Diversity management and conflict negotiation for inclusive public services

Diversity Management (DM) was born in the USA in the 1960s, when the Civil Rights Movement bursts onto the social and political scene, raising the issue of diversity as a central issue in the American public debate. Only in the Nineties did the DM spread in a decisive way in Europe and from the effort of the European Union in 2004 the Diversity Charters were born and are currently signed in 26 countries. However, there is a substantial gap in the activation of diversity policies, especially with reference to the management of diversity within the internal organization of work, with patchy situations in Europe and above all with a lack of indicators at the level of real impact.

The DM implies a strong commitment on the part of those who have roles of decision and management of organizational processes and is not a simple process free from resistance and missteps. The internal work environment, starting with the managers, must in fact have the necessary skills in listening, reading needs, communicating as well as managing and negotiating conflicts which, in the first phase of enhancing diversity, will tend to increase. In addition, the interventions must be placed within the specific organizational and territorial reality. To do this, very significant skills in reading organizational contexts and of a relational and communicative nature are required. As well as the ability to manage participatory and shared processes. This gap will be partly filled with InPluServ.

The InPluServ Project also stands in a perspective of complementarity with respect to a previous experience "Others and me - The management of relationships in the workplace" (2016 2019), a project that involved CGIL / INCA (promoter) and ANCI (partner / promoter) and intended for workers of the Italian Public Administration. "Others and me" highlighted the need for training on the transversal skills of managers and management bodies as a driving force to favour the management of diversity and mediation of conflicts and improve the quality of public service organisation and delivery.

From this derives the need to strengthen the skills of PA managers as a priority and to offer a space for the exchange of good practices at European level suitable for guaranteeing the implementation of targeted and effective policies for the internal workforce and for the external context, both in terms of human resource management and talent attraction and above all, as the focus of this project, to ensure that public services, a privileged place for access to citizenship rights, are capable of deciphering and managing the complexity of their users.

The project therefore, also contributes to the VET priority to adapt to market expectations, understood in this case as the public of users of public services, through forms of work-based education and basic skills within public organizations. The transnational character will also make it possible to collect data and assessments capable of improving the harmonization at European level of the impact indicators of DM policies, in particular for public services, which often are not a priority in enhancing the DM.

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