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'Diversity may be defined as the presence of differences among members of a social unit and is viewed as a significant factor in social life as countries worldwide become more diverse in terms of the gender, race, ethnicity, age, and national origins' (Murray, Karim & Fisher 2010, p. 193). Organisations can benefit from workforce diversity by attracting more people from diverse communities regardless of their cultural and ethnic background, age and gender. There are many new benefits like good pay, job security, promotion within the industry of diversified and enhance effectiveness of workforce in Australian organisations where the number of migrants in the workforce from Asia and European countries have increased and especially Gen Y is attracted towards Australia and working in corporate firms and other industries to fill the shortage of skills demand in Australia. More Gen Y is being attracted towards Australia and everyone willing to take advantage of high profile jobs in the market. From an example we can see in Australia more police officers from different backgrounds have enhanced effectiveness in serving the community where English is their second language and one should be more interactive towards the community. There have been problems in recruiting and retaining the staff with Victoria Police due to diverse backgrounds, but now with proper induction and training people are being retained and encouraged to work with Victoria Police. People from all age groups are being encouraged to apply to Victoria Police and serving the community in best possible way and recruiting the best, but in recent years Gen Y is more attracted towards jobs with Victoria Police. Also people working from different backgrounds and more Gen Y being recruited into the workforce which fulfills the need for better management and overcome other issues such as performance and development that organisations faces (Murray, karim & Fisher 2010).
Khan et al. (2010) describes diversity in the workplace requires careful management practices and understanding to help the organisation achieve their needs and goals and everyone working in the business meeting their KPIs (Key performance indicators). Some of the elements related to the diversity are commitment to the organisation, respect and fairness and these are found to be correlated to personal attributes to diversity in the workplace. People working at different organisations will have better understanding of how to achieve more positive attitudes to diversity and thus, improve group dynamics in the workplace by targeting these intervening variables in HR policies. 'The dimensions of diversity include gender, race, culture, age, family/career status, religion, disability, educational qualifications, work experience, languages, and other relevant attributes and experiences that differentiate individuals' (Khan et al. 2010, p.290). Khan et al. (2010) suggest that teams that are ethnically diverse do not produce benefits but teams which are gender balanced do bring great benefits and has positive team performance outcome. There are some perspectives like integration and learning perspectives outcomes for a diversity policy that provides positive outcomes. There can be different perceptions in different cultures, whether it's Gen Y or Baby boomers coming from different backgrounds everyone working towards a problem solving situation leads to great performance. In today's century understanding cultural differences is an important factor in diversity management. If one is comfortable working with people whose age, gender, ethnicity and religion are different to each other, managers have a fair attitude towards them and this ensure employees openly express their concerns about their environment. If there is misunderstanding, lack of communication and language problems teams will suffer more which affects motivation and job performance. (Khan et al.2010)
'The findings provide useful criteria for organisational development strategies to assist with the transition from higher education to the workforce and may also improve the success of recruiting Gen Y employees' (Hurst & Good 2009, p.570). We can see in the retail industry which is the largest facing the challenge of attracting, recruiting and retaining a competent workforce. Retail employment has higher turnover than any other industry and Gen Y are moving towards this industry, which attracts them with positions like retail management, media executives, supervisors, sales personnel, corporate executive. There is a lot of competition between Gen Y but the brightest candidates are being taken up for different roles. In the current trend of diversity management Gen Y are more likely to survive in this increasingly diverse population and workforce. Even university students studying part time or full time prefer working in retail as their first preference and gradually moving on towards managerial roles which they develop through experience. It not only builds their inner motivation towards working at retail but also gain valuable working experience towards retail industry. In the time of economic expansion Gen Y has raised and wants to succeed and seek professional employers for their better growth. Gen Y persuading a career in retail and those who are currently employed in retail stores expects enjoyable work, develop new skills and enjoy good pay. Those employees who are more flexible in adjusting human resource strategies are able to find successful candidates starting from entry retail job, moving up towards different retail careers. (Hurst & Good 2009).
