It is very critical to establish a non-discriminatory work environment for employees. Employees are afforded protection at the local, State, and Federal Government levels with specific laws which prohibit discrimination abuses and enforce current employment laws. Organizations must take specific steps to address diversity issues to protect their employees. This paper will outline three commonly used methods for assuring a non-discriminatory work environment. By creating diversity departments and programs, policies for hiring, promoting and terminating employees, and equal employment opportunity programs; employers and employees are protected from possible lawsuit or unfair employment practices. The following three methods are just a few of the commonly used methods to protect both the employer and employee and assure a non-discriminatory workplace.
Creation of Diversity Departments and ProgramsMany organizations have taken comprehensive steps to prevent workplace discrimination by developing specific departments and/or programs addressing diversity issues. Diversity training programs and departments seek to focus the entire organization toward meeting diversity initiatives. One of the first and most crucial steps for an organization seeking to establish a successful diversity program is for the top management to articulate the organization's diversity goals. Executive and managerial support is crucial in establishing a diversity program's credibility. It is equally important that the executives and managers provide exemplary models regarding the diversity initiatives (Holmes, n.d.).
Following the establishment of executive and managerial support, organization must clearly distribute its discrimination prevention policies, and identifying guidelines regarding disciplinary action or termination. The discrimination prevention policies must then be communicated through training at all organizational levels. Perhaps as a preliminary step, organizational and client base diversity levels should be quantified to help establish baseline data, which can be useful in later analysis. Utilizing benchmarking data from companies with successful diversity programs may also provide valuable resources that can help organizations seeking to develop or improve their diversity programs (Wentling & Palma-Rivas, 1997).
Many organizations encourage communication and understanding by including cultural awareness activities during ethnic or religious holidays, or periodically throughout the year as part of a diversity program. This can also be accomplished by creating employee-based councils, or dialogue groups, to discuss workplace experiences and issues while collaborating to create solutions. Lastly, a direct component of a successful diversity program is that workers are encouraged to tell managers about discrimination involving them or others, and for the managers to take prompt action that is consistent with established organizational policies...