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Providing a healthy, respectable and accountable workplace culture should be one of the topmost priorities for all companies and organizations in the world.

Given that human resources are the biggest assets to a company, it is important to handle all kinds of issues and grievances at work so that employees feel positively valued.

Stereotyping based on ethnic group, religion or any other kind of difference should be avoided at all costs. Stereotyping can deplete employee morale, demotivate employees and can cause them to have low productivity eventually.

It also makes it difficult for groups and people to get along which negatively impacts the organization. It hurts employee sentiment and depletes team spirit on the whole. In this blog, we discuss 10 ways to handle stereotyping at the workplace in an effective manner.

10 Methods to handle stereotyping within workplace

Stereotyping at any level of the company should be handled with care. Even though the management can establish policies against it, it can still exist in some or the other way or form.

Simple methods such as educating team members against such a practice, laying out company policy against such practices, giving people a chance to bond using team exercises etc can help.

Here are 10 effective ways to deal with stereotyping at workplace:

1. Raise awareness and education

It is important for all employees at a company or an organization to be properly educated about the various types of stereotypical instances or behavior at work.

Most people are unaware of how their words, actions or statements can be morally derogatory or stereotypical towards a particular subset of people.

It is important to highlight all such instances, words or actions so that employees are properly educated and awareness towards such behavior can be raised.

2. Lead by example

One of the most important things when it comes to negative behavior is that it is passed down from one level of management to the other.

When the senior management within a company is sensitive towards the various religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds at work and provides respect and appreciation to such a diverse workforce, the same will be followed by all the following levels of management.

It is important that the training towards stereotypical behavior be targeted from top to bottom so that employees can learn from their superiors.

3. Establish clear policies and guidelines

Another important step towards raising awareness and developing methods to handle stereotypes at work is to establish clear guidelines and listing out company policies so that employees know which behavior at work, words or actions to stay away from.

Rules and regulations are one of the easiest ways to maintain decorum at work and without a written word, it may be difficult for employees to articulate such instances and avoid them.

4. Encourage employee feedback

A company’s employees may suffer from stereotypical behavior at their workplace without it coming to the surface or be reported by an employee.

It is important to encourage employees to come forward to provide feedback on any behavior at work that may be depleting their morale, or discouraging them at the workplace.

Managers could make this feedback anonymous so that employees can participate more freely. Employee feedback can be collected from employees after annual meets, social meets, or over HR appraisal procedures.

5. Implement diverse hiring practices

One of the most important things to eliminate stereotypical behavior at the workplace is by hiring a diverse workforce and being culturally inclusive.

This can be done by setting aside a certain percentage to hire people from all cultural groups and ethnic backgrounds.

By having a large and diverse workforce, cultural sensitivity can be improved at the workplace and employees automatically begin to appreciate their differences.

6. Promote employee resource groups

Employee resource groups are one of the best initiatives that have been around in major corporates around the world.

These employee led and employee based groups within companies can be formed to help all kinds of employees from different backgrounds, preferences or lifestyles and support them with issues or tensions that they may have at work.

As an employer, these groups are beneficial as they help the workforce mitigate issues within themselves and therefore boost employee morale.

7. Offer cultural sensitivity training

Knowing the different cultures and being sensitive towards the differences that people have within their thoughts, actions, religious or socio-economic backgrounds can help raise awareness amongst employees.

Employees who are exposed to such training are more mindful of their words, actions and behavior while at work and are more accepting of all kinds of culture and ethnic groups while at work, which in turn can help build team collaborations and spirit.

Cultural sensitivity training has been proven effective against instances of bias, partiality, racism, sexism and stereotyping at work globally.

8. Encourage collaboration and team building

In continuation to the above strategy, companies should also include team collaboration and team building exercises atleast once in a year to help employees forge bonds over simple activities that require coordination and effort.

When given a platform to work together in a social setting, team members get a chance to bond better with each other and create relationships which extend to their work environment as well.

Mark atleast one team outing with team building exercises or make time for team lunch or dinners regularly.

9. Establish a grievance resolution process

A robust and effective grievance redressal system is an important part of the HR functions at any organization that has more than 25 employees.

Managers at work must be able to handle any instances of bias, partiality, or issues relating to racism or stereotyping at work. This can include anonymous complaint forms, mandatory training etc so that employees feel free to approach the management for help.

Grievances should be resolved quickly and must always be handled with care and sensitivity by the management.

10. Celebrate diversity and achievements

One of the best ways to handle stereotypical behavior at work is to celebrate the differences that people have amongst them - be it religion, ethnicity, lifestyle or personal choices.

This helps employees bond over the differences that they may have and help create a socio-economic culture at work.

The best way to do this is by celebrating festivals and other individual holidays such as international labors day, women's day, fathers day, St Patrick's day etc.


Stereotyping, unlike bias and favoritism, may exist superficially and can be easily removed from the workplace with these 10 effective strategies. Using these methods, companies can train employees to respect all subsets based on color, caste, creed, religion or any other ethnic group.

Employees who understand and actively act against stereotyping can be more accommodating, have better team spirit, function well within organizations and can in turn, have higher productivity and higher morale at work.

By engaging employees in educating against stereotyping and helping teams train in cultural sensitivity, companies can rule out any stereotypical behavior or attitude amongst employees.

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