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How to Manage Diversity in the Workplace

Managing diversity in the workplace presents employers with a number of challenges. However, these challenges can be easily managed by employers promoting a culture of tolerance and open communication. Below are our top tips for managing diversity in the workplace.

Treat each employee as an individual

Avoid making assumptions about employees from different backgrounds. Instead, look at each employee as an individual and judge successes and failures on the individual’s merit.

Prioritise communication

To manage a diverse workplace, organisations need to ensure that they effectively communicate with employees. Policies, procedures, safety rules and other important information should be designed to overcome language and cultural barriers by translating materials and using pictures and symbols whenever applicable.

Encourage employees to work in diverse groups

Diverse work teams let employees get to know and value one another on an individual basis and can help break down preconceived notions and cultural misunderstandings.
Base standards on objective criteria

Set one standard of rules for all groups of employees regardless of background. Ensure that all employment actions, including discipline, follow these standardised criteria to make sure each employee is treated the same.

Be open-minded

Recognise, and encourage employees to recognise, that one’s own experience, background, and culture are not the only with value to the organisation. Look for ways to incorporate a diverse range of perspectives and talents into efforts to achieve organisational goals.

Recruitment

To build a diverse workplace, it is crucial to recruit and hire talent from a variety of backgrounds. This requires leadership and others who make hiring decisions to overcome bias in interviewing and assessing talent. If organisations can break through bias and hire the most qualified people, those with the right education, experience and skill sets, a diverse workplace should be the natural result.

Policies and Practices

Organisations that embrace diversity also need to ensure that there are policies and practices in place to protect employees’ rights and stay compliant with government regulations.

Zero-Tolerance Policy

Having a diverse workplace means that jokes and comments about a protected characteristic need to be met with zero-tolerance enforcement. Policies should be put in place to handle misconduct and communicate to employees that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated. Organisations also need to make sure they have a formal complaint policy, so employees know how to report misconduct within an organisation.

Training

Employees need to be aware of how to coexist with a diverse range of people, as well as be conscious of cultural sensitivity. Training can help an organisation manage diversity in the workplace by helping employees become more self-aware, which plays a vital role in helping employees understand their own cultural biases and prejudices.

If you need any help and advice in relation to the above, please do not hesitate to contact me or the employment team on 0113 350 4030 or at hello@scesolicitors.co.uk.

If you would like to be kept up to date with any changes in employment or dispute resolution law, please subscribe to our newsletter.

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SCE Solicitors is a boutique employment law practice based in Leeds which advises clients nationwide.  Please note that the information in this blog is to provide information of general interest in a summary manner and should not be construed as individual legal advice. Readers should consult with SCE Solicitors or other professional counsel before acting on the information contained here.

Top Ten Tips for Managing Millennials

Millennials are streaming into the workplace and quickly transforming company cultures. They are highly creative, social, technologically savvy, environmentally conscious and ambitious. On the other hand, they’re also impatient with ‘old-fashioned’ nine to five work days and hierarchical management structures.  Millennials are challenging the status quo, and some organisations may find them tricky to manage so following on from our article explaining what Millennials want, here are my top ten tips for managing millennials:  

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What do Millennials Want?

If you want your business to succeed in the digital age – you’ll need to recruit millennials. But first you need to understand how they differ from employees from previous generations. Born towards the end of the twentieth century, millennials are the first truly digital generation. For them, social media and smartphones are a natural part of everyday life. Where others try to keep up with new developments, millennials are ahead of the game. So, when it comes to recruiting millennials, what do they look for in employers?

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Le Tour Yorkshire and Staff Management

With only days to go for the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire, the excitement is building up in the air.  When Le Tour Yorkshire kicks off on Friday 28th April, it will bring elite pro racing to the roads of the UK once again.

However, even though Yorkshire has held this type of event for the past 3 years, for some employers’ panic might be setting in as to how best to manage their staff during this legacy event which has become very popular with roadside crowds.

If you are operating over the weekend, here are some practical tips in managing staffing issues: 

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Managing Absence: Storm Doris

As storm Doris causes disruption throughout the UK, employees are likely to encounter problems getting to work, from delayed trains, car and household damage to dangerous walking conditions. So how should employers deal with disruption caused by staff not being able to get into work? 

First port of call is review your handbook to ascertain whether or not you have a severe weather policy, in the event that you do not, then follow this simple guide: 

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Managing Employee Stress at Work

Stress affects everyone differently. Mental health is both subtle and complex.  Some sufferers display obvious and quite debilitating signs of stress, others manage to mask their anguish from the world by going about their work with little or no visual clues.  Add to that the stigma mental health problems bring with them and employers can often feel like it is impossible to tackle this taboo.

Here we offer our tips on how employers can seek to support employees suffering with stress at work and adhere to their general duty of care towards the health and wellbeing of all employees.  With the right knowledge and support, employers can prevent stress at work leading to long term absence.

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Love in the Workplace: Managing Personal Relationships

Undoubtedly the rise of social media has had an impact upon how many people meet their significant other but, the fact remains, many people still meet partners through work.  It’s not surprising really given the amount of time we spend at work but, for some employers, learning of a new office romance can leave them feeling on edge.  

Employers cannot, of course, ban personal relationships at work but, where these could possibly have a detrimental impact upon the workplace, certain steps can be taken to minimise any issues that may arise. Employers must be mindful of striking a balance between an employee’s right to a private life with the need to protect its business interests.  Here are some top tips for managing relationships at work.

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New Year’s Resolution Three; Review Your Personnel Files

Over the last few weeks we’ve been bringing you our recommended New Year’s resolutions to get your employment documentation in top shape.  So far, we’ve covered reviewing your employment contracts and your staff handbook, which are key documents in any employment relationship.  We hope you’ve found these useful to bring clarity and protection to your business. 

This week’s business New Year’s resolution to get your employment documentation in top shape is to review your personnel files.  All staff should have a personnel file but, in our experience, the contents of these vary from business to business.  So read our top tips below for what they should contain.

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Summer is Here! Dress Codes in the Workplace

As I sit in the office, sunshine streaming through the windows (not that I am complaining), fans blowing from every angle trying to inject some cool air into the office, I cannot help but wonder how many employees are uncomfortable at work right now as a result of the heat; only two days into ‘summer’.  I am under no illusion that by the time you read this article, the sunshine will have waned but, ever the optimist, hopefully we’ll see more of the glorious weather we have been treated to this weekend.

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Obesity Discrimination; Is This Already Covered By The Equality Act?

The 2016 Budget confirmed the Government would introduce the Sugar Tax, in a bid to reduce levels of childhood obesity within the UK.  Taxes on ‘fatty foods’ have on the cards for some time but there were mixed reactions.  Some thought the tax punished poorer families, some stated it didn’t go far enough, whilst others praised the idea that the money raised from the tax would go to fund school sports.

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