Importance of Understanding Cultural, Ethnic, and Gender Differences by Managers and Professionals in a Business Setting Abstract Diversity in the workplace is one of the most critical challenges facing organizations today. When ignored or mismanaged, it brings challenges and obstacles that can hinder the organizations ability to succeed. For this reason, workshops, training programs, and college courses have been implemented to offer a copious amount of information on understanding and managing diversity as a success key to be competitive in this complex world of business.
Managing diversity is a continually evolving process targeted at improvement for the success in the organization. The world's increasing integration requires more interaction among people from diverse cultures, beliefs, gender and backgrounds than ever before. People no longer live and work in a small marketplace and they are now part of a worldwide economy with competition coming from nearly every continent. For this reason, organizations need diversity to become more creative and receptive to change.
Managers are the front line operators because they need to recognize the ways in which the workplace is changing, evolving, and diversifying. Since managing diversity remains an important organizational challenge, managers must learn the managerial skills needed in a multicultural work environment. Managers must be prepared to teach themselves and others within their organizations to value multicultural differences in their employees so that everyone is treated with dignity. Diversity is the presence of people from a wide range of backgrounds and possessing different traits.
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Differences in age, race, ethnic origin, culture, physical abilities, religion and sexual orientation are just some possible contributors to diversity (Neil Kokemuller and Demand Media, 2012). The need to understand diversity is also driven by women in the workplace. Today's workforce has the highest levels of employment participation ever by women. The number of dual income families and single working mothers has increased. Women are no longer considered inferior to men and are seen more as a professional instead of something pretty to look at. Therefore, diversity issues cut across both race and gender.
Also in order to ensure that people work together towards your business objectives in a positive environment, managers need to be aware of the existence and importance of culture and ethnical diversity. It often develops in the organization without the managers being aware of the change. Because employees adjust to a certain way of working and new staff is being taught to adjust to this culture. An example of this practice is the class assignment “Let’s Be lefties for a day”. As majority of society are right-handed we expect the lefties to adjust to our way of living. It is traditional and socially acceptable in most countries for a handshake to be made with the right hand. We understand that a left-handed handshake is used as a recognition device by some secret societies and has “sinister”. For example, in Latin, the word for “left” is sinister, which has come into English meaning “evil. ” The French word for “left” is gauche, which in English means “awkward “or “tactless. ” The English word left comes from the Old English left, meaning “weak” (Kalilich, 2003). It was very hard for me to adjust (well I didn’t) for the few hours that was attempted.
The assignment provided awareness about lefties and the obstacles they go through on a daily basis. Did you know that lefties cannot play the sport polo? And there are many other things that they cannot do or have to adapt to because they are not the majority. Therefore, education in diversity can help you to attain the organization objectives. Cultural change programs might be difficult to initiate and getting key staff on your side are crucial. Unfortunately, there is no recipe for success in the organization to accomplish this.
It mainly depends on the manager's ability to understand what is best for the organization based on teamwork and the dynamics of the workplace. According to Roosevelt (2001), managing diversity is a comprehensive process for creating a work environment that includes everyone. When creating a successful diverse work environment, an effective manager should focus on personal awareness. Both managers and employees need to be aware of their personal issues. Organizations need to develop, implement, and maintain ongoing training because a one-day session of training will not change people's behaviors (Roosevelt, 2001).
In conclusion, a diverse workforce is a reflection of a changing world and marketplace. Respecting individual differences will benefit the workplace by creating a competitive edge and increasing work productivity. Diversity management benefits employees by creating a fair and safe environment. Management tools in a diverse workforce should be used to educate everyone about diversity and its issues, including laws and regulations. Most workplaces are made up of diverse cultures, so organizations need to learn how to adapt to be successful.
