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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.

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