Workforce diversity is imperative, and companies can no longer overlook this vital aspect. Diversity has inherent advantages. It opens markets, brings in new and unique ideas, lifts morale, and enhances productivity. In addition, according to McKinsey, companies with ethical and gender diversity perform better financially. Yet many diversity initiatives are failures—heightening tensions and hindering corporate performance.
Diversity does not come by merely achieving the recommended quotas for race or gender. Organizations have to work towards building an open and accepting culture continuously. There are some challenges in accomplishing this goal. However, companies that successfully navigate these hurdles can attain greater productivity, profits, and a dynamic work atmosphere that encourages innovative thinking.
Here are five critical diversity issues to consider in the workplace
Communication is the backbone for a smoothly functioning organization. Language, figures of speech, accents, expressions, and understanding differ greatly with multi-cultural and multi-lingual teams. Many times the local language at an office location may not be the first language for many employees. This can result in miscommunication and conflicts, which ultimately lead to delays and a decline in productivity. Language barriers can also lead to employees feeling marginalized or undervalued.
Communication training and establishing a shared vocabulary for business correspondence can help in overcoming this barrier. Additionally, encouraging employees to learn the local language or hiring bi-lingual individuals for profiles requiring interaction with global teams can be beneficial.
NAVA Software believes in creating clear communication channels between IT resources and clients. As a result, all our offshore resources are well-versed in English, which minimizes gaps in understanding due to language.
2. Visa and Accommodation Costs
Diverse teams are often global teams with individuals from different countries or regions. To include the best of resources from around the world is not an easy task for any business. There are many administrative formalities like visas and accommodation, which are time-consuming and costly. Organizations need to handle the exhaustive paperwork, including screening and assessment.
NAVA Software provides technically screened offshore talent who work remotely which reduces the burden of getting resources onshore.
3. Stereotypes and Prejudice
Lack of respect among employees can create disjointed teams that are difficult to work with. People can have certain prejudices against a race, ethnicity, or gender fueled by stereotypical presumptions. This can give rise to conflicts between employees, which may be challenging to manage. Discrimination of any kind is detrimental to progress. Organizations need to culturally sensitize their employees to develop an understanding and mutual respect for differences in culture, language, ability, and gender.
NAVA Software prides itself on being a culturally sensitive and gender-neutral employer.
4. Generation Gap
A wide age range in an organization can create a generation gap between employees. Individuals from different generations often have a different definition of corporate culture and acceptable behaviour. People from different generations may struggle to come on the same page. For example, millennials and Gen Z are quick to adapt to new technologies compared to individuals from older generations. Organizations need to bridge the gap and create an environment that fosters collaboration and where all ideas are heard.
At NAVA Software, we believe that a successful organization is made with the right mix of experienced minds and young ideas.
Diversity without inclusion is a significant challenge in companies that are only hiring diverse individuals to show numbers. Without working towards an inclusive organization, such an approach can lead to more harm than good. Businesses should focus on creating an environment where all individuals feel valued and have respect for one another. The need is to give employees the right atmosphere to foster collaborative relationships based on communication and understanding. Many employers opt for awareness workshops and employee network groups to create an inclusive workplace.
Working with individuals and catering to clients from across the globe with offshore and onshore resources, at NAVA Software, we understand the importance of diversity and inclusion. Our experiences have helped us create a work environment that nurtures relationships based on trust and respect.
In a global community aided by technological advancement, diversity is an inherent part of our world. Businesses play a pivotal role in transforming societies to become more diverse and inclusive. The financial and cultural impact of such workplaces is evident. The need is to be mindful of the key issues associated with diversity to truly reap the benefits that a multi-cultural, ethnically diverse, gender-neutral place has to offer.