Human resource managers are on the front lines of creating environments that promote racial equality through their policies and their daily activities. When these problems are allowed to continue, workers, and the company itself, begin to suffer the negative, undermining effects. Here are a few of the most important qualities of HR managers in regard to managing diversity issues and fairness.
1 – Creating A Culture of Inclusion
One of the most important steps HR managers can take is to create a culture of inclusion in the workplace. These managers should encourage professional behavior and acceptance of differences as part of their everyday interactions with employees. Fostering an atmosphere of open communications can encourage workers to discuss problems in the early stages, so conflicts that affect their performance on the job can be eliminated.
2 – Thorough Training in Equal Opportunity Law and Practices
In order for HR managers to institute programs that eliminate racial inequality, they must first understand the federal, state and local statutes that apply to employment situations. Thorough research and training will provide the necessary background to institute policies that ensure compliance with these regulations.
3 – Ongoing Review of Hiring, Compensation and Promotion
Ensuring that objective, neutral criteria are used for hiring, promoting and compensation can ensure that those responsible for these activities do not inadvertently fall into subjective decisions that could be consider discriminatory. These criteria should be reviewed on a regular basis to evaluate their effectiveness and the need for policy changes.
4 – Fast and Effective Responses to Harassment or Discrimination Issues
Failure to deal with problems of discrimination and lack of understanding across racial lines can lead to conflicts within the workplace, lost productivity and the inability to retain valuable employees. HR managers should become involved as soon as a conflict or problem is reported in order to minimize damage and establish an atmosphere of unbiased intervention.
5 – Instituting A Formal Process for Handling Complaints
HR managers should institute a formal process to handle complaints of discrimination, harassment or unfair treatment on the job. The process should be in an accessible form and available to all employees.
6 – Providing Additional Help When Needed
HR managers sometimes have to deal with ongoing problems that include misunderstandings and miscommunications regarding racial differences. If necessary, additional help in the form of sensitivity training or seminars can help to broaden the experiences of employees to allow them to gain a better understanding of different viewpoints.
Active engagement by HR managers in the early stages of a problem can help to minimize difficulties of racial inequality. If the right environment is provided from the very start, many of these issues can be avoided before they begin.