Presentation on theme: "Federal Emergency Management Agency Office of Equal Rights"— Presentation transcript:
1 Federal Emergency Management Agency Office of Equal Rights VALUING DIVERSITYFederal Emergency Management AgencyOffice of Equal Rights
2 Course InformationCourse created by: Federal Emergency Management Agency, Office of Equal RightsCourse Code: SUPITraining Credit: One hour supervisory creditCourse placed online March 6, 2007
3 COURSE OBJECTIVES Participants will be able to: identify a common definition of diversityexplain the difference between diversity and affirmative actiondiscuss how perceptions are formed and the implications that can arise from those perceptions
4 PURPOSES Simply stated, the purposes of this course are to: create a positive workplaceremove or minimize barriers (both personal and systemic) that preclude any employee from making his or her maximum contribution toward achieving our mission
5 WE HAVE MANY SIMILARITIES AND MANY DIFFERENCES Examples:where we are fromnamesmarital statuschildrenpetsfavorite foodscolorsothers?
6 People vary in many ways, some subtle and some not so subtle Even though many of the similarities and differences are irrelevant...some of the differences cause people to have different expectations in the workplace
7 YOU HAVE UNIQUE TALENTS Valuing and utilizing the unique talents of all employees:enhances communicationstrengthens problem-solving and decision-making skillsleads to improved organizational productivity and performance
8 WHAT ELSE? To make participants aware that: there is an increasingly diverse customer population (survivors)diversity helps the Agency attract and retain top talentutilizing the unique talents of each employee improves Agency performancevaluing diversity makes good business sensemaintaining a diverse staff and serving a diverse customer population assists the Agency in fulfilling its mission
9 COURSE OVERVIEW We will cover: the definition of diversity how perceptions are formedthe importance of communicationtips for communicating with othersseven myths of diversitya summary of what we covered
10 WHAT DO YOU THINK? How do you define diversity? ...or put another way...What comes to mind when you think of diversity?
11 DEFINING DIVERSITYBecause of the many backgrounds and experiences we bring with us, we have many different definitions of diversityLet’s look at the following two-part definition to give us a common understanding of what is meant by diversity in this course
12 THE DEFINITIONDiversity is the mosaic of people who bring a variety of backgrounds, styles, and beliefs as assets to the groups and organizations with which they interactDiversity is a strategy to eliminate barriers between groups and take advantage of a diverse workforce by harnessing different backgrounds and talents, while avoiding friction
13 DIVERSITY IS NOT THE SAME AS AFFIRMATIVE ACTION Affirmative action is a strategy to get a fair representation of women and minorities on the job
14 QUESTION How are perceptions formed? Perceptions are formed through our life lessons, the experiences in our lives that teach us about our place in a group, a community, an organization, or in society
15 PERCEPTIONSAs perceptions are being formed throughout our lives, we tend to:be raised in homogeneous groupsgravitate to people like ourselvesbe uncomfortable with differences we don’t understandscreen out evidence which contradicts our existing perceptions
16 SO WHAT? This can, in turn, cause us to: magnify the similarities for people like usdiminish the similarities for people who seem differentmagnify the differences for people who seem differentdiminish the differences for people like us
17 WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?As we relate to others maybe we see what we’re looking for…instead of what’s really there
18 If perceptions are positive and we feel appreciated, how do we feel? - We feel included, part of the group- Our differences are valued and seen as a resource- We feel others depend on us, are interested in us, and care about our fate- Others identify with us and appreciate us- We are included and have 2-way communication
19 When others avoid us, how do we feel? - We feel excluded from the group- Our cultural life and traditions seem distinct and separate from others we work with- We tend to be overly sensitive- We can feel contradictory feelings of pride and shame
20 Why is feeling that we matter important? By being appreciated and accepted we foster positive feelings...which then stimulate a more productive and enjoyable workplace?
21 DIVERSITY INVOLVES...Recognizing the differences that make each of us uniqueAttracting people of all backgrounds to work together in a respectful environmentCreating an environment where everyone is appreciated and has a chance to succeedRecognizing how attitudes toward differences influence our interactions with othersActing as a diversity change agent to create a respectful work environment
22 DIVERSITY during A Serious Incident Diversity during a serious incident represents countless differencesWe’re not just talking about race, sex, age or ethnic groups but many others as wellhometown - educationheight - weightlanguage - disabilitieseconomic status - family sizereligion - politics, etc.
23 SHARED RESPONSIBILITY Working toward a more diverse workforce is a responsibility we all share and is part of Agency’s strategic planAgency employees are expected to take a more active part in supporting the concept of diversity by appreciating and valuing the various cultures of their colleaguesThis appreciation can be achieved through an increased awareness, acceptance of differences, understanding and mutual respect
24 YOU MAY STILL ASK, WHY SHOULD WE DO THIS? It’s simple.A diverse workforce will help us to successfully carry out our mission and effectively provide proactive support to our employees and disaster survivors
25 WHAT IS THE KEY? Answer: Open Communication communication differences often cause problems and may even cause others to feel discriminated againstmisunderstandings and incorrect perceptions of others with different backgrounds may cause people to misinterpret messageseven non-verbal communication may have a different meaning in different cultures or different settings. This might include gestures, body movement, personal space or proximity, eye contact, touching or shaking hands, etc.
26 THE VALUE TO YOUBy recognizing and respecting our differences, we are more likely to earn cooperation and support and get commitment from othersWhen we clearly communicate with others we establish respect and understandingDiscussing issues or concerns as they occur can avoid misunderstandings
27 COMMUNICATION TIPS Be fair and impartial Communicate clearly and effectivelyDemonstrate respect and sensitivity to othersMaintain a calm, normal voice levelTreat people equally and do not show favoritismUse language which is not offensive or embarrassingUse “consequences” - not threatsFocus on productivity, not differencesTry to resolve problems promptlyIf problems arise, identify common ground first
28 SEVEN MYTHS OF DIVERSITY Diversity is a problemDiversity is the responsibility of the Office of Human Resource ManagementDiversity is just about race and genderDiversity is about minorities and women in the workplaceDiversity is exclusiveDiversity is just another fadDiversity is just another version of EEO or affirmative action
29 LET’S SUMMARIZEDiversity is not just being nice to each other, nor just race, gender, age or cultural differencesWe must recognize the impact of our wordsCommunication misunderstandings can heighten diversity differencesProviding prompt feedback to each other can help eliminate communication problemsIdentify common ground to minimize workplace differencesIncluding everyone on the team makes them feel importantRespecting each other’s opinions and backgrounds will help reduce workplace conflict
30 and help us ensure fair delivery of services to all applicants Forming perceptions about people without really getting to know them can create friction within a diverse groupUnderstanding and valuing diversity can help all of us relate more effectively as colleagues...and help us ensure fair delivery of services to all applicants
31 don’t forget the information presented in this course TRY TO REMEMBERWhen you are in a situation where someone’s words or actions make you feel uncomfortable...don’t forget the information presented in this course
32 YOUR PART Be part of the solution, not part of the problem Conduct yourself in a professional mannerBe considerate of, and sensitive to others who are different than youAddress diversity as an avenue which can enrich your job and help us work more effectively
33 Finally…the end! Thank you for participating Federal Emergency Management AgencyOffice of Equal Rights