Successfully Implementing Diversity Management

memduh turan

Memduh Turan

January 31, 2023 • 5 minutes read

The Equal Treatment Act obliges companies to ensure equal opportunities and rights for all employees. But how can diversity and inclusion be implemented in practice? We will take a closer look at the potential of Diversity Management, if done right.

diversity management

What is Diversity Management?

Diversity Management is part of personnel management and describes the promotion of social and cultural diversity in the company. "Diversity" encompasses not only characteristics such as gender, age, ethnic origin, or sexual orientation but also cultural backgrounds, professional expertise, and physical limitations.

The goal of Diversity Management is to create an inclusive and respectful working environment where every employee feels welcome and valued. By incorporating diverse perspectives and skills, companies and organizations can enhance their innovation and competitiveness while increasing the satisfaction and motivation of their employees.

What does Diversity Management include?

Diversity Management entails various approaches and measures, such as:

  • Targeted recruitment and promotion of employees with different backgrounds
  • Training of executives and employees on diversity topics
  • Implementation of diversity policies and goals
  • Continuous maintenance and analysis of diversity data

Diversity Management has external and internal impacts on companies. By promoting diversity and inclusion, companies can fulfill their social responsibility, improve their performance and competitiveness, and create a positive working atmosphere.

Diversity in Your Work Environment

How diverse is your own work environment? We want to provide suggestions for more diversity based on the following points:

  1. Analyze your employee structure and create facts about the distribution of gender, age, marital status, origin, ethnic identity, etc., in relation to respective positions. What is the distribution, and who makes decisions in your company? Are different perspectives considered in decision-making processes?
  2. Gain an understanding of the existing corporate culture. How open are your employees to the promotion of diversity in the company? And how does the corporate leadership position itself in this regard? Based on the status quo analysis from the first point, it is essential to evaluate support from the management level. Because only with support from the top can new values be incorporated and realized in the corporate culture.
  3. Establish a range of leadership and awareness training to actively counter prevailing stereotypes. A concrete example of the latter could be "Unconscious Bias." The term refers to unconscious thought patterns developed through the social environment in which one grew up and are deeply rooted. While it makes sense that we all use these mental shortcuts to process millions of pieces of information per second, it is essential to continually make oneself aware of these biases and enrich them with knowledge, especially when unintentionally treating certain groups differently.
  4. Examine how your company is perceived externally. Take a clear position as a company in your industry and communicate it actively. Keyword: Employer Branding.
  5. Review your current application processes. Which target group are you addressing with your job postings, and based on what criteria are talents invited for interviews? Heterogeneous personnel structures have proven to lead to a more creative and innovative working environment.

The Scope of an Inclusion Strategy

Inclusion strategies describe the process through which companies ensure that all employees, regardless of their backgrounds, can participate equally in their day-to-day work life. This includes creating a work environment that considers and supports the needs of all employees equally.

Hence, an inclusion strategy is closely tied to the diversity management and can include various measures:

  • Establishment of flexible working hours and locations
  • Support for employees with physical or mental impairments
  • Promotion of employees with different ethnic, cultural, and professional backgrounds
  • Training of executives and employees on inclusion and diversity topics.

It is crucial to emphasize that an inclusion strategy is an ongoing process that must be regularly reviewed and adjusted. Only that way can it be ensured that all employees have the same opportunities for development and feel comfortable in the company now and in the future.

How Can Inclusive Leadership be Established?

Inclusive leadership describes how management leads and supports their employees in their development regardless of their backgrounds. Establishing inclusive leadership in the workplace can be achieved through a range of measures:

Training of Executives

In the first step, executives must develop an understanding of what inclusive leadership means and how they can adjust their leadership roles and practices accordingly. This is likely one of the biggest challenges in the Diversity Management process. It often involves uncovering and analyzing unconscious thought patterns and internalized societal constructs. Only by doing so can the needs of all employees be considered and supported.

Creation of an Appropriate Corporate Culture

An inclusion-friendly corporate culture must be role-modeled. This applies to interpersonal interactions such as promoting heterogeneous teams and openly communicating potential shortcomings. It also involves meeting actual limitations. For example, access to the workplace must be provided for physically handicapped employees.

Promotion of Diversity and Inclusion at all Levels

Diversity and inclusion should be considered in all areas of the company and in all decision-making processes. This includes both employees and executives and leadership teams. In other words, decision-makers in the company should also represent a heterogeneous group.

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