Diversity Training the Michael Scott way

Does this remind you of what goes on in YOUR office? If so, you may want to address these issues – but not like Michael Scott.

At dictionary.com the definition of diversity is simply – being different. That’s it! And that’s what makes this great nation of ours so great! If everyone were just like YOU, that would totally suck!

Sometimes words like diversity, work-life balance and these type of buzz words are great to talk about, but what about implementation? Please tell me you don’t use post-it notes such as in the above video and handle in this manner.

Issues related to race, gender, age, disabilities, religion, job title, physical appearance, sexual orientation, nationality, multiculturism, competency, training, experience, and personal habits are encapsulated in that one word – diversity.

Defining diversity

Diversity is generally defined as acknowledging, understanding, accepting, valuing, and celebrating differences among people with respect to age, class, ethnicity, gender, physical and mental ability, race, sexual orientation, spiritual practice, and public assistance status (Esty, et al., 1995).

Diversity issues are now  becoming more than just buzz words and are projected to become even more important in the future because of the ever-increasing differences in our U.S. population. Companies are starting to focus on diversity and in looking for ways to become totally inclusive organizations because diversity has the potential of yielding greater productivity and competitive advantages (SHRM, 1995).

Valuing diversity

Maximizing and capitalizing on workplace diversity has become an important issue for management today. Supervisors and managers are the targeted audience because they need to recognize the ways in which the workplace is changing, evolving, and diversifying.

Since managing diversity remains a significant organizational challenge, managers must learn the managerial skills needed in a multicultural work environment. Supervisors and managers must be prepared to teach themselves and others within their organizations to value multicultural differences in both associates and customers so that everyone is treated with dignity.

So, unlike these videos and their diversity training in The Office, we know that managing and valuing diversity is a key component of effective people management, which can improve workplace productivity. Ensuring that every employee is given an equal opportunity, regardless of their sexual preference, gender or nationality.

Demographic changes (women in the workplace, organizational restructurings, and equal opportunity legislation) will require organizations to review their management practices and develop new and creative approaches to managing people. Changes will increase work performance, customer service and overall morale.

Here’s what could happen if you don’t mind your diversity P’s and Q’s. Not to mention slapped with a law-suit.