Diversity management might be seen as a necessary encumbrance – something managers do because they have to – or it may be seen as a source of competitive advantage. What do you think? In your answer discuss the benefits and challenges of diversity managem Essay Example
The workplace should be inclusive to all workers for the business to be at its best. Diversity management deals with a strategy of making use of best practices to ensure the workplace is inclusive and conducive to all people of diverse cultures. When managers use successful strategies in diversity management, business would be successful in its operations hence reaching its optimum regarding profitability and efficiency (Cox 45). It is, therefore, true that managers use diversity management as a source of competitive advantage in their organizations that they lead. This essay deals with the benefits and challenges of diversity management while touching on the role of managers in diversity management.
Various business organizations nowadays are a hub to different cultures. Migration has proven this because people move to different countries where they plunge into activities. There are various social, political, and cultural norms, which have come in handy with the immigratory patterns in the current world. Diversity, therefore, includes the visible and non-visible character traits that workers bring to workplace hence giving a different perspective on the approach to working. These characteristics include physical, cultural, and socioeconomic. Physical characteristics include race, color, age, cognitive style, appearance, and personality (Cox 48).
Nowadays different people of different age meet in a workplace hence exhibiting different experiences. The older workers usually have wider experience in the certain field compared to younger ones. Cultural diversity includes national originality, ethnic, and sexual orientation (Dwyer et al. 1009). With the passing of gays and lesbian laws in America, sexual orientation has been embraced hence bringing unique diversity to work. People of different sexual orientations are respected. Lifestyle, marital status, language, and religion are also among the cultural diversity. Socio-economic diversity includes; profession, education levels, social class, and the job function (Richard et al. 164).
Managers work hard to ensure that diversity is a tool for gaining a competitive edge rather than being an instrument to destroy their organizations. They, therefore, take diversity management to a higher level regarding synchronizing and giving it a better stint and weight. When diversity is upheld, all the people involved feel respected and motivated in achieving their targets. This would then bring a meaningful contribution to the workplace. Managers would achieve diversity by ensuring that all the promotions and other appraisal are all based entirely on the performance of the workers without discriminating on cultural, political, or racial lines among other characteristics of diversity (Cox 52).
This would make all the workers motivated to work hard respecting each other regardless of the diversity. Managers should also rate qualification of each candidate based on experience’s quality rather than any kinds of category. It should not do with their age, social class, or nationality. In this way, a manager is on the right track in making use of diversity and ensuring that all the workers have been included in the organizational role to the fullest. Managers should also be at the forefront in encouraging diversity especially when it comes to the formation of work groups and teams (Dwyer et al. 1013).
However, each manager should ensure that all those groups or categories involve at least a qualified and experienced personnel to provide quality work. In upholding diversity in any organization, the manager should be willing to deal with any forwarded complaints of discrimination and favoritism. In this way, each member will feel part of the company hence work hard to give their best towards its course. They should also have a distinct process that would be followed when dealing with such kinds of responses to ensure that the organization embraces diversity in day-to-day operations. Another important role that managers should observe is holding of frequent meetings; especially quarterly ones to inform the staff on the importance of diversity in order to instill a positive attitude to diversity in the organization. This would involve encouraging widespread and open discussions on the same while allowing members to raise their opinions and compliments on the same (Richard et al. 168).
Benefits of Diversity Management
Diversity management would make staff members feel part of the organization. This would lead to the realizing their full potential hence giving their best to what they are meant to do in an organization. It leads to a motivating and productive environment whereby customer satisfaction is improved. This would also result in increased customer loyalty because they would be happy with the services that the workers give forth in the organization. More careful diversity management provides forth-broader perspective whereby various diverse teams are created (Cox 54).
Such teams have different experiences and backgrounds hence leading to innovations, which would contribute to the betterment of workplace. Morale of the employees is also upheld hence attaining the objectives of the organization would be easier. This is achieved through healthy and ethical practices in the workplace. When people are respected and treated equally, they will give back their best because they know very well that their work would also be significant and respectful. Customer service and marketing would also be made easier and efficient because of good understanding (Richard et al. 170).
When customers of diverse backgrounds are also accepted and tolerated in an organization, they will find pleasure in being loyal customers of such an organization. As it is best known, customers are a real asset to an organization hence should be treated well regardless of their diversity. This is a form of competitive advantage in any organization because customers would increase hence higher productivity. Those organizations that do not cope up with such competition would become extinct. A good diversity management would also lead to lower reports of absenteeism. It is because employees would enjoy going to work without fear of discrimination whatsoever (Dwyer et al. 1015).
