Diversity In The Workplace DIVERSITY IN WORKPLACE ABSTRACT: As companies are becoming more and more diverse its becoming more and more important for companies to understand and manage it. The people of different background, races, religion creates diverse workforce. There is an importance of having diverse workforce to provide better performance. There are perspectives of managing the diverse workforce, which require organization leaders and managers of being responsible of attaining better diverse workforce. INTRODUCTION Diversity means differences, difference of age, sex, race, religion and culture etc.
People with different demographic differences working in the organization makes diverse workforce. And it is becoming more important for the organizations to know about these differences and how to manage it. Diversity is also the common issue in the workforce environment, in some companies employees often get discriminated or misunderstood because of the diverse features. So it is important for the companies to manage the diversity workforce to value best performance. Most important aspect these days is to train the managers to handle the diverse workforce. What is the managers role in handling the diverse workforce? GROWTH & IMPORTANCE OF HAVING DIVERSE WORKFORCE: Many organizations are engaging in activities to manage their employees of different genders, ages, race, sexual orientations, etc.
When demographic diversity is valued, all employees, even the non-traditional (i.e., other than white males), are encouraged to participate fully and develop their unique skills and perspectives. a) GROWTH: Diversity is increasing everyday in everyday in every organization; In America 1 in 4 Americans belongs to a minority or is foreign-born. Women, who currently make up less than half the work force, are expected to fill 65 percent of the jobs created during this decade. “Whether you are a business owner, executive, salesperson or customer- service professional, your success will increasingly depend on your ability to function in a culturally diverse marketplace,” (Profiting in America’s Multicultural Marketplace”‘ Lexington Books) Over the next decade, companies realize that they must have a diverse workforce and that each member of that workforce must truly embrace principles of diversity to realize the longevity, growth, and increased profits. Women, people of color, and immigrants will soon hold almost three- quarters of all jobs in this country (Jackson et al., 1992; Johnston, 1991).
b) CONCERN: Organizations are getting more concerned of developing the diverse workforce over the years to attain better result and competitiveness. Organizations have been advised to attract, develop, and retain males and females of all ages, skin colors, cultural backgrounds, and physical capacities to remain competitive (Cox and Blake, 1991). c) NEED: Companies that accommodate the special needs of the demographically diverse workforce (by redefining the structure of the work day for those with childcare and/or eldercare responsibilities, or providing qualified assistants and/or apparatus for employees with disabilities) will become more appealing places to work and will thereby reduce absenteeism and turnover costs. They have also asserted that organizations that value differences will cultivate non-traditional markets, by dint of their apparent progressiveness and their ability to assess non-traditional preferences; and will enjoy greater creativity, problem solving, and responsiveness as a result of the wider range of viewpoints brought to bear on tasks. (Cox and Blake, (1991) EFFICTIVINESS OF HAVING DIVERSITY IN WORKFORCE Why should companies concern themselves with diversity? Many managers answered this question with the assertion that discrimination is wrong, both legally and morally. But today managers are voicing a second notion as well.
A more diverse workforce, they say, will increase organizational effectiveness. It will lift morale, bring greater access to new segments of the marketplace, and enhance productivity. In short, they claim, diversity will be good for business. Research stated that the Canadian companies leading the way in the area of diversity management have discovered that by embracing the elements of ethnic and cultural diversity in their workforce they have enhanced their ability to understand and tap new markets, both within Canada and abroad. “Research generated from a variety of fields predicts that important benefits will accrue from demographic heterogeneity in organizations by increasing the variance in perspectives and approaches to work that members of different identity groups can bring” (e.g., Thomas and Ely, 1996). IMPORTANCE OF MANAGING DIVERSITY As the companies of today are getting more and more diverse, the need of managing the diverse workfare is increasing.
All Countries specially USA and Canada are having more diverse workforce everyday. So it is becoming important for the companies manage the diversity to get better results out of employees. Research stated that Forward-thinking Canadian organizations have recognized that competing successfully in the new global marketplace requires more than the latest technology, most efficient production processes, or most innovative products. Canadian organizations’ competitive strength is increasingly contingent on human resources. Competing to win in the global economy will require an ability to attract, retain, motivate and develop high- potential employees of both genders from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The challenge facing today’s corporate leaders is to foster an organizational culture that values differences and maximizes the potential of all employees.
In other words, leaders must learn to manage diversity. PERSPECTIVES OF MANAGING DIVERSITY Organizations have to follow the many guidelines to get diversity stick: v They have to focus on getting the best talent out of the person regardless of different age, sex and other demographic differences. v They have to develop career plans for all employees of the organization including the minorities. v They have to promote minorities to responsible positions in the workplace. v Make managers responsible to obtain diversity goals by managing its employees well. Managers also have to communicate well with all the employees and listen to their problems that are of different background or cultures.
v They Build diversity into senior management. There are many aspects to impartially managing diversity as a manager and establishing the right attitude in the rest of the department. Here’s a look at some of the most important: a) Expectations Bias can lead you to expect less productive work or more “goofing off” from certain employees. Classroom studies have repeatedly shown that students live up-or down-to their teacher’s expectations. A similar pattern can be seen on the job. Expect the best from your employees, and give them the training and resources to provide it, and they’ll deliver.
b) Labels: Words are powerful weapons, and as with any weapon, we should know whether they’re loaded or not. How you refer to people from diverse populations requires some conscious sensitivity. This involves more than not using crude references; it means using words preferred by the people themselves. Such words change over time, the way the term “Negro” gave way to “black” and “African American.” “Oriental” has been replaced by “Asian.” “Handicapped” has been replaced by “a person with a disability.” Individuals may have their own preferences as well. If you’re not sure how to refer to someone, ask.
A moment’s awkwardness now will prevent misunderstanding and resentment later. c) Crowd control : Imagine yourself the only female in an unenlightened, all-male department. Day after day, coworkers started misbehaving or treating you differently. That’s just the start of a whole range of behavior, from the subtle to the blatant, that you could be subjected to. In a very short time you’d be ready to file against your boss and the company for allowing sexual harassment. Depending on how his or her coworkers behave, the employee may feel the same discouragement, anger, even fear.
Not engaging in such behavior yourself isn’t enough; manager also have to eliminate jokes, name-calling, sabotage-whatever form discrimination may take-in others. Managers are responsible for establishing and maintaining the atmosphere of the department or else you’ll be held accountable. While managing diversity is a challenge, keep in mind that there is always enormous differences- even if we pretend there aren’t. Montaigne, the French essayist, said it this way: “There never were, in the world, two opinions alike, no more than two hairs, or two grains; the most universal quality is diversity.” CONCLUSION Diversity in workforce is growing in all countries special USA, Canada and Europe. With having more diverse work environment organization can produce better performance.
It is important for the companies to know diversity and how to handle the issues relating to it. Also the need of the diverse workforce is getting more not only because there are different people but also because they can produce better results with having different types of people working. Leaders in the organizations should learn diversity (differences of gender, age, sex and religion in their work environment and also to communicate will between them) and how to manage it effectively.