In the current corporate sector, people no longer work in insular environments. Global competition has the been the key driver of the business operation. With this regard, companies are prompted to become diversified across all aspects from technology to workforce. One of the key issues in management is capitalizing and maximizing on diversity. Therefore, managers and supervisors are tasked with devising ways in which the work place is evolving and develop strategies that will counter these dynamics. Another primary requirement is the accommodation and adapting a multicultural working environment. Before understanding the effects of diversity at the work place, it is essential to first comprehend the meaning of the term. According to green et al (2011), diversity refers to the understanding, appreciating, accepting and acknowledging the differences among people. This understanding is with respect to ethnicity, gender, disabilities, age and class among other factors. Notably, the world currently is focused towards empowering women at the work place, an aspect of diversity. Creation of equity in organization operation has also been at the centre of diversity. In several states, there are labour laws and policies that have comprehensively discussed on the issue of diversity. While paying attention to aspects such as disability, gender race and ethnicity, organizations are therefore obliged to incorporate individuals across various areas and ensure a certain group of people is not underrepresented. Looking back in the past ages, organizations would not employ individuals that were disabled for reasons that they were not effective in their operations. Similarly, women were not common in manufacturing industries as it was believed to be a man job. Talking abut politics, women would not run for executive posts for fear of failure. In the current society, these aspects have been out dated with almost every organization employing a given percentage of disabled individuals. At the same time, it is a requirement to have women in the production and manufacturing industries as a result of diversity even in education.
The foundations of diversity have been recognized across various realms. However, it is essential to note that it all begins in education platforms. Indeed education is the background of all knowledge applicable in the organizations thus forming the core basis of diversity. Whether an institution offers education regarding healthcare or engineering, having students across various aspects regardless of the age, gender and ethnicity will define diversity even at the workplace. Notably, institutions in the modern society have embraced diversity in students even at an international level. Similarly, organizations employ various people from other countries despite the local job market. Another important factor to state regarding the foundation of diversity is at home. Current trends indicate a dual income based families where both genders contribute to the financial status of the family nevertheless; there has been an increase in the single working mothers which also indicate the dynamics at the workplace. Green et al. (2011) further states that there has been a reduction in the traditional roles which represent changes in the family structure. Globalization on the other hand has been embraced in almost all countries which indicate that there are changes at the workplace as a result of improvement in technology. In general, organization strategies mean that there are few people at the work place who will on the other hand work longer. Discrimination is another attribute of diversity in which the legislation has made it illegal. According to the law, you are specified rights and responsibilities governing both parties in an organization, the employees and the employers while holding everyone accountable.
Advantages of workplace diversity
As noted earlier, an organization success is dependent on its ability to embrace diversity across all aspects such as race, ethnicity and gender for it to realise its benefits. These benefits are realised only when the organization assesses its workplace diversity issues while developing strategies to implement the diversity plans. Some of these benefits include enhancing adaptability, widening the service ranges, effective execution and creation of various viewpoints. Regarding enhancing adaptability, it is possible to create a variety f solutions to challenges affecting a business. This includes strategies that will assist the organization in solving mazes regarding services being offered, allocation and sourcing of resources. Notably, when an organization employs workforce comprising of workers from various backgrounds, they bring along experiences and talents which suggest new ideas that will address the organization challenges including customer preferences, market fluctuation and with regards to healthcare, it will improve patient outcome while introducing new and improved patient intervention strategies. Considering organizations such as healthcare, one of the common aspects is having patients that are from various cultural backgrounds. As a result, it is imperative for the healthcare facility have diversified collection of experiences and skills that will address such a challenge. For instance, the aged patients who are form a remote community will have a problem expressing themselves to a medical practitioners. Therefore, if there is diversity at the workplace, it will mean there is a healthcare provider that understands the patient and will aid in their treatment. This describes the advantage of broadening service range while extending the services on a global perspective. As identified earlier, a diversified workforce involves having individuals with various skills and experiences. Therefore it is possible to address various issues in different ways which describes the advantage of diversity creating a variety of viewpoints. Never the less, these different ideas will assist in developing the most effective execution strategy which will result in high profits and return on investments.
