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Diversity in the Workplace Essay

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In recent years, workforce diversity has become a central role in organizational life because of improved globalization and developing technology (Williams and O‟ Reilly, 1998). Diversity could be connected to various factors including age, gender, culture, education, employee status, physical appearance, family status, regional origin, national origin, thinking style, religion, race, and more (Agrawal, 2012). On the other hand, low diversity teams are more likely to have decreasing performance not unlike teams with high diversity because the team members will be challenging each other’s perceptions, which usually permits them to reach better decisions (Wiersema and Bantel, 1992; Schwenk, 1984). Furthermore, past studies proved that diversity improves organizational financial sustainability and organizational flexibility (Allen et al., 2007).

It was recognized that a diverse workforce could deliver the company a competitive advantage as well as it could improve the organizational adaptability to any deviations in marketplaces (Zanoni et al., 2010; Ely and Thomas, 2001; Kochan et al., 2003). According to studies more nationalities in a group would create more debates, creativity, different types of information as well as improved performance. This is because each ethnic group is expected to enhance the group’s experience and knowledge (Jehn, Northcraft, & Neale, 1999); Watson et al., 1993). Moreover, it was found that when an employee is positioned with a group of workers who have distinct nationalities other than his own nationality, he is more likely to maintain social distance (Parillo and Donoghue, 2005; Verkuyten and Kinket, 2000). The best path to encourage diversity in your workplace is by accepting it and working to create an understanding. Becoming aware of your colleagues on a personal level, regardless of their culture and background, will assist to find common ground, strengthen your appreciation of differences, and encourage an inclusive and welcoming work environment. Successful organizations integrate diversity into mentoring programs, leadership training, and management-by-results programs (Reichenberg, 2001). As an example, Coca-Cola organized several mentoring and outreach groups to educate workers (The Coca-Cola Company).

To implement the strategy of diversity it should be aligned with the organization’s vision. This workplace diversity strategy should be recognized that all people bring different qualities, skills, knowledge, experiences, perspectives, and attitudes to work. To ensure that diversity principles are implemented in the organization’s culture, all employees, the executive, and managers should always be encouraged to consider and incorporate workplace diversity principles into work practices. There should be a workforce team to continue the strategy. The workforce team will report the progress of the implementation plan to the executive on an annual basis. This is an important step for safeguarding a workplace free from discrimination and harassment that recognizes and integrates the complementary differences of our employees. The senior leadership must be complex and visible throughout the whole diversity project. The organizational structure must provide a diversity effort. If the organizational structure supports the diversity offered, it is more likely to be taken seriously across the whole business (Polzer, 2008).

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According to diversity, strategy managers should take several steps to change values and attitudes and improve the effective management of diversity. An initial step is to secure top management commitment to diversity, as this is an important step. Top managers should enhance the correct performance and business-oriented attitudes and the correct ethical values that permit them to make proper use of the diverse workforce (Jones & George, 2009). Further, top management must ensure fairness regarding the compensation of the diverse workforce (Aghazadeh, 2004). Another crucial step is improving diversity awareness. To increase diversity awareness internally in the organization, employees should be aware of the different experiences, attitudes, and perspectives of others. This could be attained through programs that reveal personal stereotypes and biases, and then overturn these incorrect beliefs and stereotypes about distinct groups. These programs help to enhance the realization about others, who are different from oneself. They also provide an environment in which all people are free to talk about their different points and views (Jones & George,2009). This usually requires that the organization values diversity, as some of the main objectives of valuing diversity are awareness and positive recognition of the differences existing among a diverse workforce. Therefore, the organizational cultural environment must allow differences to be embraced rather being tolerated.

