Managing diversity in organisations both large and small
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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016
In a large company or small business it is important to have the diverse group of employees to make the best competitive advantages and achieve business opportunities. Diversity in the workplace is to appreciate, understands and makes use of each individual talent in the organization. Diversity refers to many kinds of characteristics such as gender, disabled people, and the position of management, job opportunities, terms and condition in the workforce. It also includes visible and non – visible individual differences. Besides, it is about respecting and understanding the individual differences such as race, culture, region, values , age , politics, national origin, ethnicity , socio – economic differences , family structure and health (Hartel 2004). Lockwood (2005) states that diversity is somewhat showing the company’s attitude and give respect to each individual of employees and understand how to contribute the diversity. In some businesses, workforce diversity is about valuing and providing the benefits in different ways but it is also to make best skills for organization in any kind of different background. An organization success will achieve when organization provides mutual trust, respect, innovation, facing challenges, encouraging and valuing diversity.
Thiederman (2000) a leading expert in workplace diversity, stated, “Whether you are a business owner, executive, salesperson or customer-service professional, your success will increasingly depend on your ability to function in a culturally diverse marketplace”. Moreover, diversity in the workforce is also known as the equal employment opportunities and affirmative action. In fact, diversity is also to protect the different class of employees as it is from different cultures will bring different types of working skills. Diversity is complex and hard to manage in an organization. However, many organizations are providing the equal opportunities among every employee to ease in organization. Caudron & Hayes (2006) argues that “the broad umbrella that diversity must have is one that recognizes the unique barriers of race and gender, while at the same time creating a work environment that values the diversity that all employees bring to the organization”.The importance of diversity in workforce is that it gives competitive advantages by recruiting talent employees, retention, employee productivity and profitable innovation. In addition, to build the reputation of the organization, it needs to have talent employees to attract and have better than competitor.
Goetz (2001) states that , if the diversity is increase in the workforce there is five attributes to examine diversity in work groups such as personal demographics , knowledge, skills, and abilities, values, beliefs and attitudes, personality and cognitive and behavioural style and organization demographics. By these characteristics, it influences the behaviour and performance of each employee therefore, it needs to take into consideration to manager diversity effectively and successfully. Hartel (2004) argues that businesses must have diverse workforce to understand and the meet the needs of the growth of minority customers. Managing diversity also focuses on making the harmony group with the professional and other people in the organization.It is necessary to have diverse group in a workforce because it will attract the customers and suppliers. Besides, different employee will provide different opinion and recommendation to organization so it is useful to improve and develop the implementation of the organization. Therefore, well and talent managers are essential in every organization to recommend and manage all the different groups in the organization and solve every problem well. Managing Diversity is to develop the skills of each employee to turn into business advantage. To have a diverse workforce it enables the company to meet customer demand better and attract the suppliers and that reduces the discrimination (Davidson and Fielden 2003). Organization that gain many experiences and develop the reputation for managing diversity will attract the best personnel (Cox 1991).To add on, managing diversity includes from people with disabilities to cultural or ethnic group. Managing the diversity in the organization means that managing the employees who do not share the ideas or values to each other and that will lead to miscommunication and misunderstanding in creating a sense of workforce community. Openness in communication and a willingness to confront these gaps in outlook will serve you well (Goetz 2001).However, having a diverse group in workforce is important in order to give better performance. Besides, with the diverse group in the workforce, there comes to make new management strategies which require a well leaders and managers in organization to manage the differences among each employees and solve the problems with equality which will lessen the discrimination and give positive benefits of diversity such as motivating to all the employees and fulfilling the needs and demands of customers.
Managers in the workforce have five functions to perform well such as planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling. And their job is to understand all the employee strengths and weakness. There are managers who are optimistic and find the employee in positively will achieve more and better than the managers who are pessimistic and discriminate the employees. There will be changing in the workforce due to not certain business or social environment and that will cause many challenges to managers to manage. For different types of employees to work effectively for organization, managers should manage and deal effectively with some issues such as communication adaptability and change. To become successful organizations it is important to recognize to spend the on managing diversity in the workplace. As there are different diverse employee in the workplace, organization needs to make or adjust management style in order to manage different employee effectively.
Managers should train all the employees and support them. Besides the manager should create and built the trust. A Trust that will supports all the employees and makes the entire individual employee to get along with each other and willing to share the ideas and explore new things in positive way and give benefits to the organization. This aim will help employees to work together as a team and be production and efficient (Cox 1991). However, to manage the diversity is not easy job for managers. But manager is the one who share the organizational visions to the employees of the organization. So that, diverse group of employees can contribute creative ideas and better organization to work for. It is also important to have knowledge on different cultures to manage different employees, because some cultures have different meaning or different perspectives, therefore to avoid misunderstanding and negative views on the organizations. Moreover, to build the relationships with individuals with different backgrounds will provide different knowledge’s that can add or implement the organization policy to gain the economic profit. On the other hand, the managers should understand the importance of the employees that involve changing the process of the organization by their creative ideas. In fact, to gain a competitive advantage in this marketplace is very challenging therefore it requires skillful and talent mangers to manage the employees to give better service to their customers which will increase the customer satisfaction and meet the needs of the customer.
Furthermore, there are many benefits and issues for organization in managing diversity (Hayes 1999). The important part of diversity in the workplace is how company makes use of each individual talent and skills. Although, company have diverse group in workforce, if the employer does not make use of it, than the organization wont gain the advantages offer by the different background of employees. Therefore, it may effect on both work outcomes and performance. To add on, organization will perceive the benefits from society, individual and organization itself. Society will give benefits by making the company to work together with society demands and that will increase the reputation of the company and respond the society demands effectively. In addition, individual will support each other to develop the organization and benefits by innovations, leadership and adaptability to change. In fact, organization will also receive many benefits from diverse workforce which will then be easy to adapt the environment. And it will provide benefits in several ways.
