Definition of Diversity
Diversity refers to any perceived difference among people: age, race, religion, functional specially, profession, sexual orientation, geographic origin, and lifestyle, tenure with the organization or position and any other perceived difference. Diversity is more than equal employment and affirmative action.
Elements of Diversity
Roosevelt Thomas ( america) defined managing diversity as “a comprehensive managerial process for developing an environment that works for all employees.” Diversity management is about full utilization of people with different backgrounds and experiences. Effective diversity management strategy has a positive effect on cost reduction, creativity, problem solving, and organizational flexibility.
How to Manage Diversity in a Workplace
Diversity in the workplace means bringing together people of different ethnic backgrounds, religions and age groups into a cohesive and productive unit. Advances in communication technology, such as the Internet and cellular phones, have made the marketplace a more global concept.
Confirm that all of your personnel policies from hiring to promotions and raises are based on employee performance. Avoid allowing tenure, ethnic background or any other kind of category into your human resources policies. Managing a diverse workplace begins with strong policies of equality from the company. Once these policies are in place, the company can begin implementing diversity measures throughout the entire organization.
Rate the qualifications of the candidate based on the quality of his experience, not age or any other category, when hiring. When you hire a diverse but qualified workforce, you are on the right track towards being able to manage the diversity in your company.
Encourage diversity when creating teams and special work groups within the company. If a manager creates a work group that does not utilize the skills of the most qualified employees, then insists that the group be changed to include all qualified staff members.
Barriers and Challenges to Managing Diversity
Most common barriers to implementing successful diversity programs:
Inaccurate stereotypes and prejudice: This barrier manifests itself in the belief that differences are viewed as weaknesses. In turn, this promotes the view that diversity hiring will mean sacrificing competence and quality.
Poor career planning.: This barrier is associated with the lack of opportunities for diverse employees to get the type of work assignments that qualify them for senior management positions.
Difficulty in balancing career and family issues: Women still assume the majority of the responsibilities associated with raising children. This makes it harder for women to work evenings and weekends or to frequently travel once they have children. Even without children in the picture, household chores take more of a woman’s time than a man’s time.
Fears of reverse discrimination: Some employees believe that managing diversity is a smoke screen for reverse discrimination. This belief leads to very strong resistance because people feel that one person’s gain is another’s loss.
Resistance to change.:Effectively managing diversity entails significant organizational and personal change.
Among the advantages of diversity in the workplace ( London) are:
Increased Productivity: Diversity and Inclusion brings in diverse different talents together working towards a common goal using different sets of skills that ignites their loyalty and increases their retention and productivity
Increased creativity and Problem solving: With so many different and diverse minds coming together many more solutions will arise as every individual brings in their way of thinking, operating and solving problems and decision making
Attract and Retain talent that add a competitive edge to any organization. Feeling included and appreciated increases loyalty and feeling of belonging. Language skills pool is increased and propels organization forward either to compete in the International global world or to increase its diverse customer base
Help to build synergy in teams and enhances communication skills that brings in new attitudes and processes that profit the whole team
Applying the proper diversity& inclusion management strategies does not only save money on generated by discrimination lawsuits but is the right thing to do for the business.
It increases market share and create a satisfied diverse customer base bre lating to people from different backgrounds. It does propel the United States and its status to claim its place and success in the global business world of the 21st century