Workplace Diversity – Term Paper

Problem Statement

The modern corporate sector is characterized by several dynamics and trends including technology and competency in the operational strategies. As a result, there is diversification in the workforce which in turn affects the quality of goods and services. Notably, diversity has been embraced in most organizations by employing workers across various cultural backgrounds. Equally, workers can be sourced from other countries which bring us to the issue of international based diversity. Current studies have been based solely on the employee’s diversity in aspects such as age, gender, ethnicity and race. However, there is still need to evaluate workforce diversity based on the management role in its implementation. This study, therefore, aims at analyzing workforce diversity at the workforce as a correlation in well-being, job performance, and life satisfaction aspects. Further, this research will analyze the importance of leadership and management in ensuring a successful implementation of workforce diversity. In line with the management, competencies required for successful management of workforce diversity will also be researched.

Diversity backgrounds

Understanding diversity

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In the current corporate sector, people no longer work in insular environments. Global competition has been the key driver of business operations. With this regard, companies are prompted to become diversified across all aspects including the workforce. One of the key issues in management is capitalizing and maximizing on diversity. Therefore, managers and supervisors are tasked with understanding ways in which the workplace is evolving and develop strategies that will counter these dynamics. Another primary requirement is the accommodation and adopting a multicultural working environment where various cultures are included in the workforce. Before understanding the effects of diversity in the workplace, it is essential to comprehend the meaning of the term. According to Green et al. (2011), diversity refers to the understanding, appreciating, accepting and acknowledging differences among people. This understanding is based on ethnicity, gender, disabilities, age and class among other factors. Notably, the modern world is focused towards empowering women at the workplace, an aspect of diversity. Creation of equity in organization operation has also been at the center of diversity. In several states, there are labor laws and policies that have comprehensively discussed the issue of diversity. While paying attention to aspects such as disability, gender, race, and ethnicity, organizations are therefore obliged to incorporate individuals across various backgrounds and ensure a certain group of people is not underrepresented. During the earlier ages, organizations would not employ individuals that were disabled for reasons that they were not effective in their operations and being slow to work. Similarly, women were not common in manufacturing industries as it was believed to be a man;s job. Considering politics, women would not run for executive posts as it was considered a male dominated realm. In the current society, these aspects have been outdated with almost every organization employing a given percentage of disabled individuals. At the same time, it is a requirement to have women in the production and manufacturing industries as a result of diversity.

The foundations of diversity have been recognized across various realms. However, it is essential to note that it all begins with an education background. Indeed, education is the background of all knowledge applicable in the organizations thus forming the core basis of diversity. Whether an institution offers education regarding healthcare or engineering, having students across various aspects regardless of their age, gender and ethnicity will define diversity even at the workplace. Notably, institutions in the modern society have embraced diversity in students even at an international level. Similarly, companies employ various people from other countries despite the local job market. Another important factor to state regarding the foundation of diversity is at home. Current trends indicate dual income based families where both genders contribute to the financial status of the family. Nevertheless, there has been an increase in the single working mothers which also indicate the dynamics at the workplace. Greenberg (2010) further state that there has been a reduction in the traditional roles which represent changes in the family structure. Globalization, on the other hand, has been embraced in almost all countries which indicate that there are changes in the workplace as a result of improvement in technology. Discrimination is another attribute of diversity in which the legislation has made illegal. According to the law, there are specified rights and responsibilities governing both parties in an organization, the employees, and the employers, while holding everyone accountable.

Advantages of diversity at work

As noted earlier, an organization success is dependent on its ability to embrace diversity across all aspects such as race, ethnicity, and gender for it to realize its benefits. These merits are realized only when the organization assesses its workplace diversity issues while developing strategies to implement the diversity plans. Some of these benefits include enhancing adaptability, widening the service ranges, effective execution, and the creation of various viewpoints. Regarding enhancing adaptability, it is possible to create a variety of solutions to challenges affecting the organization. This includes strategies that will assist the organization in solving mazes regarding services being offered, allocation and sourcing of resources. Notably, when an organization employs workforce comprising of workers from various backgrounds, they bring along experiences and talents which suggest new ideas that will address the organization challenges including customer preferences and market fluctuation (Greenberg, 2010). Considering organizations such as healthcare, one of the common aspects is having patients that are from various cultural backgrounds. As a result, it is imperative for the healthcare facility to have a diversified collection of experiences and skills that will address such a challenge. For instance, in the health sector, aged patients who are from a remote community will have a problem expressing themselves to the medical practitioners. Therefore, if there is diversity in the workplace, it will mean there is a healthcare provider that understands the patient and will aid in their treatment procedure. This describes the advantage of broadening service range while extending the services on a global perspective. As identified earlier, a diversified workforce involves having individuals with various skills and experiences. Therefore it is possible to address various issues in different ways which describe the advantage of diversity creating a variety of viewpoints. Also, these different ideas will assist in developing the most effective execution strategy which will result in high profits and return on investments.

Challenges of diversity

Although the success of diversity is recognized based on the aspects described above, there are still challenges affiliated with it especially when it comes to implementation. Some of these disadvantages include communication, change resistance, implementing the workplaces policies related to diversity and management of the diversity at the workplace. With regards to communication, some of the barriers that need to be overcome include cultural, language and perceptual. Overcoming these barriers is the core requirement for diversity-related programs to success. Diversity ensures people across different backgrounds which mean different languages. As a result, there is ineffective communication which results in confusion, low motivation and lack of teamwork. Another challenging aspect is the resistance to change. Notably, different employees come from different backgrounds that are rich in culture. As a result, they may refuse to embrace the change being proposed based on their culture, morals, and values. Additionally, whenever there is an introduction of a new system or approach, people will always prefer working according to their old ways and strategies which are also another reason behind change resistance. Another challenge in implementing the diversity-related programs is that of implementing the workplaces policies that touch on the subject (Patrick ; Kumar, 2012). To ensure a successful change implementation, the diversity advocates are tasked with maximizing the effects of diversity at the workplace while basing it to their particular organization. To achieve a successful change implementation, various tools have been proposed which include training of the implementation personnel. However, training alone does not suffice a successful implementation. A diversity management plan will take more than training for its success to be realized. This will entail working together of the various departments in the organization to ensure a comprehensive working together.