Workplace diversity refers to the variety of differences between people in an organisation. That sounds simple, but diversity encompasses race, gender, ethnic group, age, personality, cognitive style, tenure, organizational function, education, background and more.
Diversity not only involves how people perceive themselves, but how they perceive others. Those perceptions affect their interactions. For a wide assortment of employees to function effectively as an organization, human resource professionals need to deal effectively with issues such as communication, adaptability and change. Diversity will increase significantly in the coming years. Successful organizations recognize the need for immediate action and are ready and willing to spend resources on managing diversity in the workplace now.
Managing Diversity is about dealing with our responses and those of others with whom we interact. Diversity is about difference. Difference is part of our human nature.
- Define the term “culture”
- Determine and discuss the elements of “culture shock”
- Explore the phases of “culture shock”
- Brainstorm strategies for adjusting to new environments and cultures
- Explore elements of cultural diversity of South Africa
- Identify situations where differences in values, practices and etiquette create misunderstandings
- Explore barriers to diversity (e.g. assumptions, prejudice, stereotyping)
- The “Culture Shock” Cycle
- Exploring Cultural Differences – “Motho ke motho ka batho” – A person is a person through other people!
- Barriers to Diversity
- Celebrate Diversity – A Way Forward
- Personal Accountability & Commitment Plan