The Changing Workforce

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The Changing Workforce

By | September 2009
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Introduction - What is the changing workforce?
Pick any industry and chances are it looks very different now than it did a decade ago. It’s impossible to determine when, what and where the changes will happen, but the business landscape will keep shifting. The fact that due to both economic and the society, organisations will go under changes constantly doesn’t mean that employees like it. (Harvard Business School Press, Society for Human Resource Management, 2005) Workforce in companies nowadays has become more diverse in terms of gender, race/ethnicity, generation, (McShane & Travaglione, 2007) and the physically disabled (Robbins, 2003).

Disadvantage of having workforce diversity
The difference between globalisation and workforce diversity is that while globalisation focuses on differences between people from different countries, workforce diversity focus on the differences among people within the country. The workforce has always included members of diverse groups, but there were only a small percentage of minorities and they were usually ignored or they would try to blend in.

For example, the bulk of workforce in the pre - 1980’s U.S. workforce are male, working full time to support the family, in 2002, 47 percent of the workforce are women and 23% are minorities and immigrants. As you can see, as the workforce diverse changes due to age, gender, and race, it brings in people from even more different backgrounds, skills, personality and culture, creating a much more diverse working environment we have now. This also means that the world has become a global village, where people have to be capable of working with others from different cultures and countries. Lastly, it will think and act quite differently as days goes by. (Robbins, 2003; Dychtwald, Erickson & Morison, 2006)

The advantage of having such diverse group of workforce is that when positively managed, it can help the company (Robbins, 2003). But if it is managed...
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