ARSHRM - Arkansas SHRM State Council

Promoting and Serving
the Human Resource Profession in Arkansas

SHRM -  Society for Human Resources Professionals
 

Diversity

As Human Resources professionals, we have an important role in creating an environment where diversity is valued. We are responsible for monitoring and ensuring the integration of diversity in our workplaces. By doing so, we will witness strengthened workplaces, enhanced employee productivity and reduced litigation risks.

The ARSHRM diversity program’s purpose is to affirm diversity awareness amongst its affiliated chapters and within the state of Arkansas. Each affiliate chapter is responsible for at least one diversity-oriented program per year.

Per the Society for Human Resource Management:

"To celebrate diversity is to appreciate and value individual differences. SHRM strives to be the leader in promoting workplace diversity. Although the term is often used to refer to differences based on ethnicity, gender, age, religion, disability, national origin and sexual orientation, diversity encompasses an infinite range of individuals’ unique characteristics and experiences, including communication styles, physical characteristics such as height and weight, speed of learning and comprehension."

Diversity & Inclusion News

Dealing with diversity in the workplace means understanding and relating effectively with people who are different from you. The ability for a diverse group of people to build strength and unity through their diversity is the power that propels organizations into new dimensions of performance. Discussions of workplace diversity tend to start with the topics of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and disability. Indeed, organizations that want to thrive in the future will need to have employees and managers who are aware of and skilled in dealing with differences along these identity lines.

Another slice of diversity that is not always included in typical diversity discussions, however, is generational diversity. In any large organization, you are bound to find divisions, units, or work teams where five distinct generations are working side by side. Important differences have been identified between these generations in the way they approach work, work/life balance, employee loyalty, authority, and other important issues. For those reasons, an individual’s age is one of the most common predictors of differences in attitudes and behaviors. Different communication styles and work habits can create misunderstanding between coworkers, leading to conflict and disengagement.

These tips will help to create common ground among generations, but organizations are encouraged to develop policies and programs that will help meet each generation’s unique needs and expectations.

  1. Communicate appropriately, gearing messages for generational preferences.
  2. Create programs that encourage generations to work together and to share knowledge.
  3. Build diverse teams of all ages, gender, and cultures. These teams will learn to value and trust each other.
  4. Encourage leaders at all levels to be flexible in their management styles. Some generations want hands-off leaders, others want a more involved management style.
Resources:

http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/6609-multigenerational-workforce-challenges.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/janice-celeste/how-to-manage-4-generatio_b_8125158.html

 

Diversity & Inclusion Update 

Native American Heritage Month

As Thanksgiving approaches, this is a fitting November diversity celebration. Native American Heritage Month celebrates the culture and heritage of native people who enrich this country. You can make this month more personal to your region by researching native tribes living near you, and exploring their rich culture.

 

November 1 – 2: All Saints Day/All Souls Day/Día de los Muertos

This is a Christian holiday commemorating all people who have passed. It is often celebrated in the Mexican and Aztec communities. Have a traditional Dia de los Muertos lunch in the office with chicken tamales, candied pumpkin, Oaxacan hot chocolate, and day of the dead cookies. If appropriate, employees can share about a loved one they’re thinking about on the day.

 

November 16: International Day for Tolerance

The UN founded this day to promote respect for diverse languages, ethnicities, cultures and religions. Education is a key component of tolerance. Acknowledge this day and send out a short sheet reviewing unconscious biases to help inform your staff.

 

November 16: Dutch American Heritage Day

Did you know the Netherlands was one of the first countries to recognize the U.S. as sovereign from Great Britain? This November multicultural celebration honors the friendship between the countries for hundreds of years. Presidents Martin Van Buren, Warren G. Harding, Theodore Roosevelt, and Franklin D. Roosevelt have all been important Dutch figures in American history.

 

November 20: Transgender Day of Remembrance

Dozens of transgender people are killed each year due to transphobia. This November diversity day seeks to remember them. On this day, you can demonstrate your support for transgender individuals who are still living. Strive to practice active allyship each day and always use the correct language to refer to this community. 

 

November 24: Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving is important because it’s a positive and secular holiday where we celebrate gratitude. It’s also a celebration of the fall harvest. Historically, Thanksgiving has been an annual holiday observed in both the United States and Canada. Although it’s celebrated on different dates in the two countries, the reason behind this day is the same—honoring the harvest and other blessings that have occurred during the previous year. The celebration began with the Pilgrims, who in 1621 called it their “First Thanksgiving.”

In the United States, Thanksgiving always falls on the fourth Thursday in November; therefore, the date changes every year. We can thank President Abraham Lincoln for not only abolishing slavery but also for declaring Thanksgiving a federal holiday back in 1863.

Thanksgiving reflects a sense of interconnectedness among people and cultures. It’s a holiday that’s perfect for gathering with loved ones and expressing gratitude for our blessings.

  

Find more Diversity and Inclusion resources here.

 

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Diversity Resources:

CAHRA's Diversity Tea

https://cahra.net/Diversity_and_Inclusion_Resources

SHRM Diversity Focus Area

https://www.shrm.org/ResourcesAndTools/hr-topics/Pages/diversity-equity-and-inclusion.aspx

Diversity Inc.

www.diversityinc.com

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

www.eeoc.gov

Equal Opportunity Publications

www.eop.com

Equal Pay for Working Women

https://aflcio.org/issues/gender-equality

National Diversity Council

https://ndc.nationaldiversitycouncil.org

Diversity First Jobs

www.diversityfirstjobs.com