Diversity management Essay Example
The paper addresses diversity management and its importance an organization. The paper outlines diversity as a tool for potential strength within the organization. It explains the importance of embracing diversity in any organization giving a number of reasons. First, the paper outlines diversity as a crucial tool since it encourages personal and experience growth of the employees. It also encourages a positive increase in the level of productivity through creativity and innovation. It also explains a number of challenges that the organizational management encounter during diversity management which include; resistance, disorganization, misunderstanding, and poor communication. The paper also highlights a number of strategies that should be considered during diversity management. These strategies include; developing a training and education program, development of mentoring programs, developing an improved systematic career planning and guidance program, and developing an outreach program. The paper highlights a number of recommendations that should be considered by any organization which includes; widening a recruitment base, holding retreats and seminars, among other recommendations.
Diversity management can be defined as the process of dealing with the similarities and differences among different people within the organization. Employees within the organization have different views; they possess different ideas and opinions, different individuals have different ways of approaching to different challenges and problems that may occur in the company. For this reason, therefore, it is important to understand that such differences among different individuals within the organization serve as a potential strength to the organization in question. The organization should therefore positively embrace and manage diversity since it will have a positive impact on the organization in realizing the set goals and objectives. It will also encourage personal growth and experience of the employees through support and encouragement (Groeneveld & Van de Walle, 2010).
In the work place, it is important to ensure that there is a high level of leadership and management ensuring high productivity. Managing diversity in the workforce will also encourage the employees to have a beneficial interaction within the organization in question. The main goal of managing diversity within the organization is to ensure that the workers are provided with; the right skills, their need is provided, the organization also set a favorable working environment that ensures that most of the opportunities that arise within the workforce are tapped for optimal business output.
Diversity management is very important in the competitive market place. For the organizations to remain competitive in the global market they have to embrace diversity. This is because; embracing diversity will encourage different individuals with different ways of thinking, different way of acting as well as encouraging innovation within the organization. It is important to understand that diversity is not all about the number of employees an organization has but, it can be explained as; embracing different kinds of people in the company. The different kinds of people will have different views and will stand for different opinions, ideas, cultures, generations and their ways of thinking are also different. Through diversity, the level of creativity and innovativeness in the organization will be high and therefore that company will be in a position to increase the volume of sales and will satisfy the customer needs and expectations.
It is also important to note that diversity is all inclusive; i.e. it includes people from all races, genders, from different corporate and personal background, different levels of education, and individuals of different ages and also extends to a different personality. Diversity may also include the following; geographical origins, different lifestyles, both the exempt and non-exempt status, sexual preferences, among other factors. An organization will, therefore, remain competitive within the global market if it is in a position to manage the diversity (Syed & Özbilgin, 2009). In analyzing the strength of any given organization diversity would play a major role in that there is a high level of potentiality in; finding solutions to major challenges, improving quality of products, increasing innovativeness in the organization, creation of a strong customer experiences, discovering new market opportunities among other beneficial activities to the company.
The organizational performance will greatly improve via diversity management. This is because the organization will be in a position to support creativity and talents. Through tapping all the talents of different employees the company will be able to maximize the potentials of all the creative and gifted employees. This will either ensure that the company is able to produce new products or improving their original products and thus meeting customers’ demands. It may also lead to an expansion of market share within the marketplace. Through innovation, the employees are in a position to produce a broader range of agendas and ideas. This in return will ensure that the company is able to generate new innovative opportunities in the commodity market.
There are a number of initiatives designed in dealing with diversity management. They include strategic initiative, operational initiatives, and managerial initiatives. The strategic initiative is an initiative that views an organizational diversity very important and useful for its success. This involves identifying a number of talents of the employees, nurture and supports them with the main aim of improving the organizational performance. It also encourages employee innovativeness and creativity. On the other hand, the managerial initiative involves; development of managerial practices that will ensure that diversity within the organization is well managed. Such practices will ensure that a suitable working environment is created within the workplace and that a strong rapport is created among the workers and the management. This will encourage the exchange of ideas as well as consultation. This initiative is also meant to monitor the employment structures and the organizational working hours. It also highlights a number of crucial activities such as the recruitment criteria and procedure that ensures that the best candidates are recruited. This initiative is also concerned with the employee’s welfare in that it evaluates the promotional criteria and procedures. Finally, the operational initiative is designed to ensure that the management practices are implemented within the workplace. This ensures that there is smooth running of the organization and that all the stakeholders are involved in the implementation process. This initiative is meant to ensure that a realistic expectation, as well as timeframe, is set in which the new changes will be implemented. It also highlights the resources that an organization requires in order to institute the new strategies in the organization.
