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Diversity is the process which involves creating an inclusive environment that accepts each person’s differences, appreciates their strength and give opportunities for all people to attain their full potential. The practice of valuing difference enables every person to contribute their unique experiences to the workplace and may influence positively on relationships and internal activities as well as the customers’ experiences and other stakeholders. Workplace diversity contributes to the formation of an integrated culture that consists of many belief systems, information, and values. It is essential to understand workplace diversity and what it entails to incorporate it in organizations.
The implementation of diversity within workplace assists in gaining of competitive advantage results in an increase in productivity, improved employee commitment, reduction of legal conflicts and its assistance in business retention. According to Barak (18), the federal agencies do not deal with those suppliers who lack maintaining of appropriate diversity culture within their companies. Furthermore, the practice of workplace diversity guides a given organization in recruiting its employees from a large pool of candidates which leads to improvement of marketing capabilities of companies. It is essential for a team to note if diversity is ignored, the organization might end up causing financial losses as it may create higher cost, there will be less scope while trying to obtain talented employees within the organization.
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Challenges in Managing and Creating Diverse Workplace
It is challenging to create and maintain diversity even though it many companies desire it. Various types of problems that are faced by managers as they are dealing with diversifying their workplace involve communication barrier. In most cases, it is hard to give information correctly to various people together because of reasons like language barriers, perception barriers, and cultural barriers. The lack of adequate communication may lead to having miscommunication which will influence teamwork and employee morale adversely. It is imperative to evaluate the local scenarios before starting implementation of workplace diversity. The lack of sufficient training is a primary imposed challenge during the maintenance of diversity by an organization (Guillaume et al. 790). The lack of proper understanding concerning the diversity concept makes stereotype approach which includes the adoption of the changes being imposed by the parent company towards the local business.
The other critical factor which causes hindrance to successful management of diversity includes the behavior and attitude of the employees. When the employees are reluctant about embracing diversity in the workplace, the implementation of diversity management becomes very difficult. Some employees commonly perceive difference as a potential threat towards job security that creates competition (Kirton and Greene 34). The primary causes of that kind of perception among the employees include work culture that is unsupportive, lack of career planning and social isolation. In many cases, lack of appropriate policy that contributes to diversity might also cause hindrance during the process of creating a workforce that is diversified. Informal plans may not be well adopted by the employees, and this leads to lack of commitment among the employees while adopting policies for the diversified workplace.
Strategies to Overcome Diversity Challenges
Although there are challenges in executing strategies in a diversified workplace, the problems may be overcome by planning and strategic implementation within the organization. The first step in managing the challenges is evaluating and analyzing the diversity needs from micro, macro and meso levels. Analysis of diversity on the micro level should involve evaluation based on cultural and regional beliefs of individuals. The micro-level analysis may be carried out through encouraging interaction of the employees and the employers in the organization. Macro study of diversity in the workplace should involve analyzation of the legislative and institutional arrangements in connection to diversity within the economy. An example is the labor regulations, employment scope, and migrant laws. At the macro level analysis of diversity, the differences that are evaluated are those which include the economic, social, cultural and political parameters that shape the institutional arrangements in a manner that the legislative method which is suited for one location and might not be applicable in other regions. The meso analysis of diversity involves evaluating diversity strategies at the organization level. The organization managers should consider policies concern human resource with the firm because the policies affect the organizational activities as well as the adaptation of workplace diversity.
The practice of analyzing diversity from various perspectives will significantly help in the understanding of the international and local plan. Furthermore, it is recommended that an organization should look forward to attaining of global diversity policies and make them sensitive and flexible towards the local needs. Through that the subsidiary companies in taking charge of their local situation and make decisions accordingly. Leaders and managers should look forward to adopting of comprehensive planning approach in the implementation of diversity as it will involve a step by step procedure which may lead to developing of the company culture of diversity. Workplace diversity needs to be treated as a regulation that needs to be adopted for it to be accepted in large part of the organization. The first step in the implementation of workplace diversity is assessment which may be carried out by conducting employee survey which helps in the understanding of the current perception concerning workplace diversity within the organization, employees’ resistance and acceptance level of the diversity plan.
Various tactical methods which leaders and managers may choose to implement while dealing with workplace diversity include selection and recruitment. The practice of screening and recruitment help the organization in creating a workforce that is diversified through increasing the number of the minorities (Harvey and Allard 23). The other primary strategy involves training and development that include the creation of training which improves diversity awareness thereby changing the attitude and behavior towards a workforce that is diversified and enhancing social cohesion among the organizations’ employees. It is normally recommended that there be enough provision of scope for professional development as well as career planning to the employees which will lead to the removal of resistance behavior towards workplace diversity because the company’s employees will be assured of their job security.
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To conclude with, a globalized environment of organizations need adoption of the diversified workplace as well as organizational culture to make sure the given firm attains sustainability. When workplace diversity is implemented successfully, it will significantly help in acquiring of competitive advantage as the employees are valued as the most significant resource. Additionally, there will be the motivation of the employees, reduction of the employee turnover, increasing retention as well as work productivity. After the business managers have decided on which strategies to use, the process of implementation should be framed which will require commitment from resources and top management. Having continuous evaluation and monitoring of the implemented policy will significantly help in bridging any gap in the process of applying workplace diversity.
- Barak, Michalle E. Mor. Managing diversity: Toward a globally inclusive workplace. Sage Publications, 2016.
- Guillaume, Yves RF, et al. “Managing diversity in organizations: An integrative model and agenda for future research.” European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology 23.5 (2014): 783-802.
- Harvey, Carol P., and M. Allard. Understanding and managing diversity: Readings, cases, and exercises. Pearson, 2015.
- Kirton, Gill, and Anne-Marie Greene. The dynamics of managing diversity: A critical approach. Routledge, 2015.