Tolerance and Openness in Workplaces
September 22, 2013.
Tolerance and Openness in Today’s Workplaces
Nowadays workplaces are more open and tolerant. This paper analyses how diversity, ethics and leadership have helped contemporary organizations to be more open and tolerant. Tolerance in organizational context can be defined as permissive, fair and objective attitude towards people whose nationality, religion, race, practices etc vary from one’s own, freedom from bigotry (Dennis & Winston, 2008). To promote tolerance within workplace, organizations have sought to understand others, be conscious of what they say, set examples and make endeavors to understand cultural differences. It is critical to understand where you mark a limit with tolerance. If an individual is being hurt or employees’ actions or words are harming the organizational mission the members of workforce must understand that is right to step in.
Even though being tolerant implies accepting other’s viewpoints or behaviors, it is not same as indulgence, indifference, condescension, or apathy (Lewicki & Tomlinson, 2006). Tolerance does not mean justifying or accepting behavior, which is ethically or morally wrong or that is harmful to other people. While practicing tolerance, organizations today understand where to draw line with certain actions or behaviors. Likewise, openness is also a critical aspect of successful organizational and personal relationship.
Today, organizations ensure that their employees are satisfied so that they are able to comfortably ask questions and voice concerns, and are aware of where to get answers. Within the current global economic difficulties, openness is paramount is establishing an environment of trust between employees and employers. Openness within workplaces begins with each employee getting information regarding the business one is contributing to. Today, public financial information, annual goals and mission statement are easily accessible to all members of staff. Training guidelines as well as other information needed to accomplish day to day tasks for every position are readily available. Organizations have also made it possible for the workforce to know where to get help; voice concerns and how they can contribute ideas that can assist organization attain its goals.
Diversity can be described as the differences in different defining personal traits such as education, religion, ethnic origin, marital status, gender, race, and age among others (Dennis & Winston, 2008). Organizational diversity within workplace can be described as the sum makeup of employee workforce and the level of diversity included. Today, organizations have undergone various phases to assimilate different society groups within its realm and address the diverse needs of the workforce. Openness and tolerance allows employees to develop and nurture their abilities to the fullest. It is a common knowledge today that people within organizations shape the business and its success and this is why productive and creative workplace has to be one that is open and tolerant and is devoid of prejudice and any form of discrimination.
Today, organizations deploy diversity management as an effort of integrating people with different social, religious, ethnic and older members within the workplaces. Organizations have taken actions to account for increasingly and formal practical equality of women and men. Management of diversity has also helped organizations to appreciate tolerant and open diversified workforce actuality through negotiating the different aspects of diversity such as education, age and religion.
An open and tolerant interaction of workplace and family on equal measure has led to identification, motivation and greater participation in the organizations, concerns and improved health (Ackroyd & Crowdy, 1990). In regard to diversity dimensions such as ethnic origin, education and age are consciously considered in the open negotiation of requirements of organizations and their workforce. The emphasis of different diversity dimensions also curbs the fixation of people based on one criterion of identity for instance family. Nurturing the collective genius of individuals- that is tolerance for people’s ways of doing things, structuring and planning work has resulted to unpredicted solutions in organizations as fulfill the sense of individual responsibility of workers. Diversity training as opposed to affirmative action assists people from different backgrounds to work together. In order of the tolerance and openness to be a business framework, it has not just been limited to the managerial elite and multinational corporations, who are easily able to communicate in most global contexts. Even SME businesses today, embrace a more diverse population (Jackall, 1988).
Today, organizations value their differences, in sexual orientation, experience, gender identity, thought and culture- understanding that inclusion and diversity are desirable for business and make organizations stronger. Through empowering everyone to excel in their respective roles and attain their optimal potential, people are more open and tolerant because their employees recognized and reward based on results and performance not their social or cultural ideologies. Promoting an inclusive and diverse workplace enables organizations to earn the advantage of meeting and understanding the needs of diverse communities, clients and customers. Diversity also promotes fresh perspectives and ideas through open and tolerance workplace thus encouraging ingenuity.
Another way through which diversity has contributed positively to tolerance and openness at work place is the general understanding and perception that the best way of improving and promoting morale of workers in a company is to treat every worker with utmost respect regardless of their social differences from those people of yours.
By embracing diversity through the understanding of differences and also identifying the meeting points, employees are by far likely to be committed fully, adopt a robust loyalty and enjoy maximum job satisfaction. Employees are fully aware that this is what is needed to be done and therefore find it a necessity to promote tolerance and openness that will lead to harnessing the different capabilities and skills of their workforce.
