Diversity and Inclusivity in the Workplace

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Introduction

Diversity and inclusivity in the workplace are part of the organizational process and structure and the company’s culture, ethics, policies, and regulations. It gives employees not only an interesting, dynamic, and valuable experience but also difficulties and unpredictability in the workplace. Some consumers, teams, and organizations benefit from such “interventions” in work. Additionally, there are various life moments when applying creative thinking to the circumstances is essential. For example, in the case of a misunderstanding occurring in a non-routine situation, one should “not lose one’s head” in the cycle of events but try to resolve the conflict peacefully. Besides, to mitigate the flow of negative emotions and news, it is recommended to resort to specific effective methods and strategies. Diversity is a multifaceted and versatile aspect of the work environment, which has positive and negative sides for employees and superiors. In case of disputes and conflicts, it is crucial to remain calm, confident, and friendly and think about how to respond to the claim, and competently arguing it. In a difficult conversation with a colleague at work, one should use several techniques that will help not spoil the attitude towards the head and the company.

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Workplace Diversity

Diversity in the workplace is the fact that every person is unique and inimitable in their character, abilities, talents, and appearance, regardless of skin color, gender, age, orientation, ethnicity, physical abilities, and demographic groups. For instance, diversity is much more than skin color and gender; such things should not determine a person’s goals, ambitions, or careers. The key aspect necessary to maintain a working relationship is mutual respect and understanding, regardless of differences in race, gender, age, social status, sexual orientation, or religious affiliation. Inimitable people have a set of distinctive features and characteristics that allow them to work for the benefit of common goals, ideas, and motives to get different approaches to the situation. Additionally, improper organization, resource allocation, and a biased approach to solving production goals can harm conflicts in the work environment, worsen employees’ mood, and thereby reduce the quality of their productivity. A list of the advantages and disadvantages of diversity in work, as well as the ways in which managers and organizations benefit more from more workforce diversity, is presented below.

Advantages and Challenges

First of all, diversity in the workplace is a set of measures that allows one to achieve balance and fairness, taking into account the contrast and dissimilarity of people from each other on any grounds. A diverse and inclusive work team is more inventive, resourceful, and productive than a homogeneous one. A team with a wide range of cultural characteristics, experience, and types of thinking can achieve higher performance results when developing innovative ideas and practical problem-solving strategies. In terms of information advantages and resources, such differences increase the productivity and quality of employees’ work, improves their motivation and involvement in the workflow (Roberson et al., 2017). Consequently, an unequal approach to work opens up new opportunities and prospects and ways and means of solving goals and objectives. Also, diversity management affects staff retention, as motivated employees are more likely to stay in the company for a long time.

Besides, the contrast in social statuses and roles and between national affiliations and different demographic indicators are crucial aspects in the formation of common ideas about colleagues and the company (Roberson et al., 2017). Awareness of the importance of pouring into a collaborative workflow helps employees reveal their true talents and abilities, evaluate and correctly allocate strengths and weaknesses to solve common issues (Luu et al., 2019). Employees feel appreciated and understood in the team; they feel fully involved in the work process because other colleagues share their opinions and views on certain moments. Having a diverse workforce helps to think differently and look broader and deeper at the problem. It also leads to unique methods and approaches due to different languages, cultures, values, traditions, and beliefs. When different people bring dissimilar views on things, there is an opportunity for discussions beyond a potential business opportunity.

Undoubtedly, in the diversity of the team and the heterogeneity of the collective, various kinds of issues, difficulties and challenges may arise. Due to differences in cultural values, traditions, and customs, there is a high probability of discrimination, bias against “minority” groups and individuals (Roberson et al., 2017). As practice shows, problems can often arise based on “color blindness,” and mistaken classification depends on skin color, ageism, sexist prejudices, and even the external characteristics of some individuals (Roberson et al., 2017). Due to demographic differences, incorrect relationships, and interactions with representatives of certain nationalities and ethnicities, a group of migrants and refugees also may arise (Roberson et al., 2017). Hence, an employee who has been discriminated against and harassed in the workplace shows a more depressed mood, reduced productivity, demotivation, and search for a new job. In similar cases, such situations can cause lawsuits and proceedings, negatively affecting the company’s reputation.

