Implementing Diversity in the Workplace

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Implementing Diversity in the Workplace
Workplace diversity could mean different things to different people and organizations. We typically refer to workplace diversity as the variety of differences between people in an organization. businesses are realizing that diversity encompasses not only some general differences, but all the differences that individuals bring to the workplace to include but is not limited to, race, gender, ethnic group, age, education, personality, cognitive style, tenure, organizational function, and background (Greenberg, 2004). The objective of this paper is to explore the implementation of diversity programs in the workplace and to look some challenges and benefits of creating and maintaining a diversity program. You will find in this research, some information on the background need for diversity in the workplace and the changes in the makeup of our workforce today that presents a critical need for diversity training. There is some discussion of the roles of Human Resource Management and Managers, in the implementation of diversity programs and a review of the results of having or not having a program in place. Lastly we’ll discuss some organizations that have existing diversity programs in place and examine their effectiveness.

We need diversity programs in our workplace today not only because of the obvious identifiers of workplace diversity but also to include the less obvious identifiers which include individual’s socioeconomic status, educational background, language/accent and appearance (Denecke & McGuire, 2005). Most people may not think of these as traits that should be identified when looking at implementing diversity programs but good Human Resource Managers should take nothing for granted and look at the whole individual. Some of the goals of traditional diversity training have been focused on improving acceptance and understanding of people who are from different backgrounds, have different experiences, capabilities, and lifestyles but the most prevalent goal is to minimize discrimination and harassment lawsuits (Mathis & Jackson, 2009). Diversity training is largely a Human Resource Management issue, but managers and supervisors must also take part in the process in order for diversity programs to be successful. As the diversity of our workforce continues to increase at a rapid pace, public managers are facing pressure to create organizational cultures that permit employees from different backgrounds to succeed (Pitts, Hicklin, Hawes, & Melton, 2010).

Globalization has had a huge impact on the need for diversity training in our workforces, and the need for diversity training is just as important today; if not more; as it was in the years pass because of the simple fact that today’s workforce is very different from the workforce of the past. The source of the workforce in the United Stated has changed over the years. In my own experience I have seen households where women are working outside the home and sometimes the men have been the parent to stay home and tend to the house and kids. The U. S. workforce is still changing to include even more women and minorities. In fact, an article published in the Portland Business Journal, estimated that women, immigrants, and people of color would make up 70% of all new work force entrants by 2008, and male who were not minorities would make up only 30 percent (Denecke & McGuire, 2005).

Doughty (2007) sites in his article, implementing diversity comes from long-term cultural change that is inclusive, not exclusive, with leadership showing how diversity benefits everyone. He adds, it is not top-down and reactive, but, rather, opportunity-driven and proactive. Instead of a quick-fix it is a comprehensive systemic approach. With that said, it is important that HR Managers and organizational leadership reach to each and every member of their organization and help their people understand how their role in the successful...
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