Most of corporate managements have learnt that when diversity is embraced and adored, novel ideas of maximizing and capitalizing on the diverse skills, styles and sensibilities of work force normally becomes the cornerstone of the organization’s goals and aspirations. Together with openness where the labor force is given an opportunity to express itself and its opinions and ideas respected.
According to Ackroyd and Crowdy (1990) organizational ethics can be described as set of informal and formal standards of conduct which employees use to direct their behavior in workplaces. Partly, these standards are based on fundamental values such as trust, represent, tolerance, openness and honesty, however they can also be learned or acquired directly from the actions of other employees. For instance, what employees see their organizational coworkers, manages and leader do on the workplace can influence their personal views on what behavior is acceptable or not. Ethical program are those formal processes, practices and policies that company establish to manage their own ethical matters.
Organizations today understand that developing an ethical program cannot be an exact science. Just like establishing other organizational programs, it embraces an open and tolerant interaction, input, decision making, cooperation and continuously commitment of all members of workforce. Organizations today are alive to the fact that the best results are attained when employees when together across the entire organization (Kaptein, 2008). They appreciate that great teams are developed on accountability, openness, shared ownership, tolerance and mutual trust, therefore, therefore, work as one organization and believe when they work as a unit, they best satisfy the full needs of their clients and customers.
According to Kaptein (2008) organizations understand that their clients and customers what to know that their employees will fairly treat them, tolerate their demands, make honest, ethical and clear decisions and communicate forthrightly. Due to the trust, which organizations expect their clients and customers to accord them, comes with a massive responsibility for ethical conduct in all things that they do and code of conduct of most organizations is their guide to fulfilling this great responsibility. Today’s organizations have code of ethics, which applies to everybody who is employed by the organization- all directors and employees. Hence, every member of the organization is accountable to maintain the highest level of ethical standards as they carry out their responsibilities as a result leaders and managers are responsible for nurturing and developing a culture which their employees completely feel fully obligated, supported and empowered to do the correct thing (Gabriel, 1997). Organizational code of ethics is today majorly based on organizational values. They language that companies utilize to describe their values is inspirational and brief- it reflects the spirit of their culture. Through code of ethics organizations are able to offer the guidance they need to translate their values into practice as they engage with vendors, shareholders, clients and customer and compete within the marketplace.
Today organizations appreciate that due to market competition they have no option but to fairly deal with their vendors, teammates, and competitors, hence they value open and clear communication and recognizes the contributions of everyone and thus employees are not retaliated for reporting information according to the code of ethics and in good faith. Most organizations today do not demote, terminate employment, discriminate or transfer to unfavorable assignment an employee for raising attention to supposed unethical act, comprising giving information associated with an investigation.
Jackall (1988) argues that tolerance and openness are also characterized by ethical practices and behavior. This entails corporate governance structures characterized by equality, equity, justice, and participation. This could also comprise the absence of anti-social conducts for instance corruption. In corporate context, corruption entails unethical behaviors for instance conflicts of interest, advancing private interest, bribery, stealing or lying. Open and tolerant organizations have in place ethical code of conduct that outlines clearly the standards of ethical policies and behaviors and procedures, which it uses to get rid of corruption and to discipline infringement of any code. Other organizations do not have ethical code of conduct, but strong norms of integrity, honesty and trustworthiness exit in organizational culture rendering making organization to be more open and tolerant.
An atmosphere of independence and confidentiality that is promoted by code of conduct is critical for employees to openly communicate with others, reflect and learn and be honest. Open and tolerant atmosphere is where employees are respectfully treated, there are no or limited incidences of back-biting and employees feel they can be open and honest without any reprisal. Each of the elements is significant for building a tolerant and open workplace.
Today’s, organizational leadership corresponds and considers appropriately the capacities, feelings and needs of various employees in different situations, and is sensitive, compassionate, tactful and treats employees with dignity and respect (Kaptein, 2008).
Contemporary organizations have leadership that possess interpersonal skills which are critical for productivity within diverse workplaces that progressively more deploys team approach to accomplish organizational complex tasks. Today, leaders at all organizational levels understand communicate and motivate their followers and irrespective of brilliance of the approach and thought convincing employees to accomplish their goals require well-established leadership skills that are anchored on tolerance and openness (Dennis & Winston, 2008). Leadership skills (such as integrity, helpfulness, respect, discretion, empathy, courtesy for cultures and ideas of employees, active listening, sensitive and effective oral and written communication, emotional maturity, cognitive flexibility, understanding of others’ positions) promote organizational atmosphere of openness and tolerance that develops valuable relationship and motivates a team or group to accomplish organizational tasks.
