Create a Positive Working Environment
It is important to ensure that fairness is paramount when it comes to equality and diversity. Having a fair approach generates a highly productive working environment. After all, it’s difficult to work effectively when an individual is under stress, duress or feelings of insecurity. Creating a positive environment starts with the employer. It is firstly important to ensure that the employee’s needs are met. There are several ways to ensure a positive working environment. This includes (but not limited to):
- Working conditions – temperature, comfort breaks etc.
- Working pace – ensuring the pace accommodates all employees and no employee is left with feelings of isolation or alienation.
- Participation – working should be fun (yes, it can be a fun place without being a circus ring) in that employees should be invited to participate in discussions as often as possible. Often, discussions can result in group alignment and commonality in discussions.
- Avoiding conflict – if there are specific discussions or questions that can create an issue, they should be dealt with diplomatically and most likely offline with the individual who raised concerns. Conflict with individuals will negate and diminish respect.
To ensure fairness, all employees must feel that they are positively and equally valued and accepted and that their efforts to learn are noted and judged without bias.
It is not enough that employees are tolerated.
Employees must feel that they, and the groups to which they belong (e.g. gender, social-class or attainment groups) are fully and equally accepted and valued by their employer, supervisor, line manager etc.
It’s a critical function within any organisation to ensure that there are routine reviews with employees regarding fairness by direct consultation (1-2-1) or using feedback forms. These processes can be stand-alone or incorporated within Personal Development Plans (PDP) or Performance Appraisals.
Check out this Podcast Interview with Richard Hawk on “How to make safety fun“
We can promote equality and diversity in a variety of ways. Examples include:
- Treating all employees fairly.
- Creating an inclusive culture.
- Ensuring equal access to opportunities.
- Enabling all employees to develop to their full potential.
- Equipping employees with the skills to challenge inequality and discrimination in their working environment.
- Ensuring policies, procedures and processes don’t discriminate.
In this post, I am going to share with you some tips on how to promote equality and diversity in your workplace.
However, before we dive into looking at how to promote equality and diversity, let’s start with some definitions.
Equality is not always about treating everyone the same. It is about treating people in such a way that the outcome for each person can be the same. Equality is ensuring individuals or groups of individuals are not treated differently or less favourably, on the basis of their specific protected characteristic, including areas of race, gender, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation and age.
Diversity is valuing and respecting the differences or any other traits that individuals may have. Diversity aims to recognise, respect and value people’s differences to contribute and realise their full potential by promoting an inclusive culture for all employees in the workplace.
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