- Alan Joyce">
Diversity and Etiquette in the Workplace - [website] Email Print
Published: 10th of Sep 2021 by: Staff Writer

"We have a very diverse environment and a very inclusive culture, and those characteristics got us through the tough times. Diversity generated a better strategy, better risk management, better debates, and better outcomes."
- Alan Joyce

Diversity and etiquette in the workplace is a hot topic and something every organisation should:
(1) Do introspection on and
(2) Prioritize to implement and improve.
At Staff Training our courses often include both of these topics together, for the following reasons...

The relationship between the two can be something which requires explaining; on the surface they appear to be two very separate concepts. In reality, the two are inextricably interlinked. For the purpose of this blog, I'm looking at each of these concepts in the context of the workplace, with the emphasis placed on relationships between colleagues and facilitating the type of harmonious environment which all companies covet.

Why? Because harmony amongst the members of an organisation promotes productivity - pure and simple. Disharmony promotes low morale, lack of buy-in, every person for themselves and miscommunication - all serious killers of productivity.

So let's unpack diversity first. Diversity simply means a wide range. When applying this term to the workplace it most commonly comes up with regard to the different types of people comprising an organisation. It often gets applied to issues such as race, religion, age, gender, skill-sets and personality types. These are generally the concepts we work with on our workshops because they are the issues most cited when we speak about conflict in the workplace. And with good reason.

A lack of understanding and appreciation for these differences is not only common amongst groups of people, it's particularly deadly within an organisation. It flourishes in the dark - so the more people shy away from addressing issues, the worse they get. Addressing these issues however, needs to done in a professional and structured environment, not as 'quick lecture by some manager'.

Enter the concept of etiquette and it's relation to diversity. Once we've identified and surfaced the areas where people aren't coping with diversity, we need to work with each of them - truly explore the fundamental issues and seek to establish effective lines of communication. Our ultimate goal is to get people to bring a much higher level of honesty and openness with them into their interactions with each other in order to promote a high level of trust.

Once we have started with this process we then need to establish ground rules regarding respectful behaviour towards each other - in other words, we need to understand and implement etiquette.

You see, the concept of etiquette is far more profound than knowing which knife and fork to use - it's a set of behaviours which promotes standardised and fair treatment of those around us. It's essential that each and every person in the organisation understands the reason for and subscribes to this set of rules. It's what keeps bad behaviour in check by providing a bench mark for what's acceptable and what isn't.

So you can see how diversity and etiquette go hand in hand and the importance for both when seeking to promote a harmonious and productive work environment.

Click here to find out more about our Business Etiquette and Diversity workshop: Business Etiquette and Diversity

Staff Training is a South African soft skills training provider with more than 60 workshops on offer.

Email us at info@StaffTraining.co.za for more info or give us a call at 0861 996 660

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