Benefits

Certainly, there are many specific ways for consumers, work teams, and business organizations to benefit from diversity in work. Firstly, one of the best ways is to ensure the balance of the number of women and men by age group, racial, national, and social characteristics, and other features. Secondly, conflict management, mutual respect and trust, reliable work, and fair pay increase labor productivity, minimize risks and losses in the firm, retain employees for a more extended period.

The foundation of sociocultural diversity is an excellent way for many companies to think outside the box, stimulate innovation, and, as a result, increase profits. For instance, young people will always keep abreast of new products and the latest news, identify opportunities that are “invisible” to conservative people. On the contrary, the old generation will support wise advice, relying on a broader range of experiences and memories of the past. Men and women, representatives of particular cultures, sexual orientations, religions, and social stratum, think and look at things from entirely different points of view. Besides, creating and maintaining an inclusive and diverse work environment attracts and retains talented professionals, improves reputation, and helps achieve innovative results. Employees have a broader skill base that promotes better knowledge sharing within the team. A unique approach to the problem gives a new impetus to creativity, non-standard experiments, and professional growth (Luu et al., 2019). It helps to look at the state of affairs and doing business with a new, fresh look. Cultural experiences of employees provide the uplift and increase productivity that is necessary to identify various problem-solving opportunities.

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The Business Letter to the Tenant

To date, I have received a letter of claim from you. You have submitted a requirement in the amount of $3,000 to my address for a duplicate of the rent in June 2020. I have carefully considered your claim and inform you that, in fact, the rent has been deducted from your bank account twice. I acknowledge the circumstances stated in your claim, and in response to your request, I inform you of the following. The double amount was transferred to my bank account due to errors in the banking system, which led to the problem. I remind you that according to the current legislation, regulations, and the contract concluded between us, the mistakenly transferred funds should be returned to you in full soon. Consequently, the amount of $3,000 will be refunded back to your bank account. I enclose a receipt for the refund of the amount, which is attached to this letter. Additionally, I sincerely hope that this kind of misunderstanding will not happen again in the future. I offer my deepest and humble apologies for the inconvenience and hope for further cooperation and mutual understanding.

Techniques of Cushioning Negative News

Elegant, competent, and clear presentation of bad news is a critical skill for professionals and specialists in the field of business. Undoubtedly, telling bad news to a friend or colleague is quite a difficult task because you never know how the interlocutor may react to this news. Thus, how a person reports bad news affects them as a communicator and the represented business. Many techniques help mitigate negative news in such a way that conflicts and misunderstandings can be avoided in the companies. Consequently, below are four of these methods with an original example of each of them.

Technique and Example #1

First of all, a company manager is recommended to set a more positive or neutral tone of the message to communicate bad news to employees. Thus, later it can serve as a buffer, a cushion for future information (Ashman, 2019). It is worth noting that it is not the information that a person says that is important, but how they present it to the interlocutor. Well-chosen tone, speech, words, and attitude will help both the manager and the employee better “processing” the flow of information and staying calm and confident. What happened is not always a negative experience but still a path to new discoveries and achievements, a way to start from scratch. In this case, a chief can mention specific essential achievements of a worker over the past year or several years and say that this person plays a significant role in the company’s dynamic development.

Technique and Example #2

The next component should focus on clarity, brevity, and accuracy when covering awful news and events, speaking at the same time directly and frankly. For instance, If a head needs to optimize the number of employees due to a difficult financial situation, then they should directly explain this. It is necessary to listen to the opposite side, let them speak out, and “let off steam.” It is entirely normal when most of the business audience does not like a sudden shock. When reporting unpleasant news, one should be ready to listen to any reaction, whether reciprocal surprise, aggression, or anger. It is also unnecessary to express one’s own doubts about the decision and bring the matter to a discussion. Otherwise, a manager can instill a vain hope that everything is not lost yet, and an employee needs to fight to preserve the status quo. It will be much more effective to demonstrate empathy and understanding of the feelings and emotions of employees.

