The paper 'Workplace Diversity' is a great example of a Management Essay. The ubiquitous transmission towards globalization enhanced the concept of diversity in working environments, which is seen as a crucial determinant of corporate competitiveness in global organizations. Diversity in this context is applied to imply the inherent differences within organizational human capital that include gender, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, disability, and skills (Green, Lopez, Wysocki & Kepner 2002). The underlying elements of diversity emerge as blessings in disguise for many firms, but with proper strategies to promote harmonious co-existence among the people.
Workforce diversity management entails the implementation of strategies that facilitate unity of the diverse workforce, and use of their differences to propel organizations towards improved performance. With the advent of business globalization, organizations will require managers and workforces capable of dealing with individual differences in order to have a sustainable future. Diversity also stretches to cover differences associated with work teams among other generational differences that should be identified and managed in order to promote organizational efficiency and effectiveness. Generational diversity in the workplace connotes differences in attitude and approach to work, loyalty, work and life balance, and differences in power among other inherent differences (Commonwealth of Australia 2001).
Workforce diversity has been associated with numerous benefits including improved performance, attraction, and retention of skilled workers, enhanced productivity, and promotion of good business image among others. However, diversity presents significant challenges including negative attitudes and behaviors, and poor recruitment and employment criteria such as discrimination, prejudice, and stereotyping. This paper outlines the different aspects of workplace diversity including its benefits, challenges, and strategies for promoting effective workplace diversity. The Concept of Workplace Diversity and Its Contributions to Workplace Effectiveness The contemporary discourse of globalization has seen different regions and countries across the world experience increasingly diverse populations and labor markets.
The trend presents significant challenges in business operations due to the growing awareness of diversity. In this case, the concept of diversity management has emerged as an effective organizational response to the challenges of the increasingly varied workforce. Different organizations have adopted different strategies to promote and manage diverse workforces. Additionally, diversity management promotes accommodation and integration of employees’ diverse and belief systems, and the elimination of discriminatory practices.
Achievement of workforce diversity takes place through strategic harmonization of workforce variables such as the bias of culture, identity, and individual perceptions with those of other people to form a workforce team (Green, Lopez, Wysocki & Kepner 2002). Diversity promotes effectiveness in the workplace with proper training of individual employees and the management in dealing with group process issues, especially those involved in problem-solving and communication within the diverse workforce. The promotion of effective workforce diversity contributes to the effectiveness of the workplace through the establishment of an environment that allows increased innovation (Lien 2004).
A diverse workforce promotes labor innovativeness through the convergence of a wide range of ideas and insights into the organization’ s operations. Contributions from the diverse team in decision making result in better decisions that adversely affect the effectiveness of the firms’ activities. Diversity further advances the ability of an organization to understand its clients better leading to improved communication with the clients and satisfaction. Effective workplace diversity plays a critical role in enabling the workforce to realize its full potential as well as maintaining the organizational knowledge and expertise for sustainable performance.
Proper management of workforce diversity further contributes to workplace effectiveness through the limitation of workplace conflicts and the promotion of healthy interpersonal relationships (Commonwealth of Australia 2001). Conflicts and poor workplace relations greatly undermine the efficiency and effectiveness of the workforce.
Commonwealth of Australia 2001, ‘Guidelines on workplace diversity’, Commonwealth of Australia, Accessed April 23, 2012, < http://www.apsc.gov.au/publications01/diversityguidelines.pdf>
Green, K, Lopez, M, Wysocki, A & Kepner, K 2002, ‘Diversity in the workplace: benefits, challenges, and required managerial tools’, The Institute of Food and Agricultural Science. Accessed April 23, 2012, < http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/HR/HR02200.pdf>
Groschi, S 2011, Diversity in the workplace: multi-disciplinary and international perspectives, Gower Publishing, New York.
Landy, F & Conte, J 2009, Work in the 21st century: an introduction to industrial and organizational psychology, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken.
Lien, M 2004, ‘Workforce opportunities in diversity: the melting pot, Occupational Outlook Quarterly, Accessed April 23, 2012, < http://www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2004/summer/art02.pdf
Walsh, D 2009, Employment law for human resource practice, Cengage learning, Stamford.