References Kalilich, Jordon (2003). Being Left-Handed. One Lefty’s General Thoughts, Opinions, And Stuff. Retrieved November 2, 2012 from http://www. theworldofstuff. com/lefty/ Kokemuller, Neil (2012). What Is Diversity and How Does It Impact Work? Retrieved October 31, 2012 from http://smallbusiness. chron. com/diversity-impact-work-15985. html Roosevelt Thomas, R. Jr. (2001). Elements of a successful “diversity” process. The American Institute for Managing Diversity. Retrieved November 2, 2012 from http://www. aimd. org/articles/elements. html
Cultural Diversity in the Workplace essay
Managers, as is widely known, play a critical role in modern day organisations. With businesses having grown rapidly over the course of the second half of the 20th century, ongoing developments like the growing separation of ownership and management, the ever increasing sizes of businesses, and increasing specialisation have made managers critical to the successful functioning of all but small and tiny owner handled enterprises. Modern day managers, especially those who work with people in line and staff positions are responsible for supervising and enhancing the activities and productivity of their workers.
They play an important role in managing the performance of their staff, and are deeply involved in selection of employees, the development of their careers, planning of succession, and in many other aspects of human resource management, including compensation, rewards and training (Devoe, 1999). With modern day managements increasingly thinking of their employees as their most important organisational resource, managing employees is among the most important of managerial responsibilities (Devoe, 1999).
The second half of the 20th century has seen increasing diversity in the workplace, particularly in the UK and the USA because of a number of socio-economic reasons related to immigration, economic and educational emancipation of ethnic groups, and the increasingly greater roles assumed by women in social life (Devoe, 1999). Increasing workplace diversity has created a fresh set of challenges for managers who have been used to working in predominantly white and male environments (Devoe, 1999).
With effective communication between managers and the members of the workforce being critical for managerial effectiveness, this essay deals with the importance of communication between managers and the organisational workforce, the challenges and opportunities to management that have arisen out of increasing workplace diversity, the hindrances that can arise in communication in organisations with workplace diversity, and the importance of managers to have a good understanding of workplace diversity to be able to fulfil their responsibilities effectively.
2. Commentary and Analysis Role of Communication Modern day organisations, business or otherwise are substantially dependent upon communication, horizontal and vertical, external and internal, for their successful working. All organisations, large or small, business, governmental or not for profit, have agendas that could range from the very complex to the extremely simple. Communication is a demanding organisational issue and vitally important to organisational functioning for the execution of these agendas, regardless of size, nature or industry type.
Professor Leif Aberg (1998) of the Department of Communication, University of Helsinki states that communication gives these organisations momentum by fulfilling four basic functions, namely (a) supporting core functions, (b) profiling, (c) informing and (d) socialising. While the relative importance and scope of these four functions depends, to a great extent upon the size and nature of individual organisations, all four functions, taken together, undoubtedly account for most of the formal communication that occurs within organisations.
Managers depend upon the effectiveness and scope of communication with employees for optimising organisational working and performance. Core functions of different organisations could range from manufacturing products to providing services; or as is the case with many governmental bodies, executing administrative work (Harris, 2002). Core processes, irrespective of their nature, can occur only through effective communication between organisational members (Harris, 2002). Communication can be top down, bottom up, horizontal or diagonal.
Again it can relate to any or more of the issues involved in the carrying out of core functions (Harris, 2002). Effective communication between the management and the workforce has, as such, become an accepted imperative for organisational excellence, and breakdowns in this area are inevitably regarded as issues of major concern (Harris, 2002). The dissemination of information within an organisation is another key component of organisational communication structure (Harris, 2002).
Very typically, significant amounts of information are regularly processed within an organisation. These can (a) relate to events as well as developments that are internal or external to the organisation, or (b) concern organisational decisions taken at senior levels (Harris, 2002). Such information may need to be conveyed to members of the establishment (Harris, 2002). Decisions to communicate this sort of information are usually taken by members of senior management in consultation with communication managers.
Information about internal decisions could cover a very broad ambit and possibly include details about organisational performance, targets, personnel policies, promotions, increments and the like (Harris, 2002). It is imperative to ensure that real time business information reaches all ranks and functions in the organization (Harris, 2002). Considering the bulk of such information, it is thus but appropriate that the majority of communication matters within organisations deal primarily with dissemination of routine information (Harris, 2002).