Technique and Example #3

One should also explain the situation and the causes of the issue – the most important part. It is better to get straight to the point and outline the most critical points at the beginning. The longer a person walks in a circle, the tenser the interlocutor becomes in anticipation of bad information, the more confused in words. Besides, a manager needs to be ready to disclose the facts and calculations based on which conclusions were drawn (Ashman, 2019). Trying to mitigate bad news with half-truths or outright lies is the wrong tactic. A collegial and reasoned decision is perceived by people more calmly, while a lie or a desire to classify the exact scale of the disaster provokes a backlash (Guffey & Loewy, 2021). In certain situations, telling about the company’s support in finding a new job and the benefits and compensations provided by law will mitigate negative emotions and reactions.

Technique and Example #4

Finally, a chief should redirect a worker’s focus of attention to alternative options. Thanks to alternative offers, employees will be safe while maintaining their workplace, and the company and the employer will thereby maintain a positive reputation (Guffey & Loewy, 2021). For example, if wages are reduced, one can discuss alternative support measures that the company can offer. When reducing staff, it is necessary to discuss what documents and recommendations the employer will prepare to facilitate the future employment of dismissed employees.

Therefore, bringing bad news to people requires courage and preparation. Sometimes a well-rehearsed conversation helps the interlocutors understand that the events are not so bad for them. Even in the salary reduction, you can see the advantages: someone will be glad to change the schedule or the opportunity to be at home more often. At the same time, the emphasized attention to employees and their interests will keep the rest of the team from hasty conclusions and actions and prevent the spread of negative reviews about an employer.

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Conclusion

To sum up, the difference in the working atmosphere has a wide range of new opportunities for benefits for entrepreneurs and businesses and some significant advantages and disadvantages. Diversity and inclusivity in the workplace stimulate innovation, facilitate entry into new markets and generate financial benefits. Employees, being in such “mixed” collectives, feel that they are being heard. Accordingly, they are more likely to be motivated, perform better, and perform better in conditions that ensure practical cooperation and participation. However, some people are more likely to be discriminated against and attacked because of different cultural norms. Definitely, this is natural when colleagues face various failures in communicating with each other. However, if these critical moments are not considered at the initial stages, this can cause a decrease in labor productivity and loss of motivation.

In addition, sometimes, there are unforeseen moments that need to be solved efficiently and promptly, avoiding various risks and losses. For example, in case of claims from a business partner, one needs to immediately respond to the request and try to find a compromise, solve the problem by agreement. Besides, it is often worth resorting to ways to mitigate negative news in such unpleasant phenomena and cases. This will help to maintain a friendly attitude between people, avoid undesirable consequences. Negative information is, first of all, information, and to present it correctly; a head should prepare a speech, plan for presenting information for corporate relations not to deteriorate, and for the company to gain a positive reputation.

References

Ashman, M. (2018). Introduction to professional communications. BCcampus.

Guffey, M. E., & Loewy, D. (2021). Chapter 9: Negative messages. In M. E. Guffey & D. Loewy (Eds.), Business communication: Process & product (10th ed.) (pp. 282-323). Cengage Learning.

Luu, T. T., Rowley, C., & Vo, T. T. (2019). Addressing employee diversity to foster their work engagement. Journal of Business Research, 95, pp. 303-315. Web.

Roberson, Q., Ryan, A. M., & Ragins, B. R. (2017). The evolution and future of diversity at work. Journal of Applied Psychology, 102(3), pp. 483-499. Web.

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BusinessEssay. 2022. "Diversity and Inclusivity in the Workplace." September 15, 2022. https://business-essay.com/diversity-and-inclusivity-in-the-workplace/.

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BusinessEssay. "Diversity and Inclusivity in the Workplace." September 15, 2022. https://business-essay.com/diversity-and-inclusivity-in-the-workplace/.