barriers to diversity in the workplace

How To Overcome The 5 Most Common Barriers To Diversity In The Workplace

Diversity is now standard in the majority of organizations. Businesses can communicate with clients and customers worldwide thanks to new technology. The corporate world is internally realizing the advantages of diversity, such as its abundance of information, experience, and viewpoints. We may encourage creativity, ingenuity, problem-solving, and insight by appreciating their differences.

Nevertheless, a lot of obstacles can stand in the way of developing a truly inclusive workplace culture, even for countries known for their diverse society like Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, etc. Continue reading to find out more about how to promote greater inclusion, dissolve barriers to diversity in the workplace, and improve company success.

Potential Barriers To Diversity In The Workplace

Even though diversity might become the new standard, there may be issues with it that need to be taken care of. Ignoring ingrained prejudices can result in a number of problems at work, such as:

Unconscious bias and stereotypes

Many people may think of themselves as tolerant, loving, and open-minded, yet they may not be conscious of their own prejudices. An individual’s upbringing might impart unconscious bias, which can affect how they subjectively interpret experiences and occurrences.

Additionally, internalized preconceptions about other groups may distort their judgments. These things can have a significant impact on how people relate to one another at work and stall efforts to promote diversity until they are addressed.

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Resistance to Change

Some people’s aversion to change is another obstacle to diversity and inclusion training. The training’s subjects or activities may make them feel uneasy, defensive, or threatened. Establishing a secure and encouraging learning atmosphere where participants may voice their opinions, pose questions, and exchange experiences is necessary to get past this obstacle. 

Lack of Accountability and Commitment from Leadership

Even though many leaders promote diversity values, they lack the courage to stand up for these principles when times are difficult. Employees may feel insecure and unprotected under this kind of leadership, and it may also convey the idea that poor behavior at work has no repercussions.

Poor Communication and Misunderstandings

Communication problems may arise in workplaces with diversity. Ineffective communication can result in accidental insults, mistrust, and ambiguous workplace policies.

Companies trying to promote diversity in the workplace may run into trouble communicating with foreign workers who speak different languages, have different schedules, or adhere to distinct cultural customs. In these types of circumstances, it can be very simple to inadvertently offend someone.

Steps To Build Inclusive Policies & Training Programs For Your Company

Diversity obstacles are real and will remain so; the responsibility is on you to address them in a responsible and respectful manner. Great managers may break down obstacles related to diversity in the workplace by following these steps:

Step 1: Assessing the Current Climate

Assessing your current culture objectively is the first step toward promoting diversity in your organization. A very important first step toward developing a more inclusive culture at your organization can be developing a diversity mission that is consistent with your core values.

Establishing and supporting employee resource groups (ERGs), observing heritage months, and providing staff training on inclusive language are all good ways to start putting these initiatives into practice.

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Step 2: Developing Inclusive Policies

The organization benefits from a varied workforce that encompasses a range of demographics, including age, race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and country of origin.  

With inclusive policies, businesses can create definite procedures and regulations that support an equitable culture. Everyone is aware of their responsibilities with regard to inclusion and diversity in the workplace when clear policies and procedures are defined. Workers are assured that they will receive equitable treatment and human decency.

For example, flexible workplace policies can be applied to accommodate diverse cultures. Employee satisfaction at work is high as a result, outweighing the benefits of remote working. Additionally, businesses should maximize productivity by integrating suitable workspace software like Acall to support these flexible strategies. 

Step 3: Implementing Comprehensive Training Programs

Employees who receive diversity training are better equipped to foster an inclusive workplace because they have the requisite information, abilities, and awareness. Without it, some workers might not even be aware of the initiatives in the first place, or they might continue to be unaware that they have any kind of bias.

Companies should incorporate diversity and inclusion training on a regular basis into their programs for learning and growth. This regularity guarantees that workers have up-to-date knowledge and skills and emphasizes the significance of these issues.

Step 4: Fostering an Inclusive Culture

It’s crucial to remember that an inclusive culture does not aim to downplay team member diversity. Companies that foster an inclusive workplace, on the other hand, are cultivating a climate in which workers are valued for their diversity. This aids in motivating every worker to adhere to the same standards.

Additionally, inclusivity might increase worker engagement. In addition to greeting coworkers in the morning, attending meetings, brainstorming with their team, and arriving and finishing work on time, engaged employees can also take part in team-building exercises. This is even more crucial in countries like Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, etc.

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Step 5: Measuring Progress and Holding Accountability

Business executives and staff can be held accountable for ensuring that the company is moving closer to a diverse workplace by tracking its progress through progress measurement. You can assess the effectiveness of your efforts to promote diversity and inclusion by monitoring changes over time. This allows you to modify it as necessary.

Step 6: Continuous Improvement and Adaptation

Success in the modern corporate world depends on one’s ability to quickly adapt to change. It is no longer optional for organizations to build resilience. It is essential for all businesses. You can create a system that makes it simpler to try out new concepts and swiftly apply modifications by using continuous improvement.

Conclusion

Awareness of diversity can play a significant role in promoting an inclusive work environment and valuing the perspectives of colleagues. Barriers to diversity in the workplace are strengthened and fostered through awareness training. Whatever kind of business you run, it’s critical to maintain an open mind. You may achieve this by finding a middle ground where people can accept and value diversity.

As you navigate the complexities of diversity at work, you can utilize Acall’s revolutionary possibilities. Not only does Acall streamline communication, but it’s a full-featured platform that easily incorporates collaboration into all aspects of your business’s diversity. Contact us now.

1. How can a company address unconscious bias and stereotypes in the workplace?

Addressing unconscious bias begins with awareness training to help employees recognize their biases. Implementing structured and standardized processes for recruitment, evaluation, and promotion can also mitigate the impact of bias.

2. What can leadership do to show commitment to diversity?

Leadership commitment is demonstrated through clear communication about the value of diversity, integrating diversity goals into business strategies, and being accountable by tracking diversity metrics and progress.

3. Why is continuous improvement important in diversity initiatives?

Continuous improvement is vital because societal norms and challenges evolve. Regularly reviewing and updating policies, training programs, and diversity strategies helps ensure they remain effective and relevant.

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