Running head: Cultural Diversity Changes in the Workplace
Changing Cultural Diversity in the Workplace
Mary J. Shaw
Diversity and inclusion in the workplace are laudable benchmarks, but making it a standard that all employees embrace requires an effective plan all will buy into. Factors such as the rising numbers of immigrants, mergers or joint ventures with companies in other countries, the rising use of temps and contract workers, and the increasing globalization of business are a few of the forces making our workforce more diverse. With this growing diversity, companies must be constantly adjusting their diversity programs to meet these challenges. This paper takes a look at some of the changes that organizations can make to be successful.
Changing Cultural Diversity in the Workplace
The goal is to understand the meaning of diversity in the workplace and learn from the most effective diversity programs , even when it is clear that what makes a company truly diverse has become increasingly complicated over the years. Most agree that an effective diversity program is one designed to reduce racial and gender inequality in the American economy. The simplest meaning would be, diversity is variety — different ethnicities, races and genders represented within a workforce at every level, from the mailroom to the boardroom. Many experts maintain that representation is the backbone of a strong corporate diversity program. Strategic recruitment and retention programs help achieve this goal, with a blended workforce as the end result. While representation is an important measure, it should not be the only measure. Companies need to look beyond representation and begin seeing diversity as something much richer and all-encompassing. There are usually 10 steps that represent a systematic way for an organization to develop, implement and sustain its diversity and inclusion policies. The 10 steps are: promote diversity as a priority; secure top level buy-in; create and communicate the vision; form a multi-level diversity and inclusion action team; assess the current state of diversity and inclusion in a company; write a diversity and inclusion plan; provide education and training; measure the impact; monitor performance and accountability; and finally, review and revise (Kopenkoskey, 2012). Such a 10-step plan is necessary because human nature tends to make assumptions toward others without knowing who they really are, but before managers rush into the process, four key areas must be considered: values, culture, accountability and leadership. Values, represents the beliefs of the company and it should be include in statements about how people are viewed, what the organization stands for and how they want to be known. Culture, meaning what a company is known for. It represents the kind of environment that has been created. Culture is created and can be changed by fervently held ideology and indoctrination. Accountability, which ensures a company, is walking the talk and that policies and procedures are followed so the organization develops the kind of culture it desires. Leadership, which is the key to the success of any diversity and inclusion initiative. Leaders make or break an organization’s diversity and inclusion efforts. Leaders must commit to making diversity and inclusion a reality and be able to create a high level of trust with all employees (Kopenkoskey, 2012). A devotion to diversity must begin at the top, with the widest integration. The business goal for diversity should be made clear. Then there should be tangible, actionable goals, accountability and oversight by senior leadership. Compensation should, in part, be determined by success with diversity. There should be ongoing commitment of training and education and regular communications around the strategy. What really counts to make it sustained...
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