The Importance of Organizational Diversity Cues in Reducing Employee Absenteeism
Implications for OrganizationsEmployees’ perceptions of the organization’s support for diversity are key. If a black employee perceives that his or her organization places a high value on diversity, he or she will perceive that the organization will be more supportive of minorities in general – “more support for diversity means more support for me.” A high perceived organizational value of diversity decreases the discrepancy between black and white absenteeism levels. In addition, consistent messages about the value placed on diversity are paramount. Black employees are more likely to be absent when they perceive that the organization places a low value on diversity, but not if employees had a same-race supervisor. These findings indicate that mixed messages about the value that an organization places on diversity can be detrimental. These findings underscore the importance of emphasizing an organization’s value of diversity to employees.
Practical SuggestionsSome suggestions to increase employee perceptions of the value your organization places on diversity:
- Devote resources to ensure that diversity is being managed effectively.
- Establish a system of accountability for ensuring diversity promotion – make managers accountable for the success of diversity initiatives.
- Ensure equal access to networking and mentoring opportunities for all employees.
- Use Management by Objectives (MBO) or succession plans to ensure development opportunities and promotions exist for minority employees.
- Conduct diversity audits.
- Provide high quality diversity training for employees.
- Target efforts to recruit minorities.
- Promote practices emphasizing equal opportunity.
DeGarmo GroupThis was a summary of the research and practice implications from: Avery D. R. McKay, P. F., Wilson, D.C. Tonidandel, S. (2007). Unequal attendance: The relationships between race, organizational diversity cues, and absenteeism, Personnel Psychology, 60, 875-902.