There are a number of strategies that have been identified that helps the management to deal with diversity. This will ensure that the employees are provided with relevant skills enabling them to operate within the multicultural environment. Providing the employees with relevant skills is also important in that they will be in a position to understand the organizational culture and also be in a position to relate it with that of other organizations. They will also be able to have a clear understanding of their; attitudes, behaviors, beliefs, their strengths and weaknesses and their values. Such strategies include; development of mentoring programs; this is meant to offer mentorship to the minority employees within the organization, developing an improved systematic career planning and guidance program; this is meant to ensure that the employees are able to identify the what they can do better and therefore specializing in their careers, the other strategy is to ensure that the performance appraisal system developed is free from discrimination; this will ensure that all employees are treated fairly and equally, developing an outreach program; this is a program that will ensure that the company will be in a position to identify the best recruits from the community. Finally, the organization should come up with an education and training program.
Training and education programs are crucial approaches that an organization should adopt. This is because; they are useful in the in creation of awareness, building of relevant skills, they enable employees to understand the importance of valuing diversity within the workplace, it will also equip employees with knowledge of cultural differences, the workers will also get knowledge that will enable them to work smoothly in diverse work teams, the employees also will acquire relevant skills that are crucial for the diverse groups. This will ensure that the diverse groups interact freely in their jobs and create an advancement opportunity (Noon, 2007).
Though diversity in the organization has great advantages such as accessibility to a wider client, helpful during decision making, increasing organizational productivity, providing solutions to a number of challenges, increased productivity among other advantages, the organization faces a number of challenges in diversity management. These challenges have negative impacts on the company and therefore may lower the organizational productivity. It may also affect the organizational competitive advantage within the market place and therefore reducing the market share and customer confidence. Such challenges include;
a) Poor communication; it is important to understand that there are many different age groups, sexes, ethnicities and religion believes that are represented within a diverse work environment. All such groups represented in the workplace have different styles of communication. The challenge of communication in such an environment arises since it is easy to misunderstand an individual who speaks differently. In case of misunderstanding, there is a high possibility of misinterpreting the intended message and this result to poor office relationship. This challenge can however be dealt with through retreats, seminars and meetings. This will ensure that the employees are in a position to have a better understanding of their coworkers.
b) Resistance; some employees have a negative notion towards diversity. They will therefore oppose any change that is brought about by diversity. Mangers will have a hard time in implementing new strategies for managing diversity within the workplace (Nishii, & Özbilgin, 2007). In case of such a negative attitude towards diversity, employees’ morale is likely to be damaged; it may also affect the positive changes and finally resulting in a low level of productivity. However, this challenge can be solved via; workshops and a clear understanding of colleagues within the organization.
c) Disorganization; in any organization it is important to develop and implement a diversity plan. However, managers should ensure that the plan has been effectively communicated to rest of the staffs. This will ensure that the employees have a clear understanding of the plan and therefore it will have positive impact on the organization. The diversity plan is meant to ensure that a close and strong rapport is created among all the employees. This challenge can be solved through a number of ways such as; effective communication to the staffs via diversity conferences, memos, and meetings, it can be solved through seminars and retreats where all employees are able to learn about each other through interaction. It is also important that the organization to come up with a set of objectives that it aim to meet with a given timeframe.
d) The unrealized level of efficiency; in a diverse working environment misunderstandings and conflicts are common. It, therefore, becomes challenging to realize the expected level of efficiency within the set timeframe. This is because a lot of time is spent sorting out the misunderstanding and also close supervision is required in order to ensure that all the members are working towards realizing the set objectives.
