Human Resource Strategies
to Manage Workforce Diversity
ELLEN ERNST KOSSEK, SHARON A. LOBEL
AND JENNIFER BROWN
This document will explore what a company can do to foster diversity in the workplace. The business case highlights the development and implementation of organizational initiatives that could:
increase the numerical representation of historically excluded groups,
empower a diverse workforce once it is in place to participate fully in organizational decision making,
ensure the inclusion of a diverse workforce in every aspect of organizational life
In an ideal world, every person is treated equally when it comes to getting a job, advancing in his or her career and being treated fairly in the workplace. Unfortunately, discrimination still exists in hiring, firing and promotions; and the diversity of the workforce regrettably can cause hostility in the workplace when individuals do not appreciate and respect the differences among themselves and their co-workers.
Businesses that promote diversity in today's global marketplace are better able to attract and retain the best talent. Employing a diverse workforce allows a company to utilize the potential within the job market to its fullest and contributes to overall economic growth and prosperity. Differences among co-workers should not divide a workplace. Rather, differences among co-workers should be used to foster creativity and innovation, thereby driving profitability and business success.
3. Diversity - What Is It?
Traditionally, diversity refers to an assortment of races, ethnicities, genders, ages, disabilities and perhaps sexual orientations. A definition of diversity, however, should not be constrained by traditional categories such as these. Such a definition should also include categories such as religion, educational level, life experience, geographic location, socio-economic background, marital status and work experience. Indeed, each person employed by a company possesses unique qualities that encompass many factors.
The Dimensions of Diversity encompasses two Dimensions (see the presentation Slide 5).
4. Factors that motivate companies to diversify their workforces
Here is a overview of seven predominant factors that motivate companies, large and small, to diversify their workforces, As a Social Responsibility, As an Economic Payback, As a Resource Imperative, As a Legal Requirement, As a Marketing Strategy, As a Business Communications Strategy, As a Capacity-building Strategy.
For whichever of these reasons that motivates them, it is clear that companies that diversify their workforces will have a distinct competitive advantage over those that don’t.
5. How To Diversify the Workforce
Strategies to change Organizations
1. Diversifying a workplace. Generally is to define the organization's strategies or initiatives for doing so. Ideally, any diversity initiative should achieve some, if not all, of the following: Maximizing workplace satisfaction for all employees, Retaining a world class workforce, Maintaining an environment that fosters learning and understanding.
2. Get Executive Commitment. It is fundamental to the success of any diversity initiative that senior management, including the CEO, visibly support (including financially) and promote the diversity initiative. (There are different forms for doing it, see presentation slide 12). Diversity should be infused into all organizational processes, ensuring that it is integrated into the core values of the company.
3. Assess the Climate and Issues at the Company. Analyzing the corporation's corporate/business objectives, external factors (legal and governmental) and trends that may impact the company's diversity strategy, etc. This analysis, performed prior to determining which diversity initiatives will be undertaken. Focus groups or questionnaires are used to...
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