The media has done quite a job in bringing up topics like inclusion and diversity into the limelight. What such debates have done is to leave people with stirred emotions and a realization that they could actually do something to make the world a better place. At first, we could only locate different prisons or certain places where things like racism were often found to be the root cause of violence but once the agitation spread around the globe, it became crucial to counter it with reason and empathy.
It is a relief to see that the world on whole has now started participating in the struggle to provide a more safe and supportive environment for people of color. Beauty brands have initiated different campaigns to promote inclusion and diversity. Consequently, it is time to encourage such change in workplaces as well where most of us tend to spend at least ¾ of our day.
For senior managers, such a change demands that they begin to re-evaluate the core values that their organization is promoting. As one of the best-seller author in New York Times pointed out, “Those seeking to inspire inclusive environment should focus on three pillars: community, empathy and kindness”, the only tactic strong enough to end racism in organizations is to establish a collective understanding of how a company should unite people and bring together employees of different backgrounds, ethnicity, and race. In this regards, the management has a number of tasks to perform such:
- Find ways to encourage employees to be mindful of challenges that their co-workers face in and outside the organization.
- Teach workers to focus on core values such as respect.
- Make a conscious effort to normalize empathetic views in the workplace so that employees feel comfortable being “themselves”.
- Ensure that there is only “healthy competition” going on between workers at the same level and it does not impose value-driven behavior as that would promote negative feelings like hatred or jealousy.
- Discourage bias and discrimation against people of color and take strong actions against such activities that minorities often face.
Scrutiny of different prisons like rock hill jail in south carolina, New York, and California have already pointed out the increasing number of cases of violence that are brought to attention. At least a half of them have been initiated at a workplace where the rules and regulations were not satisfactory enough to curb such negative emotions amongst co-workers. This may point out that organizations should focus on developing leaders that inspire reconciliation and harmony. Under the supervision of such leadership, it is crucial to revisit values and determine what kind of culture a workplace aims to promote. For a tangible change, a plan of action should be introduced that takes into account different factors like cultural holidays for people of different races, religious holidays, beliefs, core values, etc. All in all, the executives and team leads then need to work consistently on the goal of incorporating diversity through their practices and communication. They should encourage such discussions amidst staff to develop a consistent tone in the workplace from up to all the way down.