The last regular function of communication concerns socialisation. Socialisation is primarily a process wherein members of an organisation or group learn to assimilate and internalise the behavioural norms, attitudes, thought processes and work ethics of the parent body (Harris, 2002). In most cases socialisation occurs when new entrants join organisations and take up their responsibilities (Harris, 2002). Its need could arise for existing organisational members too if they have to be transferred to different locations or departments (Harris, 2002).
Socialisation is essentially a learning process and could be needed, both at the time of induction of employees into an organisation, or at the time of their induction to work (Harris, 2002). It is one of the primarily responsibilities of the Human Resources function and normally takes place through training and induction protocols (Harris, 2002). These protocols are obviously dependent on communication through written, audiovisual, personal interaction, mentoring, or classroom mediums for their actual operation (Harris, 2002).
Apart from these four standard functions, informal communication takes place constantly within organisations and groups and serves to increase social interaction between colleagues and co-workers; thereby helping in building relationships, inculcating feelings of belonging and strengthening organisational loyalty and commitment. Communication is not thought of any more as a routine and peripheral function. Its role as a driver of organisational success is well accepted and managements are increasingly trying to ensure its optimal use in the shaping and steering of organisations.
Richard Luss and Steven Nice (2004) of Watson Wyatt state that communication serves organisations because (a) employees feel connected to the business and understand how their actions can support it, (b) new employees exhibit solid connections to the company culture starting from their initial days on the job, (c) it quickly connects employees to changing business challenges, facilitating faster adjustments to fluctuating market conditions, and (d) connects management with employees through strong leadership during times of organizational change.
While managers have for long been told about the importance of communication and in fact constantly trained to improve their communication skills, recent years have seen the emergence of challenges to effective communication that have arisen from the progressive diversification of the workplace. Diversity in the Workplace
Achievement of diversity in the workplace is an essential constituent of the last boundary that needs overcoming in the effort to ensure equal opportunity for all segments of society, locally, nationally and globally. While democratic systems and liberty have provided people in most countries the right to vote and fairness before law, equality in employment opportunities in the workplace is yet to arrive (Esty & Others, 1995).
Employment opportunities are by and large exploited by the more powerful segments of society, thus increasing economic disparities between the privileged and the disadvantaged (Esty & Others, 1995). In multicultural countries like the UK and the USA, a responsive society has guaranteed the progression of suitable laws to ensure the elimination of inequitable practices in the workplace on account of issues of sex, race, religion, age or sexual orientation of potential or present employees (Esty & Others, 1995).
Governmental intentions and public laws however still need to be carried forward into unswerving actions in the workplace, more so with smaller organisations, which form a large part of the existing business configuration (Esty & Others, 1995). Business firms, public offices policymakers and many business leaders are seriously considering and implementing measures to enhance the representation of various communities, as well as women, at many levels, in their places of work (Fine, 1996).
Achievement of diversity in the workplace has now become an area of priority and important for image, as well as political correctness. With there being little abnormal for democratic and developed countries in the modern age to strive for equality of faith, religious conviction, gender, age and ethnicity, a really multicultural and essentially civilised society should, in the normal course, have the ability to provide the same opportunities to all its people.
Similar work opportunities in the place of work, the same value systems for all individuals, ought to be an indisputable and irrefutable actuality, and the very fact that it continues to be an issue for deliberation, debate, and discussion, and that too in the modern day, and not in the historical perspective, is very distressing. Diversity in the workplace, in actuality, is still a distant phenomenon. The employment configurations of most firms tilt in favour of recruiting white males, despite the availability of perhaps more appropriate persons from other social sections.
(Fine, 1996) While the official electronic and physical information dissemination vehicles of many business firms have suitably framed statements about equality in matters of employment, as also the organisational commitment to the achievement of greater diversity, very few businesses and companies can actually even come near achieving the local or national demographic structure in their workplaces, the single accurate gauge of workplace diversity (Fine, 1996). The tendency to place individuals in compartments and to approach different social segments separately continues to survive.