Looking at the age diversity whether its Gen Y or Baby boomers one should follow the workforce plan for age diversity management and should be an integrated part of the planning process. 'A workforce plan should include a clear statement of what it is trying to achieve, its details, as well as expected benefits and risks. It covers a wide range of activities from individual up to national and international organisations' (Curson et al. 2010, p.112). It is being implemented to follow the procedures correctly and accurately and it is adopted by many private sector organisations worldwide as more of Gen Y is coming to the workforce. To achieve gains a workforce resource needs to be used effectively. Demographic factors are crucial to workforce planning. The large corporate companies ensures best graduates are supplied which have strong links with the education sector that carried out workforce planning (Curson et al. 2010)
This study shows that 'multigenerational family firms are an excellent example of age diversity because they have more centralized decision-making in the first generation than in the generations following' (Carter & Justis 2010, p. 564). Carter & Justis (2010) describes family firms are having a significant impact on today's management as business is being carried from one generation to the next and the ability to pass the elements of controlling ownership and controlling management. This Study shows multigenerational family members have a great impact on multigenerational family firms as the person is responsible for the continuity of the business. The employees are loyal to the firm and also there is high degree of commitment among family members. Teaching and training is always there to overcome any problems and most of the time success depends on following the dictatorial management styles in which to achieve goals and events. The family firms take effective decisions and control and support those decisions. Some owners in the business see retirement as a loss of power and status but in the business founder retains a significant role. There should be necessary experience, performance and skills for leading the firm. The newcomers who enter the family have to acquire special knowledge and to develop their capabilities. Key components in running an organisation and being a leader among successors are self awareness, influence skills, technical skills and knowledge of the industry. Family firms also show they are more diverse within their business. In successful family business there is more communication and its faster and deeper as the individuals involved know each other better (Carter & Justis 2010)
As looking on age diversity management 'Older workers cognitive performance and job attitudes compare adversely to their younger colleagues' (Brough et al. 2011, p.105). Brough et al. (2011) describes younger workers are highly skilled in comparison to older colleagues. There are assumptions concerning inadequate performance and low job commitment commonly attributed towards older workers. The main priority is to effectively manage the ageing workforce and ensure economic sustainability for the growing retired population. 'Factors driving the expansion of a maturing workforce include the ageing of the "baby boomer" generation, declining fertility rates and increased life expectancy' (Brough et al. 2011, p.106). Some of the ageing workers tend to remain in the workforce as due to the financial crisis and economic necessity. There are concerns of declining older workers as Gen Y capture the market of the new mature workforce. There is concern as after the age of 65 and older and with higher life expectancies and a diminishing workforce unable to fully support these retirees. As also the loss of skills and expertise creates a big impact on older workers and there are assumptions that old workers are being less able to cope with changes, being less productive, and are less healthy too. Also with old workers work productivity tends to fall from time to time which results decline in performance and physical capacities. This study shows clearly that Gen Y is more likely to capture the market in the workforce and able to fulfill the employer needs where old workers are less preferred (Brough et al. 2011)
'The organisations that manage employee diversity effectively may gain a competitive advantage. An important outcome of a good employee diversity management is increased innovativeness of employees' (Treven & Mulej 2006, p. 144). Treven & Mulej (2007) describes employees who belong to the same professional, age, gender group have similar patterns of behavior. Also effective management diversity and employee differences can add value to the company. It has been observed that the culture in the organisation and the working environment issues are concerns of employee diversity management. Employee diversity management must be based on a co-operation between managers and co workers. Regardless of age, gender or race, employee diversity entails enabling people to perform at their best and it focuses on changing an organisation's culture and infrustucture so that highest possible productivity can be achieved. Its been discovered that from all around the world labour forces are becoming diverse, and it gives organisations gain competitive advantage and also it gives Gen Y a chance to explore different opportunities. Employee diversity management can cause creativity, innovation, increased group problem solving, increased sales, lower costs and improved employee attitudes. As employees are the valuable assets of the organisation their knowledge and experiences have to be considered carefully as an effective employee diversity management scheme, as this can influence organisational costs, profits, problem solving and creativity and looking all this factors in mind organisations tend to hire Gen Y from different backgrounds (Treven, & Mulej 2006)
'The purpose of this paper is to assess risks and prospects for older workers and to provide a number of recommendations designed to marshal the interests of employees, business and government. To improve the quality of staff training by means of the learning management system and to build, through blended learning a community of practice among multigenerational staff among different educational levels and background' (Fontanin 2010, p.15). Looking at an example of libraries in universities which are composed of twelve different libraries coming from different departments and faculties until they were grouped into one single system, many of the library assistants are employed for cataloguing and other services. Now the need for libraries is a simple unified centralised service. Often it is the older generations who lack specific education and has to work with qualified people to build a common base of values and goals. People of different age groups work together as Gen Y and baby boomers working collaboratively to offer the services at different locations. People working at libraries have different work values due to differences in age, but also they have their different working conditions, professional experience and educational backgrounds. By blending the service into one system and being more centralised, the library staff can apply skills quickly and more efficiently to their daily work and Gen Y and older workers can work together more efficiently and effectively (Fontanin 2010)
Jorgensen and Taylor (2008) describes the relationship between demographic ageing, the labour market and economic globalisation in the context of globalisation. In this 21st century we can see a greater change in demographics like birth rates are declining, greater longevity and most of the ageing population. With the emergence of new technology there is sharp change in social, economic and cultural change. We can see that there is a new trend towards ageing population and it raises issues about the management of ageing workforces.
'Of concern, in western industrialised nations these demographic shifts are predicted to result in labour market skill shortages (Ernst & Young, 2006; National Statistics, 2006; Office for an Ageing Australia, 2001). Reports from Governments and institutions in Australia (DEWR, 2005), the USA (Government Accountability Office, 2005: National Academy of Engineering., 2006), the OECD (2000), the ILO (Auer and Fortuny, 2000) and in Europe have each, to name a few, noted that demographic change poses serious challenges for employers and economies in the developed world' (Jorgensen and Taylor 2008, p. 24)
From this literature review and discussing on age diversity management programs in organisations we can draw a conclusion that blended workforce that reflects diversity could actually be an asset when trying to build cohesion among a multigenerational workforce. It is necessary that the learning experience is carefully planned and the themes treated are related to work experience, because the factor which above all draws different workers together seems to be solving real-world problems. It shows that Gen Y is more preferred in today's world as younger generation tends to bring skills, knowledge, abilities to the workforce. In some instances Gen Y and older people work together efficiently and effectively to achieve profitable results but older generation tends to lack skills after a particular age and Gen Y comes into the workforce. Also diversity plays an important role in today's world and is being considered when recruiting as it gives a fair go to all people who coming into workforce and tends to bring different skills and abilities. Regardless of age, gender or race diversity entails people to perform at their best. Even businesses are passed from generation to generation as it tends to work in a more centralised manner and there is commitment between family members. One should follow a workforce plan indicating procedures correctly and accurately and it is adopted by many private sector organisations worldwide as more of Gen Y is coming to the workforce. All these above factors are crucial to age diversity management as looking on from all perspectives working conditions, age, organisation value, family businesses and their operations.