Discrimination in the workplace remains a persistent problem facing many organizations. Discrimination is commonly based on religion, gender, race, or other factors that define individuals. It can be manifested in crude ways like physical abuse or in more subtle forms like differences in performance reviews or the benefits they receive. Employers have the responsibility to stop discrimination and promote equality and diversity in the workplace.
Training employees is the first step towards ending workplace discrimination. Employers must educate their employees on all forms of workplace discrimination and the possible adverse effects on them and the company. This could be achieved by constructing an employee manual or handbook, which defines discrimination and establishes expectations. The handbook should also provide details of the potential disciplinary actions that could accompany discriminatory practices. Regular in-house workshops and meetings should be scheduled to discuss mechanisms for reporting such activities. Conducting training on a routine basis could ensure the organization is proactive in addressing diversity and discrimination in the workplace. These training sessions will allow the leadership to define and explain potential factors, such as inappropriate language contributing to a discriminatory work environment.
Employee training alone is not enough to change an individual’s perspectives about discrimination and diversity. Notably, racism is ingrained in cultural stereotypes, beliefs, and attitudes due to implicit bias. Employers could actively eliminate bias by combining training with diversity policies that create a culture of inclusion. Creating a culture of inclusion implies that the company must abolish some previous policies and introduce new ones. The policies could range from compensation to performance evaluations to recruitment systems. There are various ways for modeling company policies for a diverse workforce. Adopting a recruitment process that caters for applicants from a range of sources such as job fairs and hiring consultancies among others could ensure the company draws a diverse pool of talents. Demonstrating a commitment to diversity and rethinking workforce policies could end discrimination and cultivate a culture of equality and inclusivity in the work environment.