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The increasing globalization in the world requires more interaction with the people from diverse cultures beliefs and back grounds than before. People are no longer ready to work in an insular market place and they are now part of a world wide economy with competition coming from nearly every continent. As competition increases, profit and non profit organizations need diversity to become more creative and open to change. Capitalization and maximizing on workplace diversity has become an important issue for management today. The main targeted audience are supervisors and mangers because they need to recognize the ways in which the workplace is changing, evolving and diversifying. Since supervisors and mangers are the main targets they need to learn the managerial skills, which are very much needed in a multicultural work environment. And they should be ready to teach themselves and others within the organization to value the multicultural differences in both associates and the customers, so that every one is treated with dignity. The managers and the supervisors should be ready to accept the effective strategies for managing the diversity in the workplace. Dealing with diverse work group is a new thing for most the mangers. Now days the highest incredible diversity is seen in United States.
Diversity as a concept can be referred to the human qualities that are different from our own and those of groups to which we belong but that are manifested in other individuals and groups. The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. Diversity mainly focuses on a broader set of qualities than race and gender. Valuing diversity in work place means creating a workplace which respects people and understanding that each individual is unique and recognizing our individual differences. The diversity also includes the differences, recognizing the unique contributions that individuals with many types of differences can make, and creating a work environment that maximizes the potential of all employees. Dimensions of diversity includes age, ethnicity, gender, physical ablates, race, sexual orientation, educational background, geographic location, income, marital status, military experience, parental status, religious beliefs, work experience, and job classification. If we define diversity in work place it means the ability of the company to acknowledge, accept value and recognize the worth in celebrating the difference which exists in all people.
The main targeted audience are supervisors and mangers because they need to recognize the ways in which the workplace is changing, evolving and diversifying. As the managers are the main targets for the diversity in workplace they mainly come across two challenges which occur because of diversity. The first challenge is that to overcome the problems which happens in day to day life. This problem occurs when people from different place, culture and life experience start doing the thing in their own way, when the people from different parts join together in a work group. The second challenge is that the mangers and supervisors should learn to create a work environment in which diversity and differences are valued and in which all employees and contribute to the fullest extent. If both the challenges are managed in an effective way then the organization will have a competitive advantage over most other organizations. Failure to mange either of the challenge will diminish the work group productivity. The ability to manage the diversity is the fundamental requirement for managers in the 1990's and it will continue to be the important for the foreseeable future.
Mainly there are three levels of diversity. Surface level differences, achieved human capital and deep level diversity. Deep level diversity mainly affects the organizations and their members. This diversity concerns the values, beliefs, culture, cognitive style, and behavioural style. While surface level diversity is some thing which is associated with the immediate impressions which can stimulate stereotypical perceptions and exceptions. Achieved human capital has direct effect on people's organizational experiences, because organization use to assign jobs for the people based on there demonstrated qualifications and aptitude.
Key dimensions of diversity in work place.
The dimensions of diversity are of two types. Primary dimensions and secondary dimensions. Primary dimensions include age, national background, ethnicity, gender, health and sexual orientation. Secondary dimensions include work experience, education, income, marital status, political preference, religion, geographic region, and children.
The main dimension of diversity in workplace is gender. In organizations treating people may depend upon their gender. The role of women in work place has been changing steadily in recent years. Glass ceiling develops in the mind of workers which creates an invisible barrier that keeps women as minorities from advancing to the top of the organization. The glass ceiling feeling can be reduced by giving proper mentoring to the employees and by stopping unintentional behaviour. The following are the few dimensions of the diversity in detail.
The other main dimension of the diversity in workplace is age. Age become a dimension of diversity when employees start treating others differently. But according to the studies performance does not decline with age. When younger people are employed, they are more likely to quiet the job as they search for better options in their career, while older employees are less likely to quiet the job and they show more judgment too.
The other main dimension of diversity is religion. Religion has always had the power to fracture and divide people of faith. People tend to work in different parts of the world. So mixing up of religion happens. More than five million Muslims are their in America. Islam is expected to so on surpass Judaism and become the second most practised religion in the United States. But because of terrorism, Islam actually becomes a victim of the religion discrimination.
The other main dimension of the diversity in work place is disability. It includes providing reasonable accommodations for individuals with disability. According to the recent studies, over the next few decades the number of employees with disabilities will also increase. The current generation of Americans with disabilities is well prepared to be tapped for the job market and able to provide an added solution for the labour shortages facing American business. People with disabilities are the nation's largest minority. Now day's companies are recruiting qualified employees with disabilities.
