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Diversity - Growth and Importance of Managing

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DIVERSITY:

GROWTH AND IMPORTANCE OF MANAGING

Harpreet Singh

City University

ABSTRACT:

As companies are becoming more and more diverse it's becoming more and more important for companies to understand and manage it. The people of different background, races, religion creates diverse workforce. There is an importance of having diverse workforce to provide better performance. There are perspectives of managing the diverse workforce, which require organization leaders and managers of being responsible of attaining better diverse workforce.

INTRODUCTION

Diversity means differences, difference of age, sex, race, religion and culture etc. People with different demographic differences working in the organization makes diverse workforce. And it is becoming more important for the organizations to know about these differences and how to manage it. Diversity is also the common issue in the workforce environment, in some companies employees often get discriminated or misunderstood because of the diverse features.

So it is important for the companies to manage the diversity workforce to value best performance. Most important aspect these days is to train the managers to handle the diverse workforce. What is the manager's role in handling the diverse workforce?

GROWTH & IMPORTANCE OF HAVING DIVERSE WORKFORCE:

Many organizations are engaging in activities to manage their employees of different genders, ages, race, sexual orientations, etc. When demographic diversity is valued, all employees, even the non-traditional (i.e., other than white males), are encouraged to participate fully and develop their unique skills and perspectives.

a) GROWTH: Diversity is increasing everyday in everyday in every organization; In America 1 in 4 Americans belongs to a minority or is foreign-born. Women, who currently make up less than half the work force, are expected to fill 65 percent of the jobs created during this decade.

``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,'' (Profiting in America's Multicultural Marketplace"' Lexington Books)

Over the next decade, companies realize that they must have a diverse workforce and that each member of that workforce must truly embrace principles of diversity to realize the longevity, growth, and increased profits. Women, people of color, and immigrants will soon hold almost three- quarters of all jobs in this country (Jackson et al., 1992; Johnston, 1991).

b) CONCERN: Organizations are getting more concerned of developing the diverse workforce over the years to attain better result and competitiveness.

Organizations have been advised to attract, develop, and retain males and females of all ages, skin colors, cultural backgrounds, and physical capacities to remain competitive (Cox and Blake, 1991).

c) NEED:

Companies that accommodate the special needs of the demographically diverse workforce (by redefining the structure of the work day for those with childcare and/or eldercare responsibilities, or providing qualified assistants and/or apparatus for employees with disabilities) will become more appealing places to work and will thereby reduce absenteeism and turnover costs. They have also asserted that organizations that value differences will cultivate non-traditional markets, by dint of their apparent progressiveness and their ability to assess non-traditional preferences; and will enjoy greater creativity, problem solving, and responsiveness as a result of the wider range of viewpoints brought to bear on tasks. (Cox and Blake, (1991)

EFFICTIVINESS OF HAVING DIVERSITY IN WORKFORCE

Why should companies concern themselves with diversity? Many managers answered this question with the assertion that discrimination is wrong, both legally and morally. But today managers are voicing a second notion as well. A more diverse workforce, they say, will increase organizational effectiveness. It will lift morale, bring greater access to new segments of the marketplace, and enhance productivity. In short, they claim, diversity will be good for business.

Research stated that the Canadian companies leading the way in the area of diversity management have discovered that by embracing the elements of ethnic and cultural diversity in their workforce they have enhanced their ability to understand and tap new markets, both within Canada and abroad.

"Research generated from a variety of fields predicts that important benefits will accrue from demographic heterogeneity in organizations by increasing the variance in perspectives and approaches to work that members of different identity groups can bring" (e.g., Thomas and Ely, 1996).

IMPORTANCE OF MANAGING DIVERSITY

As the companies of today are getting more and more diverse, the need of managing the diverse workfare is increasing. All Countries specially USA and Canada are having more diverse workforce everyday. So it is becoming important for the companies manage the diversity to get better results out of employees.

Research stated that Forward-thinking Canadian organizations have recognized that competing successfully in the new global marketplace requires more than the latest technology, most efficient production processes, or most innovative products. Canadian organizations' competitive strength is increasingly contingent on human resources. Competing to win in the global economy will require an ability to attract, retain, motivate and develop high- potential employees of both genders from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The challenge facing today's corporate leaders is to foster

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