Reasons for the Need of Managers to Understand Workplace Diversity There is nevertheless, an increasing consciousness of the huge and enduring advantages that can come the way of western firms businesses and society through the realisation of diversity in the workplace. Much of this awareness is being provided by large transnational corporations, which, owing to their substantial familiarity with managing workforces drawn from various nations, ethnicities and social segments, have come to understand the advantages of a varied diversified workforce (Allison, 1999).
Many of these organisations, e. g. Philip Morris, British Petroleum, and Citibank, have been able to achieve considerable diversity in their organisations with consequent corporate advantages (Allison, 1999). With business firms realising the substantial advantages that can accrue out of diversification of their staff structure, it is being predicted that diversity will progressively become integral to western corporate frameworks (Allison, 1999).
Again, with many firms already putting programmes for diversification in place, management experts stress that accomplishment of workforce diversity will become important for achieving competitive advantage (Allison, 1999). Whilst it is inevitable that enhancement in the numbers of suitable people from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds will result in the erosion of the proportion of white males in western organisations, it also needs to be realised that delays in such actions will also lead to gradual declines in the availability of internal talent pools and in the erosion of competitive advantage (Fine, 1996).
Progressive organisations are in the process of building up skilled, creative and innovative manpower resources by providing unobstructed workplace surroundings, clear objectives and a range of skills, knowledge and abilities (Fine, 1996). It is also becoming widely accepted that the achievement of diversity in the workplace leads to a substantial increase in the production of ideas and in the innovative ability of organisations (Allison, 1999).
NASA stands out as an example of a culturally diverse organisation where a multicultural and mixed workforce has contributed in the building of one of the world’s greatest institutions (Diversity and NASA, 2002). Managers across a broad spectrum of industries and organisations in the advanced nations are now actively progressing diversification programmes with varying commitment and results. There also appears to be general agreement on its utility in bringing about a significant number of business and operational advantages, along with the accomplishment of social equity.
In fact organisations that have diversified workforces become far more flexible and are able to provide a greater number of solutions to workplace challenges. Employees from different backgrounds add depth to organisations and enable them to understand the nuances of the marketplace far more effectively. A range of abilities and skills, including knowledge of different languages and cultures, empowers organisations to absorb different viewpoints, absorb different ideas and deal better with the demands of the global marketplace.
Diversified organisations are able to draw from a larger reservoir of experiences and awareness for purposes of strategy formulation and satisfaction of customer expectations (Fine, 1996). With organisations becoming progressively diversified it becomes essential for managers to develop a sound understanding of the various social and organisational issues that relate to diversity; such awareness will help them to relate to a diversified workplace, appreciate the needs of employees, respond more appropriately to workplace challenges and optimize the working of their organisations (Fine, 1996).
The lack of understanding of such issues will invariably lead to mistakes in communication efforts, misunderstandings, resentment, and adverse impact upon productivity and operational and financial performance (Fine, 1996). Managerial Responsibilities in Diversified Workplaces Managers of modern day western businesses face significant challenges in understanding, coming to terms with, and effectively utilising their progressively diverse work environments.
Most of the difficulties faced by organisations in implementing diversification and effectively utilising diversified workforces arise from issues that exist in latent form under the working and public surface. “Many remarks made by people that appear to be harmless or throw away may assume only opposite sex relationships are valid. This is demeaning for LGB (Lesbians, gays and Bisexuals) people and they may fear a negative reaction if the assumptions are challenged. Whenever they do challenge these assumptions, they must come out to the person who made them. This can often be a daily occurrence and can be very draining.
” (Fair for all, 2006) Concealed mindsets, attitudes, and emotions emerge by and large at the time of taking important decisions, be they at the time of selection of potential employees, allocating work or giving promotions to existing workers. “Negative attitudes and behaviors can be barriers to organizational diversity because they can harm working relationships and damage morale and work productivity. Negative attitudes and behaviors in the workplace include prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination, which should never be used by management for hiring, retention, and termination practices (could lead to costly litigation).