Challenges of diversity
Although the success of diversity is recognized widely, there are still challenges affiliated with it especially when it comes to implementation. Some of these disadvantages include communication, change resistance, implementing the workplaces policies related to diversity and management of the diversity at the workplace. With regards to communication, some of the barriers that need to be overcome include cultural, language and perceptual. Overcoming these barriers is the core requirement for diversity related programs to success. Diversity ensures people across different backgrounds which mean different languages. As a result, the ineffective communication results in confusion, low motivation and lack of teamwork. Another challenging aspect is the resistance to change. Notably, different employees come from different backgrounds and will have strict cultures. As a result, they may refuse to embrace the change being proposed based on their culture, morals and values. Additionally, whenever there is an introduction of a new system or approach, people will always prefers working according to their old ways and strategies which is another reason behind change. Another challenge in implementing the diversity related programs is that of implementing the workplaces policies that touch on diversity. To ensure a successful change implementation, the diversity advocates are tasked with maximizing the effects of diversity at the workplace while basing it to their particular organization. To ensure a successful change implementation, various tools have been proposed which include training of the implementation personnel. However, training alone does not suffice the successful implementation. A diversity management plan will take more than training for its success to be realized. This will entail working together of the various departments in the organization to ensure a comprehensive working together.
Diversity strategies and plans
Greenberg (2011) describes some of the strategies that can be used to ensure a successful change strategy. This includes assessing the current situation at the workplace, developing the workforce plan and its implementation. During the assessment phase of diversity at the particular workforce, top organizations have evaluated the diversity process while making it an integral part of the management process. Some of the assessment strategies include employee satisfaction survey which will ensure a compete assessment both efficiently and conveniently. The assessment assists in determining the challenges and obstacles which are hindering the present diversity strategies. In line with assessment, it is essential to analyse the current strategies and policies pertaining diversity to establish what is and not working for the organization. The next phase is the development of the diversity workforce plan. Prior to making the key decision, a comprehensive survey will have been conducted previously. The provided report in the assessment forms the foundation of the plan. The pan is required to have a comprehensive and attainable strategy. The organization should decide the alterations needed and the timeline for completing the implementation. The final phase is the implementation which involves the personal commitment by the management and executive to incorporate diversity in the organization purpose and function. It is essential to consider other aspects such as attitude which determine the success of the implementation. While considering some of the possible strategies include every employee formulating their diversity initiatives at the workplace, fostering an attitude of transparency in the organization, promoting the diversity at the leadership position, considering the diversity training and conducting an employee satisfaction survey that provides comprehensive report on the diversity. The management is therefore tasked with ensuring a successful diversity at the workplace. Although different cultures characterise an effective diversity it is important to embrace a common language platform since communication forms the core foundation of averting diversity related issues.
Current research on diversity at the workplace
Various scholars have attempted to solve the issues pertaining diversity at the workplace by conducting studies and research regarding the issues. In the study on wellbeing in the context of workplace ethnic diversity, Noemi e al (2006) examine the relationship between workplace diversity and various aspects including psychosomatic complaints, psychological wellbeing, life satisfaction and job satisfaction. Based on the definition of diversity as co-workers proportion of similar ethnicity as respondents, this study reveals the importance of defining diversity with regards to occupational segregation issues. This research employed the use of non linear relationship between the co ethnicity and the outcomes. It was based on a sample of 648 African Americans as well as Latino workers in two main cities, New York and Chicago. The sample employed in this study involves 26% blacks, 22% Dominican Mexican and 39% Puerto Rican. The study made use of adults aged above 25 years. Some of the measures included demographic characteristics which included age gender, annual income and ethnicity. Another measurement aspect was the job characteristics which defined various jobs. Essentially, the covariates in this study included work hours per week, insecurity in job, discretion of skill and workload. While considering some of the covariates, they were defined according to hours spent in working and the willingness to stay in a particular job. While this described the job security aspect, skill discretion involved the average of seven items in a particular job and creativity and...
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