Cultural diversity in the workplace refers to the variation in races, socio-economic status, ethnic backgrounds, gender and age within organizations. Over the years, companies have experienced changes in their organizational structures with the aim of adapting to the diversity that is already being experienced. Some firms, for instance, that were in the past against specific dress codes, have in the resent past softened their stance, and this is aimed at retaining their skilled employees. Cultural diversity has come along with various benefits including improved decision making among employees, enhanced employee performance and enhanced and skilled workforce. Challenges such as resistance to change, conflicts among workers and communication barriers have also been witnessed. In this paper, the focus is directed to dress code as an issue of racial diversity and some of the measures that managers can put in place in dealing with the problems.
Dress code related to racial diversity
A work dress code refers to the guideline that organizations develop with the aim of providing guidelines to their employees on the most appropriate clothing to wear at the workplace. With the cultural diversity that most companies are currently embracing as a part of their everyday operations, they have been faced with the challenge of differentiating between acceptable dress code and one which is inappropriate (Rodrik, 2012). Personal appearance such as piercing, jewelry, tattoos are a form of self-expressions but are not allowed in some organizations, and this has raised a lot of criticism.
Some companies have also strongly prohibited employees from dressing in hijabs and Saree for the Hindus at the workplace. Apparently, this has ended up lowering the motivations of those workers that come from ethnic groups that wear those types of clothing (Wade, 2017). In some of these organizations, as a result of the banning of certain dress codes, levels of resistance to change and conflicts among employees have increased significantly, and this has ended up lowering their performance. Some workers have ended up resigning or requesting for transfers to companies that value their dress codes.
Measures that managers are putting in place to deal with the issue
With the cultural diversity experienced in various organizations across the globe, the dress code has gradually become a sensitive topic. Some companies that are strict with dressing regulations have ended up facing challenges of low job attitude, reduce job satisfaction and a decline in their performance (Crowley, 2010). Apparently, this has forced managers to come up with different types of measures aimed at addressing issues that have come along with dress code.
In the quest of dealing with the issue of dress code, some managers have been forced to allow their employees from the Islamic religions to wear hijabs at the workplace. Various firms across the globe have adopted these policies and women are now allowed to come to work dressed in saree or hijabs. The move by organizational managers to include some of these wears that had earlier been prohibited as a part of the dress code has been instrumental in the bolstering of the workplace relationship among the employees (Stockdale, 2010).
Managers in some of the companies have also adopted cultural inclusivity as a part of promoting diversity at the workplace (Stockdale, 2010). The Human Resource managers have been on the frontline in ensuring that they hire employees from various cultural backgrounds and ensuring that they are all appreciated when it comes to allocation of tasks, ethics and dress codes.
Cultural diversity, in as much as it has been beneficial to various organizations, it has also come along with various issues, dress code being one of them. In some companies, sarees, tattoos, jewelry, and hijabs have been banned as a part of the dress code, and this has sparked a lot of criticism from employees and religious bodies. With the issues in place, managers have been forced to embrace inclusivity in the running of firms, thus allowing their employees to wear those clothes that were prohibited.