” (Fair for all, 2006) Business firms that have adopted some rudimentary and preliminary policies to put diversity into operation, but do not have a plainly expressed and decided plan are quite likely to experience adverse results with their diversity actions. Such companies, whilst visibly recognised to be unbiased, often overlook and agree to influence and authority disparities between groups of employees. Diversity policies in such circumstances become symbolic rather than actual, and ethical and principled issues become cloaked by the need to be lawfully and politically proper.
Diversity frequently becomes a publicly appropriate pretense rather than a strategic and agreed aim, the dismantling of fences and obstructions to diversity in stated policies not being backed up by its actual accomplishment. Women, individuals from different ethnic backgrounds, and disabled people, in such workplaces, are given place but expected to behave in accordance with the expectations of the prevailing male, white employees. Gaining understanding of diversity issues will enable managers to recognise deep rooted prejudices, not only in their employees, but also in themselves, and empower them to build an equitable workplace.
Redesigning of social systems, according to Stein (1994) is dependent upon the acknowledgement of the “silences and denials” that surround positions of privilege and the need to progressively dismantle such beliefs and mindsets. Many managers may also suffer from their lack of exposure to multiculturalism, making it more important for them to understand the benefits of a diversified workplace, the challenges that arise during the implementation of diversity and the ways and mans by which such challenges can be overcome.
In many cases, members of the dominant group suffer from a severe lack of exposure to minorities and while they are sincere in their desire to promote diversity, tend to feel much more comfortable with what they feel to be familiar, with consequently undesirable consequences. Conclusion A diverse workforce is a manifestation of an evolving society and its various constituents. Diversity augments competitive advantage and adds value to organizations.
With most workplaces progressively becoming diverse in their staffing, managers need to understand that the acknowledgement of individual differences creates advantages in the workplace and increases productivity. The effective management of diversity creates a safe and equitable environment that provides equal opportunities and challenges to all employees. Understanding of diversity issues by managers helps in improving communication between managers and members of the workforce, both in formal and informal communication processes. Efficient and productive managers must contribute to the building of successful and diverse workforces.
Managers must first realise of the complexity of discrimination and its consequences. They must also learn to become aware of their own cultural predispositions and prejudices. Lastly managers must be willing to bring in necessary changes in missions, strategies, policies and procedures, to bring about workplace diversity. “Unfortunately, there is no single recipe for success. It mainly depends on the manager's ability to understand what is best for the organization based on teamwork and the dynamics of the workplace. Managing diversity is a comprehensive process for creating a work environment that includes everyone.
When creating a successful diverse workforce, an effective manager should focus on personal awareness. Both managers and associates need to be aware of their personal biases. Therefore, organizations need to develop, implement, and maintain ongoing training because a one-day session of training will not change people's behaviors. ” (Rooselvet, 2001) References Aberg, L, 1998, Organisational communication as a strategic resource, Retrieved January 10, 2007 from www. valt. helsinki. fi/staff/aberg/iabclast/ Allison, M. T. , 1999, Organizational Barriers to Diversity in the Workplace, Journal of Leisure Research, 31(1), 78+ Black Enterprise, (2001), Managing a multicultural workforce.
Black Enterprise Magazine Armstrong, P, 2004, Managing diversity in the workplace: representation of difference in The Office, SCUTREA Conference, Devoe, D, 1999, Managing a diverse workforce. San Mateo, CA: InfoWorld Media Group. Diversity and NASA, 2002, Final Frontier, Ad Astra to the stars, Retrieved March 21, 2007 from www. nss. org/adastra/volume14/v14n5/contents/V14_N5_F1. pdf Esty, Katharine, Richard Griffin, and Marcie Schorr-Hirsh, (1995), Workplace diversity, A managers guide to solving problems and turning diversity into a competitive advantage.
