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Organizational Behaviour the Pros and Cons.

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Elements of successful organizational diversity Management.

Why is organizational diversity important? Historically, diversity in the workplace has been

recognized as an employment equity issue. Now, however, diversity in the workplace is being

recognized as a benefit that will contribute to an organization's bottom line. Increased employee

and customer satisfaction end up as increased productivity, all of which are measurable

outcomes (Goff, 1998). Diversity goes beyond employment equity to nurturing an environment

that values the differences and maximizes the potential of all employees, one that stimulates

employee creativity and innovativeness (U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (U.S. MSPB),

1993). To create an organizational culture that supports workforce diversity involves several

important elements. These elements include a needs analysis, administrative and management

support and commitment, education and training, culture and management systems changes and

continuous follow-up and evaluation.

Needs Analysis

In many of my resources, a needs analysis was the second crucial element after senior

management support and commitment. I feel a needs analysis should be prepared first to provide

information to senior management in sequestering their support as well as to adequately

determine workforce and organizational needs for creating a diverse workplace. First, find out

what employees are concerned about. Most often used for this are focus groups and surveys.

The needs and expectations of a diverse workforce can vary by organizational and functional

levels, location, ethnicity, and gender (Baytos and Delatte, 1993). Second, determine the needs

of the organization. By asking certain questions, an organization can determine its needs based

on its culture and resources (U.S. MSPB, 1993). Does the organization have trouble retaining

employees who would add to its diversity? In an organization with diversity, which, if any, areas of

the workforce are being treated inappropriately? Has the organization impressed upon its leaders

and managers the benefits that come from managing diversity appropriately? By using a survey

that focuses on these questions you can ascertain where administration and management feel

the organization presently is regarding diversity.

Administrative and Management Commitment and Support

Administrative and management support is critical for diversity change efforts. An important role

for senior management is to provide leadership through development of a vision and goals for a

diverse workplace (Lapid-Bogda, 1992). To gain support from administration you need to directly

link diversity to the business. Be specific as to where the diversity issues lie. Are they employee

or customer issues? Or both? Provide data regarding the diversity opportunities in the

marketplace, workforce and organization (Prism International, 2000). Benchmarking best

practices related to diversity from other organizations, demographic data, briefings regarding

complaints, potential lawsuits, and hiring and retention problems are all relevant sources of data.

In general, the organizations experiencing the greatest success with diversity training are more

likely to view diversity as a business issue rather than a social issue (Profiting from others', 1994).

Link diversity to other organizational initiatives, such as quality management or career

development (Lapid-Bogda, 1992). Discuss both your initial assessment of what will be required

for implementation and institutionalization of diversity management and the known elements in

the organization that will promote and/or hinder the successful achievement of diversity

management (Prism International, 2000). Finally, administrative support and commitment is

essential also for the means to provide the programs and resources necessary for diversity

education and training. You'll never survive the first round of budget cuts without the support of


Education and Training

Organizations that successfully manage diversity distinguish between the differences of

education and training. Education is a building of awareness and creating a base of general

understanding. At the administrative and management levels, educational efforts can spawn

interest and an awareness of need, which can then extend the change process throughout the

organization (Baytos and Delatte, 1993). Education provides a setting to define issues, develop

consistent language and to discuss



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