The norm in the recruiting process is presenting what appears to be employees of different cultural backgrounds and sexual orientations. Potential candidates are excited for the opportunity to work in a diverse environment where all ideals are accepted. Once an employee is hired they show up to orientation. At that time a series of self-directed trainings and videos are required to move forward to the next point of the employment process.
That’s where an employee now learns that diversity is a concept. It is not meant to be shared or discussed. This is where we find out that you cannot speak about your race, political preference, gender, culture, or religion. Just like that, diversity is stripped from everyone and we are all the same.
This is an issue in the work environment. Companies cannot fear diversity in a way that rules are presented making everyone the same. In order for a company to truly grow and receive the best from their employees that were hired, it is time to stop the false representation of diverse company environments. A company that fears a possible disagreement between employees or a possible law suit if someone mentions the very thing that makes them diverse, is really in fear of a true diverse work environment.
In order to break this cycle, begin sharing cultural events with the company. Invite all employees to be part of these events. Allow employees to share their diverse views and trust in the hiring process that you hired mature employees who can accept each other’s difference. Discourage negative remarks and discussion that leads to argument. Establish a training program that actually teaches diversity as opposed to discouraging the true inclusive environment.
Once companies begin to truly embrace diversity, employee morale will increase. In addition, the quality of life will improve for the company as whole. The tension and fear of appreciating diversity will be gone. Employees will feel free to provide valuable input that can help the company succeed.
Juanita Espino B.S. Comm., M.A.Ed.
Communications Consultant and Professional Advisor