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For this assignment I will discuss this statement by outlining a business case and benefits of having a positive diversity management structure within a company. Also discussed will be the common responses from management to diversity, the implication to employees and the implications for management
One of the main areas to explain diversity in a workplace is to discuss the business case for it. A diverse workplace should be seen as more than a regulatory requirement or a vague aspiration; it is an opportunity to create an environment that benefits a company's staff, its customers and its bottom line. Diversity is one of the recognised characteristics of a 'workplace of the future' and there is a growing bank of research to support the view that the more diverse a workplace is, the more creative, innovative, open and productive it is. In a recent study, conducted jointly by the National Centre for Partnership & Performance (NCPP) and the Equality Authority, amongst 132 of Ireland's top companies, those implementing advanced diversity management practices were found to be '6.5 per cent more productive' than their competitors as well as showing greater levels of innovation and experiencing lower staff turnover. Having explicit and proactive diversity polices in place also tends to enhance a company's reputation with customers and suppliers, as it is often considered to be more outward-looking and forward-thinking than its competitors. It can also be of direct benefit to employees, whether in terms of reduced stress levels, increased job satisfaction or greater organisational commitment. Diversity training is an important tool for raising awareness and challenging perceptions, it must be linked to policy and behaviour to have a long-term impact. In other words, diversity management should be part of a whole organisation approach that includes policy and good practice. It is also important that training in diversity issues is provided at all levels of the organisation and that an engaging approach is taken to the formulation and delivery of diversity training in the workplace. Training should challenge perceptions but without seeking to humiliate. There are many benefits in a diverse workplace, for both companies and employees. It shows the inclusive ethos of the company and is welcoming to minority ethnic employees and customers/service users. Research has shown that diversity creates a more cohesive workplace, reduces conflict and provides access to wider ranges of experience, talent and ideas from staff from a variety of backgrounds. It also communicates a message promoting greater equality within the wider community served by the business. Organisations of all sizes can benefit, but multinational companies are particularly well placed to reap the rewards. Many such organisations have outlined their commitment to diversity in the same way as they have detailed their policies in key areas, such as health and safety or corporate social responsibility.
Kreitner, Kinicki and Buelens (2002,p. 40) states" The rationale for managing diversity goes well beyond legal, social and moral reasons. Quite simply, the primary reason for managing diversity is the ability to develop and maintain a business in an increasingly competitive marketplace".
There are many common responses from companies towards diversity. They are Denial, Suppression, Assimilation, Isolation and Exclusions, Toleration and Co-Existence, Affirmative action and Mutual adaptation. Each one of these responses will be outlined as follows.
Denial - Denying that any differences are there that all decisions and behaviour of people can be treated the same.
Domsch and Hristozova (2006,p178) states" Diversity management is regarded as an issue which neither relevant nor threatening. These organisations aim to retain their existing homogeneity and monoculture"
Suppression - Distinctions are abolished and discouraged. Diversity topics are restrained from being promoted
Kreitner, Kinicki and Buelens (2002,p. 48) state" Differences are quashed or discouraged when using this approach".
Assimilation - The minority should learn to adapt and become like the principal group and creating a consistent workplace using the same visions and values.
Isolation and Exclusions - This were the minority group are set to one side and grouped together and being excluded from the majority of people.
Toleration and Co-Existence - Accepting that there are differences, however not doing anything about them or valuing them. There is a source of inclusion. The differences are not actioned on to materialise into a gain.
Affirmative Action - Optimistic but false involvement aimed at achieving equality and balance of diversity. This addresses the equality and opportunities. It doesn't create mutual acceptance.
Mutual Adaptation - The willingness to change and adapt peoples views and behaviours to make positive relationships within the organisation
Stockdale and Crosby (2004,p.59) state" Foster mutual adaptation, which may require changes to the organizational structure and the organization's policies".
The organisation I work for use the Tolerance and Co-Existence rule.
Part diversity in the workplaces has a connection with Group dynamics.
Groups can be described as diverse work teams. Diverse work teams often have problems resulting from what psychologists call in-group/out-group dynamics. This is the well-known tendency for group members to treat some people as insiders and others as outsiders. According to social-identity theory, the simple act of categorizing people into distinctive groups has debilitating effects on attempts to achieve collective goals. In-group/out-group dynamics can result in stereotyping, intergroup competition, distrust, and prejudice, all of which can inhibit effective group functioning. (Forsyth 2006: 4) de
fined a group as 'two or more individuals who are connected to one another by social relationships'
A longstanding belief from group theory is that contact, or increased exposure to others, promotes a meeting of minds and minimizes differences. From this came the idea that the intervention of recruiting a diverse workforce can reduce belief without basis.The advantages of group work are as follows the group get to share ideas and there expertises and
each group member can learn through other individuals who bring talents, contacts, skills and experiences that one group member would not possess
. Group work can increase commitment and i
t can lead to an improvement of listening skills.