This then leads cutting of costs and improvement of retention. It would enable the organization to divert the costs that have been cut to other productive ventures in improving the organization. It would also lead to a better platform of attracting various talents and recruiting the best out of them. Employees would give their best hence exposing talents that are useful to the organization at large. Diversity management would lead to lower cases of lawsuits that might result from discrimination of employees. The environment as a result of good diversity management is non-discriminatory and just. In any organization, such lawsuits are costly and time-consuming (Cox 55).
They also damage the image of organization involved; therefore, customers shy away from them. However, such a diversity management would improve goodwill of the organization by building a reputable corporate image. It would also lead to increased employee creativity. The approaches to problem solving would also be from different perspectives hence bringing the best out of the diverse employees. The moment employees of various occupations feel integrated into organization’s system, they would put their best foot forward in contributing their best practices and experience to different situations that may arise in such an organization (Richard et al. 172).
When it comes to allocation of government contracts these companies take into consideration a good diversity management, especially gender-balance, would be in a better position in being selected. However, this would give a competitive advantage in winning such contracts, which are usually profitable and reputable. Many organizations go to them, but they are kicked out by those who embrace gender equality. The only way to catch up with such a trend is to adopt good diversity management best practices to integrate and involve all employees into the system of the organization (Richard 255-266). People with disabilities are also participating in crucial activities of the organization hence attracting the attention of government contracts. It shows that such an organization take into consideration the interests of all people. To be competitive employees comfort should be put into the account in the group. Job seekers would go for a company with good practices of diversity management and where all of them are treated well as part of the organizational system (Thomas et al. 79).
Challenges of diversity management
Diversity management as a tool for gaining competitive advantage in an organization faces many challenges. Workplace diversity takes into consideration understanding, acceptance, and celebration of differences among the employees and colleagues. These include Poor communication, resistance, and disorganization among others. Poor communication is a challenge that derails the functionality of diversity management. The more the different groups in an organization the poor communication styles, which maim the business’s progress (Dwyer et al. 1019). When communication among the employees is reduced, it would be difficult for managers involved in taking care of diversity to achieve their targets in uniting them and integrating them into the system. Poor communication would lead to misunderstanding in workplace hence poor relations among colleagues and managers. To encourage good communication in an organization, diversity managers should encourage all employees to embrace differences in the organization and take their time to learn something new from their counterparts (Cox 56).
Resistance is also a challenge to diversity management whereby people usually resist change even though they are put in positive kinds of environments. Those individuals who do not move with diversity plans are known to be big threats to diversity managers and the organization as a whole. It would then lead to negative attitudes, which would also demotivate workers who are loyal and hardworking in the organization. According to Multicultural Advantage, if this resistance among employees were not taken care of, the organization would be overtaken by other organization, which has put in place measures to curb such resistance and negative attitudes among the employees (Richard et al. 177).
Disorganization involves carrying out a poorly planned diversity plan. To counter this, managers should be at the forefront in carrying out a well-arranged plan that is objective in nature. The employees should also be involved in coming up with such diversity schemes. To counter the weak frameworks, brainstorming should be encouraged among employees while they are encouraged to take up diversity seminars as well as classes. Some other plans do not have clear long-term goals nor short ones (Thomas et al. 79).
In conclusion, diversity management is a source of competitive advantage in an organization. It deals with diversity or differences of employees in the workplace. Managers make sure that employees feel accepted into the organization hence motivating them to work hard. Customer service would also be upheld hence giving an upper hand in the market. However, some challenges face diversity management. These include resistance from employees and staff involved in implementing diversity plans. Poor communication is also another problem that is detrimental to achieving the best out of diversity management. It also leads to the negative attitude among employees. Finally, disorganization is a common problem whereby the diversity plans are unclear and lack the objectivity it is observed.
Cox, Taylor H., and Stacy Blake. «Managing cultural diversity: Implications for organizational competitiveness.» The Executive (1991): 45-56.
Dwyer, Sean, Orlando C. Richard, and Ken Chadwick. «Gender diversity in management and firm performance: the influence of growth orientation and organizational culture.» Journal of Business Research 56.12 (2003): 1009-1019.
Richard, Orlando C., et al. «Cultural diversity in management, firm performance, and the moderating role of entrepreneurial orientation dimensions.» Academy of Management Journal 47.2 (2004): 255-266.
Richard, Orlando C. «Racial diversity, business strategy, and firm performance: A resource-based view.» Academy of management journal 43.2 (2000): 164-177.
Thomas, David A., and Robin J. Ely. «Making differences matter: A new paradigm for managing diversity.» Harvard business review 74.5 (1996): 79.
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