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Managing Racism in the Workplace

Control and Eradication of Racism in a Multinational Organization

The initial step towards control and eradication of racism from within any workplace is to understand what it is and how it is perceived by the employees of the organization. Racism has been regarded as an innate fear that remains throughout the life of an individual. This fear is considered universal, so it will stay present in any organizational setting (Metsälä & Nygren, 2013). This reasoning on racism convinces one that measures have not been put in place to address the issue of racism. As such, the tendency towards racist behavior is likely to persist. It is important that people adjust their reasoning on racism as well as their actions to accommodate people from diverse social groups.

Taking the case of a multinational organization operating in the global market, the presence of people from different backgrounds is a common occurrence. The presence of expatriates and employees from the host country means that workforce will comprise people of different races. Racism is likely to be denounced in such an environment, if not controlled. Since racists behavior in an organizational set-up is associated with poor working relations, low working morale, and a significant reduction of the overall performance of the organization, it is important that strategies for its control and eradication are implemented.

Workshop Seminar as a Strategy for Racism Eradication

Workshop seminar for the employees is one of the vital approaches to the eradication of racism in a global firm. The strategy is suitable since it encourages participation and sharing of information through an open dialogue. A narrative identity is an approach that can be employed to unearth the dangers of racism in the workplace. The process entails the analysis of the perceptions and experiences of racism (McAdams & McLean, 2013). These experiences are obtained following a reflective process. According to the “storied self” concept, the reflective process leads to the reconstruction of the self to improve roles and responsibilities in addressing racism at every level within the organization (Boske, 2015). Creating an environment that supports dialogue and free participation in discussion gives a chance for such reflections. The designed workshop seminar will thus be effective in promoting the eradication of racism in the workplace.

Activities of the Workshop

The workshop involves four main activities: introduction and warm-up, first-impression, the range of experiences, and stance taking activities.

  1. Introduction and warm-up

This stage of the workshop creates a suitable and free environment for all the employees. The workshop begins with an introduction section followed with a discussion on the various races and identities represented. The rules of the seminar, such as the equal chance of expression and total avoidance of confrontations, are also communicated during this stage. Warm-up activities such as simple exercises and rhyme songs are conducted at this step.

  • First-impression

The next step focuses on identifying the first impression exhibited by the employees in reference to different cases of racism. The idea of this activity is to get the initial thoughts of different people on different scenarios. The employees are then given a chance to reflect on how they develop assumptions, stereotypes, or impressions regarding the various cases presented. The aim of this exercise is to highlight the prejudice exhibited by the employees towards other people because of their color or identity.

  • Different Experiences

The next activity focuses on determining the experience of the employees regarding racism. Statements on different accounts of racism are read out to the employees who are then expected to acknowledge whether they have encountered such types of racism. The employees are also required to narrate their story and the feelings they developed. The aim of this activity is to enable the employees to reflect on their actions that have contributed to the pervasiveness of discrimination and racism in society.

  • Taking Stance

The last activity involves taking a stance on certain issues associated with discrimination, prejudice, and racism. Those who agree with the statement are separated from those who disagree and those who do not have a definite response. Most of the statements are focused on determining the perceptions of people towards the cultures and values of different communities. The employees are then given an opportunity to reflect on their thoughts and ascertain whether their stance is discriminatory or prejudiced.

It is expected that discussing and reflecting on the experience, actions, and behaviors of the employees that are discriminatory will give them an opportunity to change their behavior and refrain from racism.

Workshop Schedule

Time Activity Notes
8.30 am to  9.00 am Set-up and preparation Set-up the room and take record of the employees that are attending the workshop
9.30 am to 10.00 am Introduction and warm-up The employees of the organization and the instructors are asked to identify themselves
10.00 am to 11.00 am First impression exercise Present different cases of racism and determine the perceptions of the employees towards the same
11.00 am to 12.30 pm Different experiences activity Involve employees in a form of a discussion where their share their accounts and experience related to racism
12.30 pm to 1.45 pm Break for lunch  
2.00 pm to 3.30 pm Taking a stance Evaluate the stance taken by the employees on different racial and discriminatory statement and actions

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