COMPANY CULTURE / JAN. 08, 2015
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How to Manage Diversity in the Hospitality Industry

A diverse workforce in the hotel industry helps businesses understand different clients’ needs and provide guests with unique and varied experiences. Guests feel welcome, increasing their loyalty to the hotel. Diversifying your workforce provides insightful information from different backgrounds contributing to better decision making within the business. Working with people from varied backgrounds also presents a unique set of challenges. You must continually provide a working environment where each employee feels safe and free.

Take the Lead

Take the lead in encouraging workplace diversity by employing individuals from different backgrounds. Encourage applicants from marginalized groups and empower them to take up different positions in the business. Communicate from an early stage that you are an equal opportunity employer and let all applicants understand that you encourage diversity, and discourage discrimination of any kind. Early communication prepares applicants for a diverse experience, and may discourage intolerant individuals from applying to your company.

Encourage Respect

The golden rule in a diverse environment is respect. Obligate employees to respect each other despite their differences. Help individuals understand that differences in beliefs, physical traits, age or sexual orientation do not affect one’s skills or contribution in the workplace through dedicated training on tolerance and acceptance. Ensure that respect remains the guiding principal in all interactions between employees. In incidences of disrespect, enforce disciplinary measures. Additionally, work with seasoned employees to help mentor younger employees and keep them in check.

Take a Proactive Approach

Effective diversity management requires that you make a deliberate effort to create a peacefully and mutually respectful environment. Integrate diversity management into your company’s vision and dedicate resources to its implementation. For example, invite cultural diversity experts to address and empower employees. Additionally, revise your policies in consultation with your staff and specialty groups to ensure you create an all accommodating environment. Create a long-term plan that highlights the importance of diversity to your organization, and encourage inclusion every step of the way, respecting diverse opinions.

Diversity Training

Create a comprehensive diversity-training program that employees take once they join the organization with refresher training for current staff members. Offer your managers and supervisors additional training on interpersonal, cultural and diversity management and conflict resolution in diverse environments. Empowering individuals within the workforce encourages them to develop a more tolerant attitude and make a deliberate effort to accommodate differences in a respectful manner. Employees also stand up for each other, discouraging a culture of intolerance.

Celebrate Diversity

Most people focus on differences; however, there are many similarities that help people from different backgrounds come together. Create opportunities for employees to celebrate their differences and encourage self-expression to the maximum. For example, host a party with a dress code where employees choose outfits that best define them. Additionally, encourage employees to share traits and beliefs unique to them. It may help dispel misconceptions and encourage others to change their perspective.

Diversity in the workplace can either build or break your business. Make a deliberate effort to celebrate the differences within your team and encourage a culture of respect that promotes a fair working environment.

 

Image source: Hospitalityriskupdate

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