As most anyone who has ever held a job can tell you, the workplace is a diverse place of different types of people. Different backgrounds, different colors, cultures, religions, upbringing, etc. and they are all expected to work together as a single team to get the job done. At times that diversity can cause an issue, and any good manager knows how to deal with such an issue. In addition to dealing with an issue when it arises, many companies have a process often referred to as the Diversity Audit.
A Diversity audit can often help the employer to locate any hidden potential prejudices that may eventually flair up in the future, even leading to discrimination lawsuits. Once these are discovered, the employer can deal with it on the front-end, by additional training, counseling, or other managerial decisions. The way these audits are accomplished varies widely from company to company.
A basic audit of this nature usually involves having the audit team spend time with a wide variety of employee types (entry-level through management), by following them around for a few days to see life in action at the workplace. They are also watching for indicators that could be evidence of a hostile work place, in areas like policy, benefit plans, postings, interactions, decorations, and promotion opportunities.
Aside from simply watching things in the workplace environment, the team may also seek to interview employees, asking them questions about how they feel they fit in to the company, how they feel they are similar or different from other employees/managers, and how they feel diversity affects them in their job.
After a complete audit is accomplished (or even in conjunction with the main audit), there may also be an audit simply focused on a specific targeted people or group at a company, for instance, the handicapped. These types of audits are useful to the company in assisting them to determine if a certain group within the workplace is more affected by various aspects of the environment, in ways different from the rest. It is most common that these specific audits are accomplished with the general audit, to avoid making the target group feel prejudiced against just by being targeted.
These types of audits are very helpful to the management of the company, and if you are ever exposed to one, it is best to be honest when spoken to, knowing that whatever you tell the auditors is kept confidential by them, and only comes out as a general concern when the whole things is put into a final report. So, if you are ever present in a company while such an audit is taking place, take advantage of it by speaking on things you feel need addressed, to make the audit as successful as it can be.
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