Looking at the case study, the creation of competencies for betterment is needed to address U. S. employee’s effectiveness in operating in a maquiladora or any other non-US organization. One important competency is the relative understanding of various cultural practices among the workforce. Employees must be given the relevant information that can improve the way work is established. Another important competency is the aim to develop intercultural communication practices among the workforce. By being culturally sensitive, the company can effectively use communication strategies that will foster better performance from employees.
“As this suggests, workplace diversity can provide tremendous benefits in terms of improved morale, outside-the-box thinking, greater teamwork, and an atmosphere of mutual understanding and respect” (University of California, 2006). Lastly, there is a need to enhance and develop the notion of heterogeneity. “Heterogeneity promotes creativity and heterogeneous groups have been shown to produce better solutions to problems and a higher level of critical analysis” (University of California, 2006) By the promotion of such skill among the workforce, better communication and respect can be created which can be an important notion for change.
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Also, it can help facilitate the issues present in a diversified working environment. “Accommodation issues for our diverse workforce, such as childcare, elder care, flexible work arrangements, disability accommodation, and literacy are being addressed in the workplace” (University of California, 2006). What are some of the costs of not understanding diversity? What could the organization have gained by approaching the plant with greater cultural understanding? Disregarding the importance of diversity in the workplace, it can create numerous problems for the company/organization.
Various costs can be exhausted from such inefficient practice which include limited growth and productivity, inefficiency, and conflict. “Some of the consequences can include unhealthy tensions; loss of productivity because of increased conflict; inability to attract and retain talented people of all kinds; complaints and legal actions; and inability to retain valuable employees, resulting in lost investments in recruitment and training” (University of California, 2006).
On the other hand, if the company adheres towards the creation of better cultural understanding among the workforce, it can create better positive impacts on work relationships, productivity and growth. One important benefit of such initiative is that it can create better avenues for the enhancement of skills. This is because the communication barrier is addressed and in turn contributes to better training and development of skills related to work. “Bringing people from different backgrounds together will enrich our lives as well as workplaces” (Kent, 2006).
Another important benefit of such endeavor is conflict shall be prevented in the workplace. Majority of conflicts arising from the workplace revolves around unprofessional occurrences between co-workers. Due to this, “managers must recognize the effects of diversity in their firms and plan to deal with potential conflicts and they must also recognize the different strengths of individuals and groups so that they cay utilize their skills more effectively” (Cartby, 2006)
From the HR perspective, what were the unique challenges that Angelica faced at various points in her work for USMed? Using the HR perspective, one important challenge that Angelica faced is the issue concerning discrimination. Though she was half Mexican, she realized the difficulty in communicating with other Mexican workers. She found it difficult to adjust to their environment and practices. Another important challenge for Angelica is the communication process with her colleagues.
Though she may be adept at speaking the language, (Mexican Spanish) Angelica still felt an outcast in work because several employees continued to hinder information for her that is vital in the overall completion of a particular issue. Lastly, Angelica also faced the tough challenge of gender bias. Since she was a woman, Mexican men employees often look down on her. The only consolation that she has was that she came from America and she is a supervisor/manager. If not, then she would have been treated the same as Mexican women are treated.
Angelica worked in a plant outside the U. S. What do her experiences and perspectives tell us that applies to domestic operations? Seeing the case study of Angelica and her experience at USMed, it can be seen that the company does not really take into importance and consideration the application of diversity in the workplace. In addition to such, the company does not have specific mechanisms that will improve such conditions. Also, the communication process between Angelica and top management remain to be surrounded by personal opinions and prejudices.
This was manifested by the reluctance of the company to apply the suggestions that Angelica has proposed to alleviate the issue. Lastly, the clash between two cultures was not adequately addressed by the company which in turn prevented better opportunities that the company can exhaust from such expansion and outsourcing of labor from their Mexican counterparts. Such practice can impede growth and productivity of the company. References Cartby, D. (February 2006) Managing Diversity – Management and Multi-Cultural Workforce in Associated Content. Retrieved July 11, 2008 from http://www.
associatedcontent. com/article/19510/managing_diversity_management_and_the. html? page=2&cat=3 Kent, J. (June 2006) Diversity in the Workplace in Associated Content. Retrieved July 11, 2008 from http://www. associatedcontent. com/article/40756/diversity_in_the_work_place. html? page=2&cat=9 University of California. (2006) Human Resources/Guide to Managing Human Resources: Chapter 12: Managing Diversity in the Workplace. Retrieved July 11, 2008 from http://ucsfhr. ucsf. edu/index. php/pubs/hrguidearticle/chapter-12-managing-diversity-in-the-workplace/
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