Avon, MA: Adams Media Corporation. Estlund, C. , 2003, Working Together: How Workplace Bonds Strengthen a Diverse Democracy /. New York: Oxford University Press. Fair for all, 2006, Good LGBT practice in the NHS, Retrieved March 30, 2007 from www. lgbthealthscotland. org. uk/documents/Good_LGBT_Practice_NHS. pdf Flagg, A, 2002, Managing diverse workgroups successfully, Retrieved February 10, 2009 from http://www. ubhnet. com Fine, M. G. , 1996, Cultural Diversity in the Workplace: The State of the Field.
The Journal of Business Communication, 33(4), 485+ Harris, T.E, 2002, Applied Organizational Communication: Principles and Pragmatics for Future Practice Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Kikoski, C. K. , & Kikoski, J. F. , 1999, Reflexive Communication in the Culturally Diverse Workplace (2nd ed. ). Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers. Koonce, R, 2001, Redefining diversity: It's not just the right thing to do; it also makes good business sense. Training and Development, December Loysk, B, 1996, Managing a changing workforce: Achieving outstanding service with today’s employees. Davie, FL: Workplace Trends Publishing
Luss, R and Nyce, S, 2004, Connecting Organizational Communication to Financial Performance: The Methodology behind the 2003/2004 Communication ROI Study, Retrieved February 10, 2009, from www. ociabc. org/events/presentations/ROI_Study_Methodology. pdf Robinson, Kary-Siobhan, 2002, U. S. must focus on diversity or face decline in competitiveness. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Retrieved February 10, 2009 from http://www. shrm. org Rooselvet, T, 2001, Elements of a successful "diversity" process. The American Institute for Managing Diversity
Importance of Understanding Culture Diversity in the Workplace
Importance of Understanding Culture Diversity in the Workplace In business today it is important to have a diverse group of employees in the workplace. Our textbook defines diversity as real or perceived differences among people in race, ethnicity, sex, age, physical and mental ability, sexual orientation, religion, work and family status, weight and appearance, and other identity-based attributes that affect their interactions and relationships (Bell, 2012, p. 5).
It is very important to understand the cultural, ethnical, and gender differences by professionals and management in the workforce in this day and age. If an organization develops a reputation for valuing all types of employees, it will become known as an employer of choice, in which workers from all backgrounds feel they have the opportunity to work, grow, and be treated fairly (Bell, 2012, p. 4). By being diverse in its employees, a business has a better opportunity for new ideas and growth potential and less likely to be stymied.
Despite extraordinary corporate and media attention paid to diversity in the past thirty years, discrimination, inequality, and exclusion persist in organizations (Bell, 2012, p. 4). As discussed this week in class, when the department head turned down the Jamaican friend for the position, even though he seemed better qualified, it showed stereotyping and prejudices can have a negative effect in the workplace. The situation made for an uncomfortable, even negative environment in the workplace.
By the department head’s negative behavior it caused a barrier for productivity and potentially harmed working relationships. It is essential in today’s business world for managers and professionals to understand the importance of cultural, ethnical and gender differences to make the workplace environment an at-ease one for employees to thrive and be productive. In every culture there are unique thought processes and behaviors and these cultural differences have a strong impact on workplace interaction and communication.
What may be considered the norm for one person’s culture could be completely unacceptable to another. People from diverse cultures bring new ways of thinking, ingenuity and communication skills needed to endure in today’s workforce. Working in and learning in environments with people who are different can benefit individuals through intellectual engagement, perspective taking, and greater understanding of the implications and benefits of diversity (Bell, 2012, p. 4). In the healthcare industry, employers benefit by hiring a diverse workforce.
Hospitals have come to appreciate that by hiring staff from different cultural, ethnical, and gender backgrounds, it brings a great deal of valued thoughts and insight when it applies to patient care. Ultimately, if a hospital's workforce more closely resembles the patient population it serves quality measures and patient satisfaction scores will improve (Commins, 2012, p. 2). Nursing care must become more culturally, ethnically, and gender diverse in order for the nursing unit to reflect the diversity of the population it treats.
The ball and sock experiment really showed me how it feels to be different. I felt awkward and uncomfortable, I struggled with daily tasks that I normally accomplished without having to even think about, for example, brushing my teeth, shaving my legs, inserting the keys into the ignition of my car, shifting the gears of my car to just name a few. By the end of the day I could perform these tasks more easily but I still had to use more focus and effort.
