DIVERSITY AT THE WORKPLACE
What does it mean and why should we focus on it?
When we think about diversity, we may first think about race, ethnicity, and gender. However, diversity covers much more than that. By definition diversity is “otherness or those human qualities that are different from our own and outside the groups to which we belong, yet present in other individuals and groups. “Dimensions of diversity include, but are not limited to: age, ethnicity, ancestry, gender, physical abilities/qualities, race, sexual orientation, educational background, geographic location, income, marital status, military experience, religious beliefs, parental status, and work experience (Loden and Rosener 1991, 18-19)”. It is very important to understand how variety of diversity affects performance, motivation, success, and interactions with others. Due to increasing differences in the U.S. population diversity issues are now considered important and are projected to become even more important in the future. Companies need to focus on diversity because diversity has the potential of greater productivity and competitive advantages. Diversity can be a huge asset. Managing and valuing diversity is a key component of effective people management, which can improve workplace productivity. Managing diversity.
“Managing diversity can be defined as a planned, systematic and comprehensive managerial process for developing an organizational environment in which all employees, with their similarities and differences, can contribute to the strategic and competitive advantage of the organization, and where no-one is excluded on the basis of factors unrelated to production (Managing Diversity)”. Organizations need to be able to manage and utilize its diverse workplace effectively. Managing diversity in the workplace should be a part of the culture of the entire organization. When managers talk about diversity, they should ask themselves these questions: what policies, practices, and...
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