How to Respect Workplace Diversity

by Oct 7, 2013

Workplace diversity entails more than simply race and gender. Today’s office environment includes people from different ethnicity, age, education, and even income level. The importance of having mutual respect in the workplace not only helps foster a positive work environment, but also brings the melting pot of employees together. However, when diversity is poorly managed, it can lead to resentment among employees.

Benefits of Workplace Diversity

Each employee has his or her life experiences they bring to work everyday. These different points of view can be beneficial to your organization. Different approaches often mean more creative ideas and ways to work around any adversity the company faces.

Encourage Ideas

Respect is important when it comes to sharing ideas. Without mutual respect in the workplace, some employees might not share ideas because of the fear of being ridiculed. When your co-workers feel respected, they will be more receptive to share ideas with you on future projects.

Foster Teamwork

Teams are successful when all team members feel valued. Bringing together a group of employees and teaching them to respect workplace diversity can equip the whole team to quickly deal with adversity. When group members are able to respect one another for their beliefs and differences, the organization will be more productive.

Reduce Conflict

Conflicts slow down the productivity of employees since it prevents them from working together. It creates resentment and can lower the morale of the employees. Having respect for workplace diversity is critical. When both parties have respect for one another, it can be easier to resolve conflict because they won’t feel discriminated against when they don’t get what they want.

Are workplaces really becoming more disrespectful? How else can you establish a respectful working environment?

About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

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