How to manage diversity in the workplace

When one thinks about diversity in the workplace, their thoughts will likely turn towards ethnic minority and gender imbalances seen throughout the public and private sector. But while getting people of different racial and gender backgrounds into an organisation is a fantastic way to increase engagement and happiness, as it will make your company look progressive and compliant with regulations, there is more to diversity than meets the eye.

Parents

While some might not think of parents as being appropriate in discussions surrounding diversity, many firms’ drive to hire younger personnel may have damaged their workforce’s mix – surrendering the responsible, calm guiding hand that those experienced in child-rearing can bring to a management hierarchy.

But with many parents struggling to afford moving back into work because of rising nursery costs, they are looking to their employers for childcare vouchers (learn more here) and this means those that do not arrange the provision could be missing out on a valuable human resource.

Disability

Once again, disabled workers are a great addition to any employer’s roster, but some changes do need to be made if an office is to be made suitable for a wheelchair user.

While care must be taken not to presume that all disabled employees will need special dispensations – as the vast majority of people with registered long-term medical problems don’t actually use wheelchairs – it is still worth considering installing ramps, lifts and other features to cater for any situation where a movement-restricted individual needs to access your office or site.

Older people

One of the biggest, silent forms of discrimination in the private sector is the lack of older employees. Despite the fact that workers over the age of 40 have massive amounts of experience and have seen a number of trends come and go – placing them ahead of younger workers in this regard – some recruiters are reluctant to invest in personnel over this age group.

While executive staff at large companies are likely to be white males in this age category, throughout a number of organisations, people over the age of 40 struggle to be considered for promotion or new roles as bosses think they will retire or leave quickly, even though the average age people leave the workforce is around 64.8 years old for men and 62.3 for women.

Additionally, retirement can be delayed if the right incentives are put in place and this means it is important employers get their benefits in order so that value can be added in a cheap and efficient manner.

While pay increases would likely suffice in courting workers near retirement, this can be very expensive and will inflate HR budgets to a potentially unacceptable level.

Offering cost-effective vouchers, low CO2 cars or even bicycles can represent a sensible way to add value to an older staff member’s paycheck without breaking the bank.

People from different educational backgrounds

There is currently a drive among businesses to get as many graduates as possible into the workplace, but it has been shown time and time again that some personnel with few or no formal qualifications can add substantial value to an organisation.

University leavers are fantastic at bringing in their know-how to an organisation, but those who left the education system at the age of 16 can often bring a common sense approach to business that will spark innovation to your office.

Author: Guest

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