The workforce diversity of U.S. organizations has been increasing rapidly, challenging the employee relations and human resource management practices in general. The paper discusses the effectiveness of workplace diversity initiatives and analyzes the impact of diversity on the overall organization performance. The authors develop specific analysis on age diversity and best diversity management practices (private and public sector) with particular focus on diversity training programs and also examine the advantages and drawbacks of workplace diversity. The paper examines recent workforce demographic trends and their impact on recruitment, hiring and retention, employee relations, communication, productivity and at the end of the day, profitability.
DIVERSITY TRAINING: STRATEGIC TOOL OR PASSING TREND
In the last three decades, the work force demographics have gone through fundamental changes. The current workplace looks more like a United Nations conference hall than a place where everybody looks, dresses and behaves alike. A fusion of cultures, behaviors, religious backgrounds, attitudes, sexual orientations and nationalities has replaced a once homogeneous workforce. Diversity has taken over and turned into a reality for most current organizations. Time Quality Management and cost reduction strategies that once took priority have been replaced with diversity management initiatives that facilitate the transition from manufacturing to service industry. Globalization is one of the core reasons that propelled organizations to embrace and utilize diversity as a strategic survival tool. Organizations that have initiated and implemented diversity management practices are reported to have better relationships with their employees, domestic and foreign counterparts, better connection with their clients, and more well-organized utilization of the workforce (Layne, 2002). Indeed successful organizations such as Royal Dutch/Shell, IBM, Marriot,... [continues]
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