Leadership skills are demonstrated at the foundation level through tolerance and self-awareness of one’s impact on the others, empathy to the others needs, and demonstration of interest in your members. Organizations with strong leadership skills are able and willing to look at issues from others viewpoint, reflect an understanding of the concerns of employees and exhibit listening and other skillfulness allowing employees to the felt and heard. Effective leadership treats employees with respect, use and understands effective body language, establish trust through authenticity and reliability, and attain commitments. Today’s organizational leadership is sensitive to emotional cues, cooperate with each other and seek feedback to shed light on issues and establish mutual understanding of performance objectives and goals.
Contemporary leadership has helped workplaces to be more tolerant and open by promoting an atmosphere of trust and confidence, developing a team, which is characterized by empowerment, involvement and trust. Organizations today are increasingly fostering good morale, friendly climate and cooperation among employees, establish and maintain supportive working relationships, promote the contributions of each member, and guide employees through effective discussion, questioning and listening. Leadership in organizations today helps team members to develop norms that advance trust, participation and respect. Organizations are cognizant in the manner in which feelings and emotions impact a situation and hence they express sensitivity to the needs of employees who perceive offence. Leadership in organizations recognizes and reward supportive actions and behaviors, establish a structure that encourages and permits the ideas of employees to be heard, and is also serves as a positive role model of desirable behaviors and interpersonal skills (Jackall, 1988).
Effective leadership at either senior or mid-levels promote openness and tolerance, through counseling, coaching, motivating and empowering direct reports to engage with all employees in a respectful manner. Leadership in organizations contributes openness and tolerance through problem solving, particularly in contentious, difficult situations, enabling win-win scenarios. Leadership in organizations demonstrates sensitivity to tolerance and openness by working with employees from different backgrounds and treats everyone (from all organizational levels) with courtesy and caring (Gabriel, 1997). They develop the institution for a high-performing workplace by investing in employee training and development to make sure that direct reports have proficiency that can assist then understand others’ perspectives, by establishing an environment of courtesy and helpfulness and treating employees with tact while carrying out organization’s work.
Senior and mid-level leaders of organizations nowadays are communicating with enthusiasm, and are assertive, but at the same time are flexible and tolerant and are sensitive and aware of interpersonal skills and body languages, understand and demonstrate deeper understanding of the core reasons for employees’ responses and behaviors, and offer constructive, candid and timely feedback to assist employees develop.
According to Dennis and Winston (2008) organizational leadership today set, inspire and establish the standards for organizational culture that is trustworthy, trusting, engaged, caring, self-aware, tolerant, empathetic, confident, secure and open, while rewarding and promoting direct reports who cultivate such ideals. Organizational leadership utilize their interpersonal relationship skills to put in place integrated, pragmatic system solutions that bypass traditional departmental limits and that promote enterprise-wide and agency-wide cooperation and consistency. Current executives establish trusting relationships and long-term connections with stakeholders which encourages them to be more open to share their views. Leadership accurately assesses employees, maintain productive and positive relations with workforce and identity and offer desirable support to people to ensure win-win negotiation outcomes.
Organizational leadership effectively promotes openness and tolerance at workplace through modeling the desired behaviors. They foster frequent face-to-face interactions with employees in various positions and departments to demonstrate to employees that managers and other bosses are approachable, available and are ready to discuss workplace matters. Routine conference calls, regular mails, and bulletins or memos concerning updates regarding important developments or special projects also demonstrate commitment from leadership in improving communication.
This paper has revealed that nowadays organizations are more tolerant and open. The paper demonstrated that diversity, ethics and leadership are key elements fostering openness and tolerance within the contemporary workplaces. Tolerance is an objective, just and nonjudgmental approach towards individuals whose nationality, religion, race, practices etc vary from one’s own. Likewise openness is critical to creating an organizational environment of trust among the stakeholders of the organization.
Diversity is the difference is various defining personal peculiarity for instance their age, gender, marital status, religion, ethnic origin, educational background etc.
Nowadays, workplaces value diversity in sexual orientation, experience, gender identity, thought and culture- appreciation that inclusion and diversity are desirable for their businesses as it makes companies stronger. Through empowering people of diverse backgrounds to excel in their respective roles and attain their optimal potential, employees are more open and tolerant because they recognized and reward based on results and performance as opposed to their educational, social, cultural or religious backgrounds.
Ethics in workplace context refers to the informal and formal standards of conduct which organizational stakeholders must use to guide their behavior in workplaces. Organizations today have ethical code of conducts that are anchored on principles of equality, equity, justice, and participation and these greatly contributes towards an open and tolerant workplace.
Finally, nowadays leadership has helped workplaces to be more tolerant and open by promoting an atmosphere of trust and confidence, developing a team, which is characterized by empowerment, involvement and trust.
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