The society we live in is one that is diverse across the board and one where people are increasingly more expressive and proud of their differences. There is also a growing belief in organizations that diversity is positive and encouraged in the workplace as there is much to be gained from having a rich tapestry of talent in the workplace. This previously underutilized resource is, in modern society, the difference between and organization with a wide reach and one that is not.
Managing diversity in the workplace is a process in place to create and maintain a positive environment in which the differences and similarities of the people in the organization are acknowledged, valued and celebrated. There is a wide range on literature on Diversity Management, looking at the effect that it has on organizational culture, institutional environment, and on the effects of diversity in terms of pressure, requirements, expectations and incentives. In a study conducted by Harold Andrew Patrick and Vincent Raj Kumar (2012) based on a survey of 300 IT companies, it was noted that managing diversity successfully can lead to more satisfied and better performing employees and ultimately an organization with a better financial performance.
The purpose of diversity management at Apex is to eradicate behaviours in the workplace that negatively impact the organization and also to highlight and celebrate the rich diversity of our society. The lack of cohesion in an organization, in terms of diversity, is at times as a result of:
“• Prejudice: an unfair and unreasonable opinion or feeling, especially when formed without enough thought or knowledge; an unjustified negative attitude toward a person based on his or her membership in a particular group
- Ethnocentrism: a tendency to regard one’s own group, culture, or nation as superior to others
- Stereotypes: a fixed idea about what a particular type of person is like, especially an idea that is wrong; a set of beliefs about a group that is applied universally to all members of that group
- Blaming the victim: making incorrect casual attributions linking aggressions with perceived characteristics of groups
- Discrimination: barring an individual from membership in an organization or from a job because of his or her membership of a particular group
- Harassment: consciously shunning verbally or physically abusing an individual because of membership in a particular group
- Backlash: negative reaction to members of previously underrepresented groups gaining power and influence” -Harold Andrew Patrick and Vincent Raj Kumar (2012)
What we believe
We at Apex People Solutions do not believe that diversity is a problem that needs to be fixed but rather a resource that needs to be tapped into. We believe that peoples’ differences are what makes them great and that this should be encouraged in the workplace. Everyone has something different to offer, a different approach to a problem, a different perspective or solution that is based on diverse life experiences.
In order to harness this and create an environment where diversity is acknowledged, respected and celebrated, we believe that people need to understand of each other. For example, different cultures have different ways of showing respect while communicating. Where others make, and maintain direct eye contact in a conversation, others avoid eye contact and maintain a slightly bowed head throughout a conversation. Failing to understand this may lead to conflict or a lack of trust, which could easily be avoided by highlighting and celebrating peoples’ differences and similarities. This approach to diversity would also translate to how employees interact with clients and potential clients.
We believe that through the adoption of certain practices and initiatives, diversity can be highlighted and celebrated in the workplace. We seek to create an environment where diversity is not just tolerated but understood, accepted and celebrated to create a tribe that is able to trust each other enough to learn from each other in order to create a more collaborative environment.
Decades worth of research has consistently illustrated the economic benefit of diversity and inclusion.
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