Diversity in the working place is very important. Employers should not, therefore, discriminate potential employers basing on their gender, age group, and the level of education, races or any form of discrimination. This is because different individuals will have different talents that will be of great importance to the organization. It is recommendable that managers to create a close rapport with the employees. This will enable the manager to identify a number of challenges that affect his/her employees. Employers should also institute training and educational programs that will ensure that the challenges associated with diversity are minimized and thus ensuring that the level of productivity remains high.
Retreats and seminars are very important in any organization. Workers are in a position to interact freely with their colleagues in retreats and encouraging team building. Through retreats, employees are able to learn each other clearly and employees will be able to understand one another. This will make it easy for the diverse team to work together in the realization of their goals. Through team worker, the time spent on sorting misunderstandings is minimized and therefore the company will have to meet their set objectives within the set timeframe.
It is also recommendable that the organization to widen a recruitment base. By widening a recruitment base, the organization is encouraging a diverse workforce. In case the organization remains restricted to its geographical region, it implies that it has been locking out greater opportunities for a diverse workforce. The wider recruitment base can be achieved by a well-developed advertisement platform that includes; online adverts, websites, print media among other channels of advertisement. It is also recommended that an organization should offer language training e.g. English language. This is a language that would be used a tool against the language barrier. There are individuals who are qualified and equipped with relevant skills locked out of the available opportunities simply due to the language barrier. Organizations should consider such resourceful individuals. Finally, the managers should always emphasize the importance of diversity in the workplace. During meetings, it is important that the management should clarify to the workers the importance of diversity in the company and how important it is to each employee.
In conclusion, diversity is very important in any organization. An organization that embraces diversity will have an added advantage in the market place. This is because; different people have different ways of approaching challenges. This ensures that there are solutions to challenges that arise within the company. However, there are a number of challenges that are associated with diversity management. Such challenges may hinder the company from meeting the objectives. It is therefore important to identify solutions to the challenges. These challenges include; poor communication, resistance, misunderstanding, and disorganization. Managers should always ensure that these challenges are addressed regularly to ensure that the level of productivity does not decline (Klarsfeld, et al. 2014).
There a number of benefits associated with diversity; these include a high level of creativity and innovation. This ensures that customer demand and expectations are met. It also ensures that the company remains competitive within the marketplace. Through diversity, it is easy to have a lasting solution to some of the challenges that may occur in the organization. Different people have different ideas and opinions. Embracing diversity will, therefore, be of great importance to the organization during decision making. This will ensure that the decisions made within the organization are in line with the organization’s objectives, mission, and vision.
A number of strategies have been identified that ensures that diversity management is achievable. Such strategies include; development of training and education program (Wrench, 2008). This is an approach that has been embraced by many different organizations. it is meant to ensure that a great awareness of the importance of diversity in the work place is created, it is also meant to ensure that the employees are in a position to understand the organizational culture and be able to relate with that of other organization. Other strategies include; development of mentoring programs, developing an improved systematic career planning and guidance program, and developing an outreach program.
Groeneveld, S., & Van de Walle, S. (2010). A contingency approach to representative bureaucracy: Power, equal opportunities and diversity. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 76(2), 239-258.
Klarsfeld, A., Booysen, L. A., Ng, E., Roper, I., & Tatli, A. (Eds.). (2014). 9.78 E+ 12: Country Perspectives on Diversity and Equal Treatment. Edward Elgar Publishing.
Nishii, L. H., & Özbilgin, M. F. (2007). Global diversity management: towards a conceptual framework. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 18(11), 1883-1894.
Noon, M. (2007). The fatal flaws of diversity and the business case for ethnic minorities. Work, employment and society, 21(4), 773-784.
Syed, J., & Özbilgin, M. (2009). A relational framework for international transfer of diversity management practices. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 20(12), 2435-2453.
Wrench, J. (2008). Diversity management and discrimination: Immigrants and ethnic minorities in the EU. Human Resource Management International Digest, 16(4).
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