The other dimension of diversity is sexual orientation. Older days gays and lesbians went to great lengths to keep their sexuality a secret. But now they are very public. Laws were introduced for the protection of their rights.
Now day's person who feels he or she has been the victim of discrimination can take legal action. But law couldn't cover the subtle form of discrimination.
Benefits of diversity in work place
Diversity in workplace can be referred to the human qualities that are different from our own and those of groups to which we belong but that are manifested in other individuals and groups. The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. Diversity mainly focuses on a broader set of qualities than race and gender. So, as there are many people from different places and culture in a work place people can learn many things. There are some general benefits like, people get chance to learn other cultures, language, and also people get a chance to mingle with others. The main benefits of diversity in work place are
Broader service range
Variety of view points
More effective execution
This is one of the main benefits of the diversity in workplace. When the work place environment consist of employees from diverse culture, it includes people from different culture, people with different level of thinking, people who approach problems in different way, and it also includes people with different talent. So, when organizations employing a diverse workforce, they can supply a greater variety of solutions to problems in service, sourcing, and allocation of resources. When the work place environment consist of diverse background, people tend to come up with their talents and experiences in suggesting ideas that are flexible in adapting to fluctuating markets and customers demand.
According to me, when I started working in the cooperate world the way I think and the way I approach the situation was entirely different from my team members. The work experience with the team with diverse culture helped me to change the way of thinking and it also helped me to change the way I approach the problems. So this helped me to increase my confident level which resulted in the better performance there after. And also my experience with the team helped me to motivate my friends to improve their quality of performance in the team, and also I could help them to improve their confident level.
Broader service range
This is one of the main benefits of the diversity in workplace. As organization employee the people from diverse culture, the diverse skills and experiences allows a company to provide service to customers on a global basis.
In my work life as the team includes diverse culture, it helped me to learn the new languages, new cultures and helped to mingle with many people. This also helped me to adopt many good things in my life which helps me to adopt easily to any situation in this world. It also helps me to adapt to the situations in an easier way.
Variety of view points
This is one of the main benefits of the diversity in workplace. If the work environment consists of diverse culture that will help the employees to feel comfort I communication wit varying points of view provide big pool of ideas and experiences. So from this big poll organisation will be able to come up with new business strategies will can satisfy the needs of the customers more effectively.
In my work life as our team consist of diverse culture we could come up with good plans and new strategies which helped the business in a good way. As people from diverse culture are present the way people think and the depth of thinking will be entirely different. As each and every ones depth of thinking was entirely different it helped us to come with new idea which worked effectively.
More effective execution
This is one of the main benefits of the diversity in workplace. Most on the companies recruit people from diverse culture. Now day's organization tends to recruit the people from diverse culture because this will help them to improve the quality of work. So most of the firms encourage the diversity in work place will help the employees to perform in a better way. Introduction of people from diverse culture will help the firm to come up good results and will gradually leads to high productivity profit, and return on investment.
In my work life as team consist of diverse culture even we could come up with new strategies and new plans which helped our firm to increase the productivity, profit and return on investment.
For the success of the firm, the main element should be hard work. So when the meeting occurs with the team members the employees should come up with all there ideas, which helps the team leader to think about all the situations which can happen after the launch of product. Coming up with all kind of ideas will help the team to end the discussion with a good result. Emerging of more ideas will help the team to tackle the situation in an easier way after the launch of product. And most of the time firm will inform the meetings ahead of time so that employees can come for the meeting in a well prepared way. So this was how our team was performing in team meeting to get a good result. So almost all the meeting ended up with a good result. But there is a chance for the things to happen in a reverse way too. Sometimes though the team discussion ended up in a good result they won't be applicable.
Challenges of diversity
While introducing the diversity to the organization there is a very good chance to have challenges along the benefits we have. Most of the firms have different approach to the diversity. Some policies in some firm will be highly successful and will highly define. But some firms will be merely different. But while introducing the diversity firm should make sure that they don't belong to the second category. The main different challenges faced by the firm after introducing the diversity are
Resistance to change
Implementation of diversity in work place policies
Successful management of diversity in workplace.
There are many challenges which can occur due to the introduction of the diversity in work place. One of the main challenges is communication. Communication becomes a major problem in a diverse culture because people tend to speak in their own with the people from their own place. This may lead to the misunderstanding of matters between the members of the team. Though people speak same language there will be meaning change in different place. This will lead to misunderstanding of things. Cultural, perceptual and language barriers should overcome for the diversity programmes to succeed. When communication occur as a barrier with the team and in between the employee and the client it results in confusion, misunderstanding, lack of team work and low morale.
