Promotion of tolerance at work is more than a gimmick; it is a characteristic to be valued, sought after, and cherished. As an HR manager, it is part of your job to cultivate tolerance among employees, as this virtue contributes to increased workplace satisfaction and retention. To celebrate the International Day for Tolerance, today HR in Asia will share how HR leaders can play an active role in promoting tolerance at the office.
Tolerance goes beyond acknowledging differences in terms of race, religion, and culture; it is basically about valuing differences in all aspects of life. Building tolerance in the workplace is a crucial component of getting employees together on the same boat while enhancing creativity and collaboration among them. Tolerance in the workplace demands a determined effort to get an understanding of another individual’s history, experiences, and point of views. The more team members respect and trust one another, the better the outcomes.
Here are some initiatives HR can do to encourage tolerance:
HR leaders need to establish a zero-tolerance policy to advise employees on matters related to inappropriate workplace behavior. Violent acts, harassment, and intimidation should be well and quickly addressed. Make it clear that these sorts of conducts are not tolerated in your company and that there will be consequences for any violations of the policy. In the process of creating the policy, HR needs to ensure that everything is laid out, so it is best to classify into do’s and don’ts. Other than it being more thorough, the simple do’s and don’ts can actually be easier to digest for everyone. Setting expectations for all employees is necessary for creating a supportive and effective work environment.
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Communication is the most vital aspect of every business. Not only will employees be able to express their minds better, but they will also develop trust towards each other, which will allow them to collaborate more efficiently. Misunderstanding often roots from miscommunication, and it could easily spiral into bigger issues when left unresolved. Thus, it is important to set measures to enhance communication among the workforce. Leaders can hand out weekly ‘complaint reports’ for employees to fill in anonymously, so issues can be addressed without the fear of being judged. This will also make employees realize that the company truly cares and values their voice. Making communication a high priority in the office is critical to ensuring that everyone is treated fairly.
One of the simplest acts of promoting tolerance is tolerating mistakes, as long as they are harmless. Everyone makes errors and learns from them, so HR managers should provide opportunities for growth by providing honest feedback to employees on their performance. Companies may need to go through several trials and errors in order to discover the right market, consumers, and corporate branding. Employees who make mistakes in their daily operations and learn from them are in the same situation.
More offices are reopening and welcoming their employees back. While the news may be exciting for many, it may not be so for some others. Many employees have developed new habits while working from home, making them reluctant to return to the office all at once. In this case, leaders must acknowledge that some people have days where they really want to stay productive from home. If you care about tolerance, you should know best how to tolerate people who want to opt for remote working at times, rather than fully working in the office. After all, if the deliverables from remote working is just as good as working from the office, what harm does it bring to you if some of your employees need to work from the comfort of their living room? There is a thin line between being assertive and being forceful; the latter is definitely not a good move for employees’ retention.
The best way to promote tolerance is to become the leading example of doing it. In other words, you need to be the HR leader your employees can look up to. Set a good example for your staff to follow, which will be visible in your daily life. When dealing with them and their concerns, be sympathetic and understanding, and you will be able to assist them in embracing tolerance. After all, actions speak louder than words.
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