becomes an important issue. However, what we must not confuse is "cohesion" and "sameness". Sameness will engender a group think mentality. Without new and creative ideas, the growth and potential of any organization will be stifled. Cohesion gained with diverse people will create energetic, creative and innovative teams working towards a common goal - an unbeatable combination,' states Sergaygroup.com.
The responsibility belongs to each of us but many times, in such situations, when you are the employer and you have to manage diversity, you have to accept that the responsibility is higher and that its implications go a long way.