If you are an employer, then you are probably thinking about the best way to run the business and compete effectively. This involves paying attention to the welfare of your employees. But what if one or some of your employees are suffering from workplace discrimination?
What is Discrimination?
Discrimination means treating one member of the group less favorably than other members because of some personal characteristics or beliefs. These include their race, gender, religion, or physical features. Your employees might have to deal with direct or indirect discrimination in the office. Direct discrimination means that an employee will not be hired for a particular job, for instance, because of their age or gender. Indirect discrimination means asking them to work on religious holidays or asking them for things that they can’t do because of their family obligations.
How does Affect Your Business?
Discrimination is one of the main causes of chronic stress which can affect the profitability of your business. Employees who suffer from discrimination are usually less productive than employees who are working in a safe environment. Discrimination can lead to anxiety, depression, high-blood pressure, insomnia and even substance abuse. All these factors can affect your business and make your office a hostile and negative place.
Today, direct discrimination is not that usual because people are more educated and victims are aware of their rights. But there are still people who suffer from indirect discrimination, especially in smaller businesses and organizations. This involves funny comments, asking inappropriate questions or excluding an employee from activities or events.
How Can You Make your Workplace Discrimination-Free?
As an employer, you are obligated to make your workplace safe and welcoming for all employees regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation, physical impairment and marital status. Here are some tips that will help you make sure that nobody is suffering from discrimination:
- Make sure that all your employees are well educated. Some people might be engaging in discriminative behavior without being aware of the amount of damage and harm they cause.
- It is important to ensure that all differences are appreciated and celebrated.
- Take all complaints seriously. It is very important to respond to the slightest sign of discrimination because this will help you maintain control over the work environment.
- Train all your managers and supervisors to respond to discrimination and related complaints.
- Design an effective policy that helps you detect and take actions against the discriminative behavior. Update the policy regularly to maintain its efficiency.
- Talk with your employees. Make your work environment a safe place where they know they can talk comfortably without fearing punishment or further discrimination.
- Talk to your employees about their strengths. Self-confident people are more resilient and are more able to face and deal with discrimination.
- Create a support system. Your employees should know who to go to or what to do when they are subject to discrimination.
Dealing with discrimination is not the job of one person. You should cooperate with all managerial levels to create a responsible and supportive system that will make your employees safe and comfortable. Make sure that you respond promptly and adequately to the slightest sign. This will help eliminate all kinds and traces of discrimination in the workplace.