Firstly, the potential benefits is that , recruiting the employees from different ranges such as age or ethnicity will give the organization a larger talent pool in increasing the probability of adapting the higher skill employees (Cox 1991). It is not easy to recruit the right person at the right time to give the right place. Secondly, it will increase the productivity of the company by having the diverse group in workforce. Because different culture of employees will work together for the same goal that company has and achieve effectively and efficiently. And it will provide different type of marketing strategy which would then attract the customers and improve with new ideas to increase worker productivity. For example, employee from China and India will give benefits by their quantitative skills. Diverse group will adapt the capacity of an organization to compete in the global marketplace (Benibo 1997).
Thirdly, diverse group will increase the creativity of the organization because business is not every time constant or to have the same result or same profit. Thus, it require the multinational group of workers with different perspectives for new solutions if not every employees will be thinking the same solutions. Although, it require different diverse group, managers should take into consideration to hire the right person with talented skills for the right place. Moreover, organizations with a diverse workforce can provide superior services because they can give better understanding to customers’ needs (Wentling and Palma-Rivas 2000). Fourthly, it also increases the sales and cost of the organization. Once, organization have diverse group it have full responsible to provide training course for all employees to have the equal knowledge on the organization values and missions to achieve. By that, every employee will have equal information or knowledge therefore employees can increase the sales and increase the profits. Besides, to have different cultures will help the organization to build the relationships with other country for any business. Because, the organization will have employees who can communicate with different languages which make easy to do business. To conclude with the advantages of the diverse workforce that makes to achieve the company is to have well managers or good decision makers because it is really important in the company who plays a big role in managing the diversity. Therefore, managers need to find out what is the problems employees facing, how big problem is and how it can be solve it and give equal opportunities to every employee. Moreover, managers need to communicate with the employees to motivate and support them to work for the organizational goals.
On the other hand, there are some issues that organizations are facing through when there is an increase in diversity. These negative issues such as discrimination, stereotyping and cultural clashes may effect the organization outcome and performances (White 1999). In the first, when there are many diverse groups in an organization, each individual may not be sharing the ideas due to the different culture or races. Therefore, it will effect the company’s production. Moreover, the research reported that, because of different culture with the employer, some employees may not be treated fair compare to the same culture with the employer and this will cause glass ceiling. It means that, some employee who works for the organization for long time with talent employees but because of not same culture or races, the salary or the position is unchanged and remain as it is.
Secondly, there will be misunderstanding in the organization because of different cultures. It is hard to adapt the other cultures unless it is been influence if not it will cause miscommunication and feel it is rude. To add on, language problem may cause serious problem to individual and organization. Different languages used will cause miscommunication and lower cohesion will make unhealthy work group. As the economies are shifting from manufacturing to service economies, diversity issues will gain importance because in a service economy effective interactions and communications between people are essential to business success (Wentling and Palma-Rivas, 2000). The negative impact on diversity can reduce the creativity and innovation of the organization. As a result, these negative consequences would reduce the market share, profitability and achievement of organizational goals (White 1991). Moreover, if there are many negative impacts or conflicts in the organization, the employees will not work effectively for the organization therefore, it can cause businesses to decline economically. When employees with different social, ethical and political backgrounds are hired, the firm is faced with the difficulties of changing them without interpersonal conflict. Even when it is handled properly, it is still time-consuming and presents several problems among employees which may result in poorer productivity of the employee. However, increases in labor turnover and absenteeism are another disadvantages in having a diverse workplace (White 1991). In addition to, poor management of the diversity will lose the employees and it is the big issue to lose the employee in the organization. Therefore, when an organization ignores the existence and importance of workforce diversity, conflict can emerge and neither the corporation nor its employees will realize their potential (Goetz 2001).
As a result, benefit is more than drawbacks that company will face when there is managing diversity. Companies may succeed at managing diversity if it provides full support of the top management (Goetz 2001). However, drawbacks can effect the organization in the productivity and lose economically. But if the managing diversity is properly manages it will give beneficial to the organization and employer. Managing diversity may retain, recruit, develop and promote the employees. Beside, to manage the diversity in the organization will take time to solve all the problems but it will be easy to influence each other culture and be used to it. This research shows that, diversity has more benefits than problems which mean that, it is necessary to have the diversity in the organization to give more creativity and productivity. It can also help to give competitive advantage when the business is in downsizing. Organizations that take into consideration to manage diversity by having a cost will success in faster rate as expected. In fact, it will show employees, suppliers and a customer how serious is to manage diversity and management is in the organization to increase the productivity and gain competitive advantages.
By having more diverse workforce in the organization, it can give better performances and attract the customers and suppliers. Therefore, it is important for the companies to have talented managers who knows how to solve when organization face with the diversity problems and make all the employees to have harmony group among each other. Motivation is also important for the managers to support the individual employees to work together for the organization to achieve its goals. Moreover, nowadays society is changing and the business is also getting throughout the world, therefore there are many new groups entering into the market and becoming more competitive. Thus, diverse workforce will give many different ideas to manage the business to be better than others. Different culture or ethnicity have different mind of concept of viewing things and solving the problems. In that case, it will be helpful for the organization to have the different diverse group. To add on, diversity will provide the organizations to have the knowledge of other cultures that would help in expanding globally, attract across cultural and national boundaries. Thomas (2006), mention that company must understand the diversity decision properly and have the trust that they can achieve when company support the different employees.
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