“If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place” (Meade, n.d). Work place diversity is not just an industry buzz term, it has become essential in today’s office environment and organizational accommodation is necessary to take full advantage of employee potential. The United States has long been called the melting pot of the world and the blending of culture can be observed in many faucets of daily life, however diversity goes far beyond a person’s country of origin and culture. True work force diversity encompasses race, gender, ethnic group, age, personality, cognitive style, tenure, organizational function, education, background and more ("Diversity in the, n.d" ). Now looking at the broad definition of work place diversity, it is easy to see the need to accommodate all varieties of individual who make up our workforce.
Accommodating workforce diversity is necessary for any organization who wishes to grow and remain relevant in their industry. While this accommodation is necessary, careful considerations must be made to ensure that accommodating diversity for the good of individuals does not compromise the goals of the organization. To fully accommodate workforce diversity, an organization must remove any barriers or potential discriminators that exist in the work place. The organization must also ensure that all employees know and understand the purpose and vision of the company first, then be trained to understand the full extent of workforce diversity and its benefits, and finally know how to merge the two together to accomplish the goals of the organization.
Why is accommodating workforce diversity necessary? First off, organizations can enjoy many benefits by accepting and promoting workforce diversity. Diverse organizations can utilize the individual talents and experience of their employees to better understand their customer base and reach out to new markets, offer a wider variety of solutions to problems, develop a deeper pool of resources, and even reduce employee turnover. Secondly, organizations may not have the choice on if they should or should not incorporate diversity into their workforce. In some cases, the need to accommodate diversity may also be a legal requirement in order for the organization to avoid a lawsuit based on discrimination. “The duty to accommodate involves eliminating or changing rules, policies, practices and behaviors that discriminate against persons based on a group characteristic, such as race, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, age, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, marital status, family status and disability"("Accommodating workplace diversity, n.d." ).
While organizations have the duty to accept, promote, and accommodate work force diversity, it does not come without some challenges. Mixing individuals with varying personal characteristics can create tension in the office if proper training and management is not in place. The organization must also be careful to ensure that any accommodations to any particular demographic in the office are not perceived as favoritism by the other groups within the organization. This could also lead to a tense and hostile environment if proper oversight is not administered accordingly. To avoid some of these challenges, it is critically that all members of the organization first understand their role in their organization and the goals and vision of the company. This ensures that there is a common goal that all of the employees are working towards no matter how diverse they are. All employees of the organization should also be exposed to work force diversity and equal opportunity training. It is imperative that all of the employees acknowledge and accept the need for, and benefits of a diverse work place for the integration to succeed.
Organizations today have a social, moral, and legal obligation to accept and accommodate diversity in the work place. Accommodation is a necessity that any organization that wishes to succeed cannot avoid. While the benefits of a diverse workforce outweigh the challenges that accommodation may cause, the organization must ensure that all employees share and strive towards accomplishing the goals of the company or accommodating diversity becomes an irrelevant subject. There is a lot to gain from a diverse workforce and doing what is possible to accommodate it. It is clear that the greatest benefits of workforce diversity will be experienced, not by the companies that that have learned to employ people in spite of their differences, but by the companies that have learned to employ people because of them (McInnes, 2009).
Accommodating workplace diversity. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.acfo-acaf.com/services/resources/accommodating-workplace-diversity McInnes, R. (n.d.). Work force diversity: Changing the way we do business. Retrieved from http://www.diversityworld.com/Diversity/workforce_diversity.htm Mead, M. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://thinkexist.com/quotation/if_we_are_to_achieve_a_richer_culture-rich_in/148617.html