Being successful at managing workforce diversity involves attracting and retaining the highest quality individuals in the talent pool. For managers it means learning how to manage human potential sensitively. It requires an ever-increasing awareness of how people from different backgrounds deal with authority, communication, overall business etiquette, and relate to their communities of affiliation. Successful management of workforce diversity is a process that takes place in many stages and on many levels. It requires managers to first recruit a competent and qualified staff, then to accommodate individual needs within the context of the work team and the organization.
However, the key to successfully building a diverse, high-quality workforce for tomorrow begins with a strong leadership commitment and knowledge of where the organization is today. Moreover, experience has demonstrated that successful diversity initiatives depend on positioning the organization first. (Department of Personnel Management, 2002)
Diversity Initiatives: What They Are.
A "diversity initiative" is a company's strategic response to diversity. The initiative looks at the company's needs in the area of diversity and responds with a strategically aligned approach. The initiative should have a long-term focus, as well as very specific goals and objectives. It should also be easily measurable and tied to the organization's overall business strategy. In terms of implementing the initiative, the entire organization - from the top down - should be held accountable. (U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 2004)
Once the vision has been developed, the organization should then develop a diversity plan. The plan outlines the goals and objectives for diversity. Many companies see fit to appoint a diversity committee, comprised of a wide variety of people and perspectives, to help implement the plan. The plan may call for training on diversity,... [continues]
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