The Importance of Diversity Training in the Hospitality Industry

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Today's global hospitality industry employs a rainbow workforce of different races, religions, cultures, sexual orientations, genders and native language backgrounds.

To be effective, senior managers must encourage supervisors and managers to accept diversity through inclusion and open communication. Failing to do so can create a threatening and confusing work environment, which can result in high-employee turnover and poor guest relations.

Senior managers must be proactive in adopting diversity in all aspects of business operations. This means conducting face-to-face meetings with supervisors and staff on employment, training, purchasing, franchising/hotel ownership, advertising, marketing, community support, and performance evaluations. Instilling diversity in these areas can improve an organization's competitiveness and bottom line.

One major goal in diversity training is to enable more women and minorities to hold managerial positions. This can be achieved by training managers and supervisors to create pathways for advancement. Here, one can adopt a variety of methods to foster inclusion. Examples include minority trainee programs, apprenticeships and mentoring.

Care must be taken to ensure that diversity training does not fall into the trap of simply emphasizing "politically correct" language, which only serves to draw the focus away from organizational injustices. Instead, structures, cultures and policies must be adopted to reflect the characteristics and needs of different employees. To effect real change requires regular and timely feedback from employee to supervisor and from supervisor to senior management. Once again, it is senior management's responsibility to ensure this occurs.

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Alex A. Kecskes has written hundreds of published articles on health/fitness, "green" issues, TV/film entertainment, restaurant reviews and many other topics. As a former Andy/Belding/One Show ad agency copywriter, he also writes web content, ads, brochures, sales letters, mailers and scripts for national B2B and B2C clients.


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