The advantages of having a diverse organization
The world’s increasing globalization requires more interaction among people from diverse cultures, beliefs, and backgrounds than ever before. People no longer live and work in an insular marketplace; they are now part of a worldwide economy with competition coming from nearly every continent. For this reason, all organizations need diversity to become more creative and open to change. Maximizing and capitalizing on workplace diversity has become an important issue for management today. That’s the reason that I chose this topic to talk about below. Diversity is generally defined as acknowledging, understanding, accepting, valuing, and celebrating differences among people with respect to age, class, ethnicity, gender, physical and mental ability, race, sexual orientation, spiritual practice, and public assistance status (Esty, 1995) Workplace diversity refers to the variety of differences between people in an organization. That sounds simple, but diversity encompasses race, gender, ethnic group, age, personality, cognitive style, tenure, organizational function, education, background and more. Diversity not only involves how people perceive themselves, but how they perceive others. Those perceptions affect their interactions. Successful organizations recognize the need for immediate action and are ready and willing to spend resources on managing diversity in the workplace now. Hence, companies need to focus on diversity and look for ways to become totally inclusive organizations because diversity has the potential of yielding greater productivity and competitive advantages. According with Black Enterprise: “Managing and valuing diversity is a key component of effective people management, which can improve workplace productivity.” (Black Enterprise, 2001). As well as ensuring that people from different groups do not suffer discrimination, recognizing diversity means understanding how people’s differences and similarities can be mobilized for the benefit of the individual, the organization and society as a whole. Managing our diversity by ensuring fairness and equality is becoming not just a “good thing”, but an imperative in a changing and complex world. There is growing evidence that people are concerned with the social and ethical dimension of their work and the way they consume products or use services. The idea that organizations should treat their employees fairly is one of the public’s main beliefs in this field. Employees also have higher expectations of their employers to be fair in what they do and to accommodate their needs through, for example, flexible working and “work-life balance”. The pace of change means that cultures, values, tastes and needs cannot be taken for granted. Increasingly those that invest or fund organizations expect to see diversity. Technology gives people greater access to information. Besides that, Federal and State equal opportunity legislation make discrimination in workplaces illegal. These laws specify the rights and responsibilities of both associates and employers in the workplace and hold both groups accountable. Therefore, we can list the advantages of having a diverse organization: Increased adaptability: Organizations employing a diverse workforce can supply a greater variety of solutions to problems in service, sourcing, and allocation of resources. Employees from diverse backgrounds bring individual talents and experiences in suggesting ideas that are flexible in adapting to fluctuating markets and customer demands. Broader service range: A diverse collection of skills and experiences (e.g. languages, cultural understanding) allows a company to provide service to customers on a global basis. Variety of viewpoints: A diverse workforce that feels comfortable communicating varying points of view provides a larger pool of ideas and experiences. The organization can draw from that pool to meet business strategy needs and the needs...
References: Black Enterprise. (2001). Managing a multicultural workforce. Black Enterprise Magazine.
Esty, Katharine, Richard Griffin, and Marcie Schorr-Hirsh (1995). Workplace diversity. A managers guide to solving problems and turning diversity into a competitive advantage.
Avon, MA: Adams Media Corporation.
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