Creating an Inclusive Workplace The Role of Management

Creating an Inclusive Workplace: The Role of Management

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Creating an Inclusive Workplace: The Role of Management

Introduction

Employees are some of the most important assets in many organizations. Equipped with various skills, knowledge, and experiences, employees engage in various organizational activities such as production of goods and service with the aim of helping the organization attain its objectives. In addition, employees also provide important insight into the overall consumer experience. With this in mind, it is therefore clear that employees are an important part of an organization growth, development, success, and survival in the market. As a result, it is the responsibility of the management in the organizations to ensure that employees operate in an environmental friendly workplace in order for them to provide their maximum services to the organization. To ensure that employees operate in an environmental friendly workplace, management is charged with the responsibility of adopting various strategies such as educational and training, monitoring, diversity structure, benefits, equal opportunity policies, and market positioning in order to create an inclusive workplace for all its employees regardless of their differences in the organization.

Approaches to Creating an Inclusive Workplace

The creation and establishment of an inclusive workplace that involves all kind of people with disabilities and differences such as gender, race, age, and religion is one of the major ways in which management within different organizations can create an environmental friendly workplace (Gotsis & Kortezi, 2015). Despite the fact many organizations today create an inclusive workplace as a norm of abiding by the law, it is the responsibility of organizations out of their own will to adopt and establish strategies, policies, and procedures that support an inclusive workplace. By establishing an inclusive workplace, organizations are able to increase awareness of various cultural differences within the organization, while adding value approach that enables the organization to perform well. Bearing this in mind, Cooke& Saini (2010) indicate that one of the major ways organization management can create an inclusive workplace is by establishing educational and training programs which raise cultural awareness within the organization. According to Grissom (2018), diversity and inclusion training and education within an organization is of great importance as it enable the management drive home the importance of an inclusive workplace. For instance, through inclusive and diversity training and education, management is able to provide its leaders with various necessary tools which enable them to leverage different types of skill sets to their team member. Smith, (2020) indicates that in so doing, the management is able to overcome cases of stereotypes within the organization while at the same time breaking down any form of behavior which is considered counterproductive in creating an inclusive and diversified workplace.

Education and Training

Apart from adopting education and training as a method of creating an inclusive work environment, the adoption of the egalitarian approach is another common method management can use to establish an inclusive and diverse workplace. For any organization to be able to operate effectively and efficiently, equality in form of equal treatment in gender, economic status, religion, and political beliefs is important. With this regard, Cooke& Saini (2010) indicate that through the egalitarian approach, organizations are able to ban any kind of differential treatment that occurs in the organization especially as a result of organization hierarchy. By adopting this approach, all employees become team members and equal rules and regulations apply to all regardless of the position occupied in the organization.

The Egalitarian Approach

While the egalitarian approach is recognized as one of management’s approaches to an inclusive workforce, Cooke& Saini (2010) also indicate that the establishment of workplace welfare committees by management can also be of great significance in creating an inclusive workplace. By establishing these committees, each with representatives from the various groups within the organization, the organization is able to address workplace welfare problems on regular basis hence ensuring that the diverse preferences and needs of all employees in the organization are met as far as possible. In doing, management is able to create an inclusive working environment for all employees.

Favorable Implementation of Inclusive Policies

The implementation of inclusion and anti-discrimination policies is another major approach used by management in many organizations to establish and create an inclusive workplace (Banerji et al., 2012). Protecting the rights of employees by establishing a safe workplace free from various forms of discrimination based on race, gender, religion, age, and disability is a responsibility of many organizations in the business world. In order to achieve this and ensure an inclusive working place, the management of various organizations is charge with the responsibility of implementing and strengthening its inclusion and anti-discrimination policies within the organization (Grissom, 2018). By implementing these policies, for instance, the anti-discrimination policy, management is able to outline what the organization consider as being acceptable behavior among the employees in all levels. In addition, these policies also signify management’s level of commitments in addressing some of the major issues considered counterproductive in creating an inclusive and diversified workplace.

Inclusive Leadership Culture

Practicing inclusive leadership still remains one of the most common approaches management in various organizations use in creating and establishing an inclusive workforce (Ashikali et al., 2020). In many organizations, inclusive leaders play a very important role of creating a safe, secure, and welcoming workplace environment for most organizational employees. In so doing, employees are able to feel welcome and capable of expressing their issues freely without being judged. Additionally, by creating a collaborative relationship among employees, inclusive leaders are able to establish open communication where positive conflict among employees can flourish. Therefore, by creating a safe and secure space for organizational employees to challenge some of the existing assumptions, inclusive leaders are able to create room for innovative thinking to flourish. In so doing, employees are able to come together and exchange their ideas on various issues. With this in mind, it is therefore accurate to note that by practicing inclusive leadership, management is able to establish and create an inclusive working environment.

Contemporary Approaches

Ensuring an equal opportunity policy which involves issues regarding gender identity and sexual orientation is an important starting point for any organization looking to establish and create a safe and inclusive working environment for its different employees such as the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (Banerji & Vernon 2012). In places such as India where there is no anti-discrimination law to protect individuals such as LGBT employees in organization, it is the responsibility of the management to create a safe and secure working environment for its LGBT personnel by including a grievance handling approach or mechanism within their policy for those persons who believe that they are victims of harassment and discrimination or have seen such events (Cech & Rothwell, 2020). This policy of course should provide anonymity for these employees. By providing such policy (equal opportunity policy) to employees, management is able to ensure that there is no discrimination in retention, recruitment, development, and training of employees on the basis of disability, age, political opinion, gender, race, belief, religion, HIV/AIDS status, spent conviction, marital status, and socio-economic background of individuals. In so doing management is able to create an inclusive working environment.

