The top challenges of diversity and inclusion

Interested in the challenges of diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

An inclusive and diverse workplace offers many valuable benefits for every organization. A diverse 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.

But bringing a diverse group of people from different backgrounds can also bring about many challenges for organizations.

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 example, there might be generational differences in communication preferences where the younger staff prefers communication tools like Microsoft Teams and Slack, while the older team prefers 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

The more diverse team members you have, the more likely your employees will experience biases, discrimination, and harassment. Consequently, some employees might not feel like they can bring their authentic selves to work since they’re afraid of being judged. Discrimination can hinder creativity, teamwork, and innovation.

Stereotypes and prejudice

It’s not uncommon for team members in diverse teams to experience some form of prejudice and 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 a 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. Additionally, you should mention that discrimination and prejudice will not be tolerated in the workplace during the onboarding and recruitment processes. 

Less trust

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, the people from the 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 aren’t giving their all during team meetings and other discussions. 

You can boost trust and transparency in your team 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 physiological safety. 

If you want to improve your company’s workplace diversity and inclusion, visit the Corporate Class website today. 

We over bespoke services that allow you to create an inclusive and diverse workplace while simultaneously boosting employee engagement and productivity.

Interpersonal communication skills in the workplace

How well do you communicate with others? Developing your interpersonal people skills can be vital for your career success. There is a continuous flow of communication in any business setting, both non-verbally and verbally, in person and online. When employees can not effectively navigate this flow of communication, it will be detrimental to the productivity of business processes.

Interpersonal Communication and Remote Work

With the emergence of the pandemic, we have all witnessed a change in the way that peers communicate. Businesses have learned to rely more on digital platforms to facilitate communication between employees to reach business goals. Companies must try to retain effective communication and drive conversations even when employees work from different places. In this way, businesses will grow resilient to change as their processes won’t be interrupted due to remote working.

The Components of Interpersonal Communication

To fully develop good communication skills in the workplace, you must understand the different components of communication.

  1. Communicators: Both the sender and the receiver of a message are seen as communicators, and each interaction must have at least two communicators.
  2. Message: The message can be conveyed in many different ways depending on the situation. You can convey a message through speech, body language, tone of voice, gestures, eye contact, facial expressions, etc. Verbal messages can go hand-in-hand with non-verbal communication that adds more context, shows deception, interest, and confidence (or lack thereof).
  3. Noise: This refers to barriers that can impede or distort the message that the sender is trying to convey. This includes things like Jargon, language barriers, interruptions, literal noise, inattention, etc.
  4. Feedback: This is the response that the receiver gives to the original message. This creates a two-way flow of communication, allowing the sender to know that the receiver understands the message.
  5. Context: There are many different contexts in which communication can occur, such as the environmental, political, cultural, social, and emotional contexts. The context of the conversation dramatically impacts the expected tone and direction of the communication.
  6. Channel: How is this message being communicated? The medium that is used for communication is just as important as the context. This can be in person, in writing, online, etc.

How to Improve Interpersonal Communication in the Workplace

Employees are becoming more aware of the importance of having good interpersonal skills as the business climate continues to change amid the pandemic.  Although communication skills can be challenging to measure, you can develop them through practice and awareness.

Here are some tips that you can follow to become a good communicator:

  1. Do your research: Gather some facts about good interpersonal communication and prepare for meaningful conversations that you are planning to have. Ensure you know what you want to communicate before going into meetings or planning e-mails and interactions.
  2. Consider who you will be talking to: Consider the personalities and mindsets of the other participants of an interaction. Find the right time and channel for your message and adapt your communication style accordingly. Some communications are best suited for face-to-face meetings, while others can simply take place on email.
  3. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses: Self-evaluation can be very useful when developing soft skills such as social skills and people skills. You can also ask for constructive feedback from coworkers and managers as a learning opportunity for future interactions.

Developing strong interpersonal skills can have many benefits for you, from helping you streamline your work and solve problems to facilitating conflict management and conveying important information to colleagues and managers.