The Top Diversity and Inclusion Challenges in the Workplace

The top challenges of diversity and inclusion

Interested in the diversity and inclusion challenges in the workplace?

An inclusive and diverse workplace offers many valuable benefits for every organization. Incorporating diversity in the workplace gives employees a sense of belonging, and it allows companies to solve problems with unique insights and different perspectives. 

Moreover, an inclusive work environment can boost employee engagement as diverse employees feel accepted and valued. This, in turn, also reduces turnover rates and improves productivity.

However, bringing a diverse group of people from different backgrounds can also bring about many multicultural challenges in the workplace.

This blog post will cover some of the main challenges of creating an inclusive workplace.

Communication Issues

There can be several reasons for communication issues in diverse teams. For example, language barriers, people who have hearing impairments, or even different communication styles and generational preferences. As a result, it’s crucial to address these issues before they hamper team productivity and business goals. 

An easy and effective way to address some issues is to create clear communication channels and set communication standards. For instance, there may be generational variances in communication preferences within the team, with Generation Z and Millennials favoring communication tools such as Microsoft Teams and Slack, Generation X preferring a mix of methods including email and phone calls, and Baby Boomers leaning towards traditional communication methods like emailing and phone calls.

You can combat this challenge by stipulating when the team should use communication software and when phone calls and emails are needed. 

Additionally, if there are teammates who are struggling to follow discussions in meetings, either because the language used is their second language or due to hearing loss issues, team leaders should ask team members to speak slowly and clearly. This way, all the attendees feel comfortable enough to contribute to the meeting.

Discrimination Challenges

The more diverse team members you have, the more likely your employees will experience bias, discrimination, and harassment. Consequently, some employees might not feel like they can bring their authentic selves to work since they fear being judged. Discrimination can hinder creativity, teamwork, and decision-making.

Stereotypes and Prejudice

It’s not uncommon for team members in diverse teams to experience some form of prejudice or stereotyping. Unfortunately, this can result in groups not communicating effectively or using stereotypes to avoid collaborating with their teammates.

Additionally, some team members may have particular views on religion, race, culture, or even practice. This can also lead to ineffective team communication, isolation, and disjointedness in teams. 

You can combat this challenge by setting strict guidelines via a Code of Conduct that focuses on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Additionally, you should mention that discrimination and prejudice will not be tolerated in the workplace during the onboarding and recruitment processes. 

Distrust in the Workplace

Diverse teams should have people from minority groups. However, these employees could feel as though they are mistreated compared to the employees from the major groups. As a result, they may think that senior staff members treat the major groups better. 

Consequently, people from minority groups might feel afraid to raise their concerns, work towards promotions, or voice their ideas and opinions, especially when they’re new to the job or in junior positions. This also hinders team creativity and productivity since some employees in your diverse workforce don’t give their all during team meetings and other discussions. 

You can mitigate the top challenges of diversity and inclusion in the workplace by employing leaders who make every team member feel included, accepted, and valued. This way, every employee can trust the company and get a sense of belonging among their peers. 

If you want to improve your company’s workplace diversity and inclusion, join the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion training for HR Professionals, to overcome diversity and inclusion challenges in the workplace while simultaneously boosting employees’ engagement and productivity.