The ball and sock experiment opened my eyes to how it must feel to be outside of what society considers to be the norm and gave me a new appreciation for how these differences help shape our society. In conclusion, it is very important to understand the need for cultural, ethnical, and gender differences by professionals and management in the workforce in this day and age. Diversity in the workplace, no matter in healthcare or any other business, is of the utmost importance for growth and prosperity.
Required Tools for Managing Diversity
Effective managers are aware that certain skills are necessary for creating a successful and diverse workforce. First, managers must understand discrimination and its consequences. Second, managers must recognize their own cultural biases and prejudices. Diversity is not about differences among groups, but rather about differences among individuals. Each individual is unique and does not represent or speak for a particular group. Finally, managers must be willing to change the organization if necessary.
Organizations need to learn how to manage diversity in the workplace to be successful in the future. Unfortunately, there is no single recipe for success. It mainly depends on the manager's ability to understand what is best for the organization based on teamwork and the dynamics of the workplace. According to Roosevelt (2001), managing diversity is a comprehensive process for creating a work environment that includes everyone. When creating a successful diverse workforce, an effective manager should focus on personal awareness. Both managers and associates need to be aware of their personal biases.
Therefore, organizations need to develop, implement, and maintain ongoing training because a one-day session of training will not change people's behaviors. Managers must also understand that fairness is not necessarily equality. There are always exceptions to the rule. Managing diversity is about more than equal employment opportunity and affirmative action. Managers should expect change to be slow, while at the same time encouraging change. Another vital requirement when dealing with diversity is promoting a "safe" place for associates to communicate.
Social gatherings and business meetings, where every member must listen and have the chance to speak, are good ways to create dialogues. Managers should implement policies such as mentoring programs to provide associates access to information and opportunities. Also, associates should never be denied necessary, constructive, critical feedback for learning about mistakes and successes. Some of the HRM tools to manage diversity and face the issue of discrimination include: ? Application of perfect laws and legislations against discrimination ? Affirmative actions ? Diversity training
Personality development Conclusion A diverse workforce is a reflection of a changing world and marketplace. Diverse work teams bring high value to organizations. Respecting individual differences will benefit the workplace by creating a competitive edge and increasing work productivity. Diversity management benefits associates by creating a fair and safe environment where everyone has access to opportunities and challenges.
Management tools in a diverse workforce should be used to educate everyone about diversity and its issues, including laws and regulations. Most workplaces are made up of diverse cultures, so organizations need to learn how to adapt to be successful. Diversity, if positively managed, can increase creativity and innovation in organizations as well as improve decision making by providing different perspectives on problems.
1. Stephen P. Robbins, Organizational Behavior, Prentice Hall of India, Tenth Edition. Pg. 14-15. 2. Garry Dessler, Human Resource Management, Eastern Economy edition, Pg 25-57.
Thinking About Diversity and Inclusion Critical Analysis
Thinking About Diversity and Inclusion SOC/315 October 10, 2011 Michelle Curtain Thinking About Diversity and Inclusion What are the dimensions of cultural diversity? Identify and briefly explain the dimensions by referencing both textbooks. Diversity can be defined as “the ways in which people differ that may affect their organizational experience in terms of performance, motivation, communication, and inclusion” (Harvey/Allard, 2009). These differences and similarities are broken-down into two dimensions. Primary dimensions are considered to be more fixed, visible, and relevant to an individual’s identity. Secondary dimensions are considered to be more fluid, and less central to one’s social identity” (Harvey/Allard, 2009). Primary dimensions of cultural diversity can include age, mental/physical abilities, ethnic heritage, gender, sexual orientation, and race. Secondary dimensions of cultural diversity can comprise of one’s geographic location, family status, income, religion, and language among many other characteristics. Secondary dimensions are determined more by choice and are less visible.
