Creating an Open and Productive Workplace Environment
A WORKPLACE OF DIFFERENCE® program offers some suggestions for creating and maintaining a productive and positive workplace environment.
Establish and/or reissue the company’s policies and practices by which harassment is handled. Enforce them consistently.
State your company’s commitment to diversity as an integral part of the company’s mission, vision, strategy or other organizational planning process.
Maintain a strong and visible profile by modeling appropriate behavior and language.
Develop and enhance diversity skills. Encourage quality discussions. Sponsor a lunchtime panel or a focus forum. Discourage workplace gossip and diffuse rumors.
Treat all people with respect and dignity. Encourage others to work with you, not against you! Try to stress the positive in every situation.
Allow people to get to know who you are and take time to get to know others. Respect people’s privacy and protect your own.
Meet with employees to openly communicate a shared responsibility for all diversity initiatives and to encourage their input and participation.
Acknowledge and support employees who assume leadership roles for implementing diversity initiatives.
Create an environment for exploration of diversity in your office and throughout the workplace. Display culturally-based items (flags of countries you are affiliated with, photos of family members, posters, interesting cultural artifacts, etc.).
Be willing to stand up for your beliefs. Try to leave your own and other people’s self-esteem intact.
Learn about other people’s cultures. Pay attention to active and passive opportunities! Ask questions that invite explanation and understanding! Be open to giving and receiving information!
Take time to talk WITH people, not AT them. Be flexible. There is usually more than one way to accomplish a task or reach a goal.
Be someone’s mentor or protégée.
Learn as much as you can about the organization’s mission, vision, values and people. Be inclusive. Share information.
Take an active role in issues that are important to you. Remember...silence and inaction are the voice of complicity.