Communicating about diversity is vital for the success of organizations. The communication must be abundant and include a variety of channels such as social media, newsletters, intranet, seminars, meetings, posters, etc. Generating a formal project plan to help the diversity strategy with measurable objectives that are integrated with the rest of the company’s strategic objectives and operations is important. Managers should use an open-door policy in organizations. Furthermore, managers can inspire people to ask questions. To get the maximum out of them, they need to feel easy for asking questions until they believe that they have a clear picture of what is required. Providing training will be useful. One of the most important strategies for effective communication in the workplace is to familiarize me with all the different communication methods (Sanchez & Guo, 2005). Verbal and listening skills are the main categories that managers should focus on. Verbal skills teach the employees that most of their message is delivered in how they say something contrary to what they say. Employees should learn the difference between active listening and passive listening regarding listening skills. Nowadays having in-person meetings is one of the best strategies for effective communication. To really maximize the effectiveness of communication, managers cannot forget the importance of body language. The managers should speak clearly and accurately. They should respect employees’ feelings. Managers should not use slang, offensive language, and discriminatory, racist, or sexist language. At the same time, they should avoid too many technical terms (Cheney, 2011).

According to the above-stated points, the author concludes that improving diversity in the workplace is important and the managers of the organization should implement a workplace diversity strategy to achieve that. Finally, the author indicates how effective communication skills help the organization implement that strategy.

References

  1. Aghazadeh, S.-M. (2004). Managing workforce diversity is an essential resource for improving organizational performance. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 53(6), 521–531. http://doi.org/10.1108/17410400410556183.
  2. Agrawal, V. (2012). Managing the diversified team: challenges and strategies for improving performance. Team Performance Management, 18(7), 384–400. http://doi.org/10.1108/13527591211281129
  3. Allen, R., Dawson, G., Wheatley, K., & White, C. (2007). Perceived diversity and organizational performance. Employee Relations, 30(1), 20–33.
  4. Cheney, G. (2011). Organizational communication in an age of globalization: Issues, reflections, practices. Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press.
  5. The Coca-Coca company. Diversity Councils and Business Resource Groups. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.coca-colacompany.com/our-company/diversity/diversity-councils-andbusiness-resource-groups
  6. Ely, R., & Thomas, D. (2001). Cultural diversity at work: the effects of diversity perspectives on work group processes and outcomes. Administrative Science Quarterly,46(2), 229–273.
  7. Jehn, K., Northcraft, G., & Neale, M. (1999). Why differences make a difference: a study of diversity, conflict, and performance in workgroups. Administrative Science Quarterly,44(4), 741–763.
  8. Jones, G., & George, J. (2009). Contemporary Management (6th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
  9. Kochan, T., Bezrukova, K., Ely, R., Jackson, S., Joshi, A., Jehn, K., … Thomas, D. (2003). The effects of diversity on business performance: report of the diversity research network. Human Resource Management, 42(1), 3–21.
  10. Sanchez, Y. & Guo, K.L. (2005). Workplace Communication. Boston, MA: Pearson.
  11. Schwenk, C. (1984). Devil’s advocacy in managerial decision-making. Journal of Management Studies, 21(2), 153–168.
  12. Parillo, V., & Donoghue, C. (2005). Updating the Bogardus social distance studies: a new national survey. The Social Science Journal, 42, 257– 271.
  13. Polzer, J. (2008). Making diverse teams click. Harvard Business Review, 34(1), 20–21.
  14. Wiersema, M., & Bantel, K. (1992). Top management team demography and corporate strategic change. Academy of Management Journal, 35(1), 91–121.
  15. Watson, W., Kumar, K., &Michaelsen, L. (1993). Cultural diversity’s impact on interaction process and performance: comparing homogeneous and diverse task groups. Academy of Management Journal, 36, 590–602.
  16. Verkuyten, M., &Kinket, B. (2000). Social distances in a multi-ethnic society: the ethnic hierarchy among Dutch preadolescents. Social Psychology Quarterly,63(1), 75–85.
  17. Zanoni, P., Janssens, M., Benschop, Y., &Nkomo, S. (2010). Guest editorial: unpacking diversity, grasping inequality: rethinking difference through critical perspectives. Organization, 17(1), 9–29.

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Diversity in the Workplace Essay. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 4, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/diversity-in-the-workplace-essay/
“Diversity in the Workplace Essay.” Edubirdie, 27 Sept. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/diversity-in-the-workplace-essay/
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Diversity in the Workplace Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 27 [cited 2023 Feb 4]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/diversity-in-the-workplace-essay/
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