Embracing religious diversity in the workplace 

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Health Assured team

11 April 2022

Diversity brings fresh perspectives, varied life experiences and alternative viewpoints. This breadth of understanding breeds new solutions and creative ideas. 

By embracing all kinds of diversity, you encourage employees to bring their full selves to work—and this brings a whole host of benefits. When employees feel comfortable and accepted in their roles, they thrive at work, and so does the organisation. 

But some challenges come with hiring a diverse workforce too. Differences in opinion can sometimes clash, and this may cause tension between colleagues. Religion can be a tricky concept for some people it’s an area where beliefs vary between individuals. As an employer, it's your duty to take care of your staff and protect them from discrimination. So you must ensure you put preventative measures in place.

Religious beliefs inform a person’s identity, way of life, and everyday behaviours. And this might impact employees’ day-to-day lives at work. If you want to embrace religious diversity, it’s vital you consider ways to support employees' needs. 

This article will dive deeper into how employers can embrace religious diversity by creating an environment where all employees feel safe, respected and valued. 


Provide diversity training 

CIPD find that over a quarter of workers agree that their organisations promote an understanding of religious beliefs and diversity. Diversity training does this by equipping employees with knowledge of different religions, cultures, ethnicities and minority groups. The training helps people recognise prejudices and looks at the challenges that could arise in the workplace. Everyone will benefit from these powerful insights. 


Prevent and investigate discrimination 

Discrimination comes in different forms. Trying to embrace religious diversity? Ensure there are strict regulations in place around discrimination of all kinds. Follow up discrimination claims instantly and ensure everyone involved is well informed. Revisiting your equality and diversity policy is a good start. It could help to ask representative employees for their thoughts on potential improvements. Include your zero-tolerance approach to any discriminatory behaviour, investigation procedures and employee expectations. 


Adapt to employees’ needs 

Part of embracing religious diversity in the workplace comes from valuing and adapting to employees' needs. One way to do this is with a prayer room that allows employees to incorporate religious practices into their working day. You could also provide flexible working hours for employees with religious commitments. Remember to consider all religious holidays when approving annual leave requests too. These simple changes show your value for employees’ individuality and personal values. 


Lead by example

Senior leaders and managers are key players in your organisational culture. If you want to make any big change, you must get management on board with your plans. Give the team an update on upcoming changes and encourage them to behave in ways that mirror these values. If they can communicate an acceptance and enthusiasm about religious diversity, this will encourage employees to do the same.


Health Assured can help you start to embrace religious diversity in the workplace. Simply get in touch today on 0800 206 2532.

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