The implications of diversity management within an organistion are by promoting equality and diversity in recruitment and selection. This means that staffs are confident they work for a fair employer. Employees will feel promotion is on merit and ability. There will be an organizational culture where employees know they will be treated with respect and dignity. Each employee will have a sense of loyalty and therefore have more creativity and will bring new ideas to the company. All staff will know that their contribution is appreciated. Companies that encourage diversity in the workplace inspire all of their employees to perform to their highest ability. Company-wide strategies can then be executed; resulting in higher productivity, profit, and return on investment. Taking full advantage of the benefits of diversity in the workplace is not without its challenges. Some of those challenges are:
Communication - Perceptual, cultural and language barriers need to be overcome for diversity programs to succeed. Ineffective communication of key objectives results in confusion, lack of teamwork, and low morale.
Resistance to change - There are always employees who will refuse to accept the fact that the social and cultural makeup of their workplace is changing. The "we've always done it this way" mentality silences new ideas and inhibits progress.
Implementation of diversity in the workplace policies - This can be the overriding challenge to all diversity advocates. Armed with the results of employee assessments and research data, they must build and implement a customized strategy to maximize the effects of diversity in the workplace for their particular organization.
Successful Management of Diversity in the Workplace - Diversity training alone is not sufficient for your organization's diversity management plan. A strategy must be created and implemented to create a culture of diversity that permeates every department and function of the organization.
Recommended steps that have been proven successful in world-class organizations are: Assessment of diversity in the workplace - Top companies make assessing and evaluating their diversity process an integral part of their management system. A customisable employee satisfaction survey can accomplish this assessment for your company efficiently and conveniently. It can help your management team determine which challenges and obstacles to diversity are present in your workplace and which policies need to be added or eliminated. Reassessment can then determine the success of you diversity in the workplace plan implementation.
Development of diversity in the workplace plan - Choosing a survey provider that provides comprehensive reporting is a key decision. That report will be the beginning structure of your diversity in the workplace plan. The plan must be comprehensive, attainable and measurable. An organization must decide what changes need to be made and a timeline for that change to be attained.
Implementation of diversity in the workplace plan - The personal commitment of executive and managerial teams is a must. Leaders and managers within organizations must incorporate diversity policies into every aspect of the organization's function and purpose. Attitudes toward diversity originate at the top and filter downward. Management cooperation and participation is required to create a culture conducive to the success of your organization's plan.
Recommended diversity in the workplace solutions includes:
Ward off change resistance with inclusion. - Involve every employee possible in formulating and executing diversity initiatives in your workplace.
Foster an attitude of openness in your organization. - Encourage employees to express their ideas and opinions and attribute a sense of equal value to all.
Promote diversity in leadership positions. - This practice provides visibility and realizes the benefits of diversity in the workplace.
Utilize diversity training. - Use it as a tool to shape your diversity policy.
Launch a customisable employee satisfaction survey that provides comprehensive reporting. - Use the results to build and implement successful diversity in the workplace policies.
As the economy becomes increasingly global, our workforce becomes increasingly diverse. Organizational success and competitiveness will depend on the ability to manage diversity in the workplace effectively
The implications of diversity management for companies are that there will be reduced turnover of staff therefore savings on recruitment costs. That the company will be abiding with the legislation - saving on legal costs, avoiding bad publicity and lawsuits. The company's image is enhanced in the wider community - contributing to making it an employer of choice. The Benefits diversity management when promoting equality and diversity in employment are the low levels of absenteeism, the low levels of grievance and disciplinary actions, the low turnover of staff, staff leaving and it will recognize the diverse makeup of the market place and an increased customer base. (www.diversityworking.com) defined Diversity management as "Diversity management is a tool for capturing the diversity dividend". Diversity management aims on managing the difference within a organiziations workforce, maximising on the benefits of diversity and minimising workplace challenges. Diversity management helps increase an organizations profits. The main benefits diversity management has on profits are: Improving the efficiency of HRM functions, Highly regarded decision-making, problem-solving, creativity, and innovation; key factors in the creation of SME's subject matter experts developing multi/cross-cultural capabilities that facilitate operations in culturally tough environments
There are two distinct types of diversity management, which will lead to a strong organization's performance. The first type is that the organization focuses on how to utilize the benefits that from effectively managing diversity. The second type focuses on right strategies to overcome ineffective diversity management. Diversity management leads to improved individual and organisational performance.
In concluding this essay I have discussed the following statement
"Like seashells on a beach, people come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours. This variety represents the essence of diversity".
I have discussed this statement by outlining a business case and benefits of having a positive diversity management structure within a company. I also discussed what were the common responses from management to diversity, the implications to employees and the implications for management.
Kreitner, R and Kinicki, A and Buelens, M ( 2002) Organisational Behaviour. Shoppenhangers Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 2QL: McGraw-Hill Education
http://www.diversityworking.com/employerZone/diversityManagement/24th November 2010
Domsch, ME and Hristozova, E (2006) Human Resources Management in Consulting Firms. Berlin Germany: Springer Berlin
Stockdale, M and Crosby, FJ ( 2004) The psychology and management of workplace
diversity.108 Crowley Road, Oxford: Blackwell Publishing
Forsyth, D (2006) Group Dynamics. USA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning