Does your workplace have an interpersonal wellness plan that includes diversity management?
With the month of February being Black history month and the month of March being observed as diversity month, this is a time of year when many people ask the same question. Are there still issues of discrimination, exclusion and racism in workplaces? In an ideal world the answer would be an emphatic No! However this is not a perfect world so the answer I unfortunately have to give is yes, we do have those issues present in the workplace today.
Even with respectful workplace and anti-harassment policies and procedures in place many workplaces are still challenged with issues of either prejudice or discrimination in the workplace. Often it can be as subtle as name calling, demeaning jokes or at times it is just outright exclusion of an individual because of orientation, race, language or even one’s accent can be the cause of one being shunned in the workplace.
What we have also come to realize is that conflicts that arise from issues of diversity culture or otherwise are very pervasive and presents various levels and dimensions that takes a very comprehensive approach of analysis and resolution. It is for that reason we have been focusing on helping our clients over the past five years, to integrate diversity competency coaching to help their employees and their organizations better weed out those lingering yet challenging attitudes that lead to individuals acting in a manner that is exclusive, racist or discriminatory. In my work, I find it is often best to help individuals develop competencies in sensitivity, awareness and respect.
Though many organizations have policies in place to encourage these traits, very often certain employees will need further competency training to help them cultivate these behaviours. Often coaching is a very good effective and fast way to help with this competency building objective.
Joyce Odidison is a Conflict Analyst, Coach, and founder of Interpersonal Wellness Services Inc. & Coaching Institute. She consults, teaches and coaches with mid-career professionals and organizations to improve performance within the workplace. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at: 1-877-999-9591.