Another dimension is indentifying people and placing them into minority groups based on race, ethnicity, religion, and gender. “A minority group is a subordinate group whose members have significantly less control or power over their own lives than do the members of a dominant or majority group. A subordinate group is characterized by “unequal treatment, distinguishing physical or cultural traits, involuntary membership, awareness of subordination, and in-group marriage” (Schaefer, 2011). With what ethnic, cultural, or other groups do you identify? Describe what members of your social circle have in common.
To describe myself I am a white, 35 year old male. This is a very large group I fallen into, however even with these similarities I have with other members one may see myself not part of this group based on my differences. I believe due to my background of growing up in West Virginia, I associate more often with people from the same area of that country. A large portion of my friends I met in Arizona are from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. We seem to all share the same perspectives on life and feel as if we have known each all of our life due to sharing the same culture.
I would also describe myself as indentifying with people that share the same taste in music as I. A description often heard is a “head”, as in Deadhead or Phishhead, for people that like the music from bands such as the Grateful Dead or Phish. The majority of the people that listen to this genre of music religiously follow the bands to numerous cities across the country to see multiple shows. What is the difference between diversity and inclusion? Diversity represents groups of people containing different characteristics such as skin color/race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, and citizenship.
However, inclusion allows people to be included in these groups so one can be valued based on one’s skills, distinctive traits, and point of view. “Leveraging diversity requires a culture of inclusion to support it” (Harvey/Allard, 2009). Inclusion ensures people can work as a team and be themselves. By doing so, everyone works well with one another and can see the benefit of having different characteristics on the team. “Inclusion is engaging the uniqueness of the talents, beliefs, backgrounds, capabilities, and ways of living of individuals and groups when joined in a common endeavor” (Institute for Inclusion, 2010).
While being diverse is important to everyone, the available benefits are not automatically seen until inclusion is put into play. Diversity and inclusion when combined can result in more effective decision making and greater innovation by everyone involved. What is the importance of workplace diversity training? Workplace diversity training is vital for any business in order to become and continue to be successful. A business can receive priceless benefits by incorporating diversity training in the workplace. Such benefits include retaining more quality employees, a decrease in workplace incidences and increased team and individual morale.
These benefits can be achieved by teaching employees how to identify and resolve issues regarding stereotyping in the workplace before it can get out of hand. Communication and listening are important factors as well and without them, one could see an increase with workplace issues such as discrimination or harassment lawsuits. Workplace diversity training allows one to be them self and be accepted in order to build strong, long lasting working relationships so everyone can benefit. By continuing workplace diversity training a business will ensure their employees will maintain growth and increase production.
Also, by having this ongoing training the business can ensure all new employees will work well with current employees. What is your experience with workplace culture? Could there be, or could there have been, more inclusion? “Culture is the environment that surrounds you at work all of the time. Culture is a powerful element that shapes your work enjoyment, your work relationships, and your work processes” (Heathfield, 2011). My company makes is a priority to have a good workplace culture throughout the entire business. My workplace culture is very diverse by having a wide variety of people from different backgrounds.
Very few people that work for the company are actually from Arizona. By having this diverse culture within the workplace, the employees are able to share their experiences in order to better themselves and the organization. These differences also enable the company to relate to customers with same backgrounds as the employees. When that connection is made, the employee can relate to the customer’s needs or desires by relating past experiences to understand where one is coming from. I believe my workplace culture uses inclusion very often and reasonably well. As employees, we are all divided up into teams.
Each team member learns from one another by seeing other’s point of view in a way that was never seen before. Reference Harvey, C. P. , and Allard, M. J. (2009). Understanding and managing diversity (4th ed. ). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. Heathfield, S. (2011). Culture: Your Environment for People at Work. Retrieved from http://humanresources. about. com/od/organizationalculture/a/culture. htm Institute for Inclusion. (2010). Implementing Inclusion. Retrieved from http://www. instituteforinclusion. org/ Schaefer, R. T. (2011). Racial and ethnic groups (12th ed. ). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson
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Argumentative Essay about Cultural Diversity. (2016, Dec 03). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/cultural-diversity-170311/