Stereotyping in the workplace Essay
A stereotype refers to a generalization that is held by certain social groups about certain individuals or groups that is not founded on any objective truth but rather on wrongful assumptions (Hurst 137). There are several reasons as to why people develop stereotypes. Some of these reasons include the need to believe oneself as better than others hence attaining self esteem, childhood influences that develop as people grow and which make people to view others in a certain manner and that stereotyping helps people to mentally arrange huge amounts of information and therefore being able to take in the intricacies of other people.
Stereotypes are often developed over one’s life time through these false assumptions consciously with the process occurring subconsciously at times. Stereotyping has been done against individuals or groups of people based on ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status, gender, disability, and race. All these types of stereotypes exist within our societies and are expressed in all places including in schools, homes, hospitals, and in the workplace. Stereotypes produce both positive and negative effects to the people concerned.
The people who hold the wrongful assumptions usually experience positive effects while those who are stereotyped usually experience negative effects. It is these negative effects that are detrimental to society as well as in the workplace. Negative effects of stereotyping in the workplace Stereotyping in the workplace affects overall productivity of an organization as people begin to look down upon others. Due to the stereotypes that people hold, they will dislike those that they look down upon and therefore will not be able to work effectively together resulting in delayed work within an organization.
This will result in a decrease in the productivity of the organization as people will not be doing their duties in a timely manner as expected as they tend to ignore those that they deem inferior to them. Duties might be given to less competent individuals so that fellow employees who are competent but looked down upon do not do them. A decrease in productivity results to decreased profits as well. This is bad especially to the stakeholders who have invested in that organization with intentions of receiving profits from these investments.
Decreasing productivity levels mean that the organization is unable to satisfy the needs of its consumers and therefore its consumers will look for other organizations that can provide them with the desired goods and services. In addition, continued losses could lead to the closure of the organization as it will not be able to sustain itself in business. Stereotyping leads to denial of certain opportunities within the workplace (Michalle 184).
People who are competent for a certain position within an organization could be denied employment since the person in charge has a stereotype against the person being employed. With the ever competitive business world that business organizations operate in today, employees with the right set of skills are an important asset and therefore practices that prevent competent employees from filling certain positions due to stereotyping are detrimental to the organization. Stereotyping leads to sexual harassment which results in the creation of a hostile working environment.
Gender stereotypes have existed for long within society with women being looked down upon and considered as the weaker gender. These stereotypes have been extended in to the workplace where seniors sexually harass their female juniors as they hold the view that women are sexual objects. How to eliminate stereotypes within the workplace Due to the negative effects that stereotypes have in the workplace, there is need for measures to be taken so as to prevent such practices. Firstly, there is need to recognize the presence of stereotypes within the workplace.
This is the initial step which will involve identifying incidences of stereotyping within the workplace and the extent to which the practice is carried out within an organization. This should be done on all levels of the organization so as to ensure uniformity. Secondly, the management should develop policies that prevent practices within the organization that promote any kind of stereotype (Michalle 286). These policies should cover all types stereotypes present in the organization and be easy to understand so that they are implemented by the entire members of the organization without any kinds of hindrances.
Management should show guidance by setting the right examples in the implementation of these policies so that the lower level employees will follow what is being done. Thirdly, the organizations could carryout diversity education for its employees where they are educated on the origins of stereotypes, their ill effects in society and workplaces, and how to cope with people of different backgrounds. This will include challenging the various wrongful assumptions that people hold against others and showing them how these assumptions are not founded on any factual evidence.