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Diversity Tips for Employees

There are guidelines that employees can follow to support the inclusion of their fellow coworkers. First, communication is key. Understand that people from various racial, cultural, age, ability, or gender groups all communicate slightly differently. Think before you speak. Ask tactful questions and keep an open line of communication with team members to avoid assuming you know their thoughts or opinions. You'll be surprised how much you can learn from one another simply by asking questions and being a good listener. Whatever you do, try to avoid talking down to other members of your team, despite the circumstance.
Another way to strengthen your own experience with diversity is to voluntarily work with folks from different backgrounds, ages, cultures, etc. Learn how everyone thinks slightly differently about things like work/family balance, time and deadlines, and work vs. social behaviors. Respect that coworkers may desire time off during certain holidays or cultural occasions. Knowing about these differences can allow you to complete projects or tasks as a team, without building resentment for those who require time off.
In general, do not form judgments about the cultural standards of your coworkers, since your culture's way is NOT the only way. Understanding one another can help to avoid conflicts and hangups on employee teams that decrease productivity and job satisfaction.