Diversity in the Workplace

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Diversity in the Workplace


Diversity is a term used most often to describe the different types of race, religion, and nationalities but in today's business world, it is used to describe the different individual behaviors of employees. Diversity is about characteristics and demographics that differ from person to person and how they affect human behavior. To understand how diversity affects the work place let us look at four types of diversity--Differences in skill and abilities, Values and attitudes, Occupation differences, and Age.

Differences in skills and abilities
"Aptitudes are potential abilities, whereas abilities are the knowledge and skills that an individual currently possesses." (Schermerhorn 2003) Professionals such as Doctors, Lawyers, and even professional drivers all require a specific level of skill and knowledge to be able to do their jobs. For anyone of these professionals they could not perform their jobs if they had skill but no knowledge or knowledge and no skill. Skills and knowledge are important considerations for a manager when choosing to hire a person. There are many different kinds of tests used to measure mental aptitudes and abilities. Some tests are designed to test specific skills and abilities such as a professional driver would be given a drive test and would be asked to demonstrate their knowledge on how to operate specific equipment on the truck and trailer. Some tests are designed to test general skills and abilities, someone applying for a general secretary job may be ask to take a typing test, 10-key, or demonstrate a general knowledge of computers. These kinds of tests are useful tools for managers and are necessary to screen potential applicants to be sure that they have the ability and skills that are required for the job.

Value and attitude differences
Just as skills and abilities are varied, values and attitude differences are varied as well, they reflect a person's sense of right and wrong or what...
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