Valuing Diversity

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“Understanding and managing people who are similar to us are challenges – but understanding and managing those who are dissimilar from us and from each other can be even tougher.” The increasing diversity of workplaces around the world means that managers need to recognize that not all employees want the same thing, will act in the same manner, and thus can’t be managed the same way. What is a diverse workforce? It’s one that’s more heterogeneous in term of gender, race, ethnicity, age, and other characteristics that reflect differences. The ability to value diversity and help a diverse workforce achieve its maximum potential is a skill that managers increasingly will find is needed.


The diversity issues an individual manager might face are many. They might include issues such as communicating with employees whose familiarity with the language might be limited; creating career development programs that fit the skills, needs, and values of a particular group; helping a diverse team cope with a conflict over goals or work assignments; or learning which rewards are valued by different groups. You can improve your handling of diversity issues by following these 8 behaviors: 1.Fully accept diversity. Successfully valuing diversity starts with each individual accepting the principle of multiculturalism. Accept the value of diversity for its own sake – not simply because you have to. Accepting and valuing diversity is important because it’s the right thing to do. And it’s important that you reflect your acceptance in all you say and do. 2.Recruit broadly. When you have job openings, work to get a diverse applicant pool. Although referrals from current employees can be a good source of applicants, that tends to produce candidates similar to the present workforce. 3.Select fairly. Make sure that the selection process doesn’t discriminate. One suggestion is to use job-specific tests rather than general knowledge tests. Such tests...
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