If organizations around the world are serious about using inclusion and diversity to assist their organizations become more competitive, it is accurate to note that both sporadic and ad hoc inclusion strategies will not achieve this goal. However, in order to achieve this goal, it is imperative to establish an internal diversity structure that encourages inclusivity and diversity of all employees such as the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) and ensure that it is done consistently and strategically in all parts of the organization (Banerji & Vernon 2012). Apart from this, the internal diversity strategy also provides responsibility and establishes an agenda or plan with clear expectations. In so doing, this ensures that employees such as the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues are championed (Bell et al., 2011). Therefore, bearing this in mind, it is clear that through the establishment of an internal diversity structure, management of many organizations is able to create an inclusive workplace that recognizes every individual of varying gender, race, age, sexual orientation, religion, and ethnicity.

Around the world today, a huge number of employees have become dependent on their employers to provide them with benefits such as pension and insurance programs. However due to lack of recognition of some employees who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender many of these employees are denied benefits which in one way or another impacts their financial benefits, and retirement and insurance benefits (Banerji & Vernon 2012). While some of the leading companies identify the need of providing benefits to the employees regardless of their diversities, few companies have not been able to extend these benefits to some of their employees due to their diversities for instance being lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. Therefore, Bell et al. (2011) indicate that in order for management to create an inclusive workforce regardless of their diversities, extending various forms of benefits to their employees is likely to be an important consideration to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees and a competitive differentiator for a company that is seeking to attract more consumers and talented employees.

Eventually, it is the overall corporate culture of the organization that will determine the impact and effectiveness of its lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender inclusion initiative (Cech & Rothwell, 2020). It is important that the organizational working environment for diverse individuals feels valued and respected so that they be able to bring themselves to work on a daily basis without any form of discrimination. In order to achieve this, it requires a commitment to an inclusive and open workplace of the highest level. With this in mind, it is therefore important to note that corporate culture is an important element in the organization and without a number of interventions within the organization will become impossible to achieve. In regard to this, the management of different organizations can therefore create an inclusive workplace by using a corporate culture which ensures that all employees irrespective of their diversities feel valued and welcomed for the unique contributions they make in the organization.

Way Forward for Future Inclusive Workplaces

Looking beyond the normal workplace, it is imperative for organizations to put into consideration their approach to the external market. Bearing in mind that the internal workplace in not the only place occupied by people with different diversities, it is important of business organizations to think of how they will approach the external wider market which is full of people with different diversities such as gay, lesbians, bisexual, and transgender (Cech & Rothwell, 2020). Like the internal environment, it is imperative for business organizations to know and understand that the external environment which host diverse individuals can as well provide enormous opportunities for the organization. Therefore, as organizations develop strategies and approaches to capture the market share of the diverse population of gay, lesbians, bisexual, and transgender, it is imperative for them to do so in an appropriate and respectful manner (Gotsis & Kortezi, 2015). In regard to this, it is therefore clear that management of an organization can create an inclusive workplace through market positioning an approach which requires the company to engage the market in an appropriate and respectful manner.

Facilitation data collection in regard to gender identity and sexual orientation by adding gay, bisexual, lesbians, and transgender demographic questions to personnel satisfaction or engagement survey, can be of great importance if organizations will monitor performance of their gay, bisexual, lesbians, and transgender workforce and ensure that there is equality and equal treatment in the workplace. Banerji & Vernon (2012) indicates that despite the benefits associated, data confidentiality and protection is a very sensitive issue and in most cases various companies do not use the data collected. However, a vast majority of these companies can sometimes use the data collected to monitoring purposes such as tracking grievances and complaints raised by gay, bisexual, lesbians, and transgender employees. Bearing this in mind, it is therefore clear to note that management of various organizations can create an inclusive workplace through monitoring of data collected to track and respond to grievances and complaints reported by gay, bisexual, lesbians, and transgender employees.

In most cases, management should recognize that companies have a sphere of influence and for there to be inclusive workforce, there is need to focus on the community and advocacy. Positive change will not only be noticeable at the corporate sector but it will also be noticed at the wider community, only if companies will be encouraged to towards taking active roles in supporting and promoting gay, bisexual, lesbians, and transgender individual rights. Therefore, it is recommended for companies to take part in some of the external gay, bisexual, lesbians, and transgender activities in different communities in the external environment. According to Cech & Rothwell, (2020), companies are also encouraged to publicize their practices and efforts via the social media or otherwise so as to be role models to gay, bisexual, lesbians, and transgender.

Conclusion

In conclusion, employees are some of the most important assets in many organizations. . As a result, it is the responsibility of the management in the organization to ensure that employees operate in an environmental friendly workplace in order for them to provide their maximum services to the organization. In regard to this, management of the organization therefore adopts various strategies such as education and training, monitoring, diversity structure, benefits, equal opportunity policies, and market positioning in order to create an inclusive workplace for all its employees regardless of their differences in the organization. For instance, diversity and inclusion training and education within an organization is of great importance as it enable the management drive home the importance of an inclusive workplace. Through inclusive and diversity training and education, organization management is able to provide its leaders with various necessary tools which enable them to leverage different types of skill sets to their team member. In regard to leadership, creating a safe and secure space for organizational employees to challenge some of the existing assumptions, inclusive leaders are able to create room for innovative thinking to flourish. In so doing, employees are able to come together and exchange their ideas on various issues.

References

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