In my work life there were people from different states of India. Though there is national language which is common to all people, most people tend to use their mother tough because they are more comfort in there own language. So their occurred a confusion between the team members and misunderstanding between the people. People from India are shot tempered in general. So the happens when we meet with clients to solve their issues. So when the firm recruit the people they should make sure that they trained the employees in such a way so that the challenges which occur due to the communication can be limited.
Resistance to change
This is another challenge faced by the firm as the result of introduction of diversity to there firm. Resistance to change occurs when the people won't be ready to accept the facts in a faster way which occurs due to the social and cultural make up in the wok place. When employees can't accept the changes in a faster way they tend to say that "we have always done the things in this way." So this will affect the performance of team in abetter way.
Resistance to change always happens in every firm. The only way we can avoid this situation is by motivation people in a better way to get a better result. It can also be avoided by explaining the seriousness of the problem in such a way so that the employee gets the same effect which helps him to accept the stuffs and work according to that. Resistance to change occur in people who comes from the life back ground who got less exposure to the social world.
Implementation of diversity in work place policies
This is another challenge faced by the organizations. This can be the main challenge for all diversity advocates. To improve the work efficiency their work should be assessed and the data should be made. After the assessment a customized strategy should be made and it should be implemented to maximize the effects of diversity in the workplace for their particular organization. Assessment of employees will help them to work in a better way. Assessment is the duty of mangers or leaders. Assessment should be done in every month so that the employees tend to improve their quality of work. More over this assessment can create the seriousness of the job to an employee. All this will result in the increment of work quality by the employees.
Successful management of diversity in workplace
This is another major challenge of the diversity in firms. When the employees are recruited diversity training is given by almost all the firms. But this is not sufficient for the organizations diversity management plan. A new strategy should be created and this should be implemented to create a culture of diversity that helps every department and it also helps the function of the organization.
Challenges faced by the firm after introducing the diversity can change according to the country and it also can change according to the dimensions of the diversity. In America there are challenges of religious diversity. This happens when the employees are from different religion. People tend to behave according to the religious view and they tend to listen and concentrate to the rules of the religion. In most of the places challenges mainly occur due to the religion.
Pillars of Diversity Management
There are three main pillars of diversity management. They are
Training and development
Organizational program is the main diversity program. For the organization to achieve the diversity program there should be a clear objectives and standards that will permit organizations to access program. Clear objectives will help the organization to work harder to achieve the goal. And it also helps to gain a competitive advantage.
Employment practice is the other pillar of the diversity management. Employment practice helps to design a plan that actively recruits man and women of different ethnicity, family situation, disability and sexual orientations. When company recruit people and people belong to same gender, ethnicity and family situation etc there won't be diversity in work place. So to avoid this situation the employment practice is kept as the main pillar of the diversity management. Diversity should not be limited to race and gender. Employment practice is kept to make the employees comfortable in their work environment which will help them to reduce stress. This will help employees to bring more benefits from low turnover and high individual and team performance level.
Training and development
This is another important pillar of the diversity management. Training and development can develop a culture that values and enhances diversity. Most of the organization need training program that gives manager and employee the tools they need to work effectively with one another regardless of their background. Training and development reduces an organization's liability for discrimination. It also follows up courses focus on way to foster inclusiveness and respect for individual. Basic rules of civil behaviour should be clearly spelled which will promote harmony and reduce conflict. Training and development will help the people to get awareness about the company situation. And training will help people to get a good exposure with the employees. And this will help them to reduce the stress and to make themselves comfort in the work place.
In this modern world none of organizations can achieve the Zen percent success with out the diversity in the work place. Having diversity in the workplace will make the team members to perform in a better way. And diversity in workplace will help people to improve their personal skills if they are ready to accept the good things from others.
There are some rules for diversity. If the employees are to move along with the rule there won't be any chance for conflict in the team. The rules of diversity are people should not make assumptions about any thing which is inside the organization. Making assumption will to conflict with in the team and with in the organization. Second rule is to communicate appropriately. Communicating with co- workers in a proper way will help to avoid conflict and misunderstanding. Third rule is to search for the common ground, so that people can easily grasp the ideas. Other one is to beware of formal versus informal work environments.
The diverse work force is the reflection of a changing world and market place. The major barriers of the diverse work places are prejudice and discrimination. The
management tools should be used to educate every one about diversity and its issues including laws and regulations. In diversity respecting individual differences will benefit the workplace by creating a competitive edge and work productivity. Diversity in the workplace and in the team will bring high value to the organizations.