Running head: VALUE OF DIVERSITY PAPER Value of Diversity Paper Cultural Diversity SOC/315 Value of Diversity in the Workplace In companies or corporations the global landscape now reflects diversity in the employees found in the workplace. Employees come from different backgrounds, geographic or global areas, ethnic and cultural origins, and have unique skills and talents. Individuals must work together and merge skills and manage diversity effectively in the workplace.
Our thoughts, actions, and very beliefs are shaped by our culture. These things are ingrained and remain unshakeable until, faced with someone who is of another faith or belief system with a different way of doing things than individuals are familiar with. Cultural diversity is to be embraced, studied, and applied, if an organization is to succeed with stated goals. In the workplace, diversity must be established or the organization can find forward progress at achieving stated goals barred.
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Employees’ differences are to be acknowledged and valued by employers, along with providing a safe, harmonious and diverse work environment. Employees share equal responsibility for the creation of that environment and must exhibit mutual respect, trust and acceptance of all individuals. Using the unique perspectives and talents of all employees enhances the communication stream, creates effective problem-solving or decision-making skills and improves the organizational performance levels and productivity.
A diverse workforce should mirror the cultural make up of the communities that companies serve, and allows the company to respond effectively to global market changes or customer requirements. This paper will review an issue in the work environment that may have been more successfully resolved by the presence of a diverse workforce. The diagnosis will discuss diversity tools that would have facilitated a more successful resolution to the challenge and strategies provided to facilitate civic cultural intelligence, by establishing culturally appropriate behaviors.
Effective intercultural communication has become increasingly significant in the global workplace. Organizations are comprised of diverse individuals bringing unique talents, cultures, and abilities with them. When breakdown in the communication process occurs, usually the break is the result of differences in morality and ethical values. Effective intercultural communication must bridge the existing gap of individuals with different races, cultures, and backgrounds. Diversity of styles and people exist in the world are to be embraced and cultivated.
Synthesis of the problem In a past job at an established financial institution, I worked as a new accounts representative. My job was to open new brokerage accounts for premier clients who held assets of $100,000 or more with the bank. My divisional manager was an individual from England who had been with the company for 3 years. Our division under a reorganization and that created several new positions. I spoke at length with a few coworkers who suggested that it was a good opportunity and would allow me to advance within the company.
I waited for the job postings to appear on an internal website and had my resume updated accordingly. I noticed individuals being assigned to what were the expected new positions, but never saw a job posting. To my knowledge and company policy, the only way to transfer to a job would be through human resources after the availability of the positions were made known to all employees. I finally made an appointment to speak with the divisional manager of the department that had the vacancies. He was extremely condescending and made some demeaning comments.
He wanted to know how I thought I could do the job, asked what my qualifications were and insinuated that I needed to stay where I was and not try to go above my level. He went to on to tell me that there were no more positions. I had to go to human resources and after several conversations, where I made it clear I was being discriminated, management eventually placed me in the department that I had tried to post for. I think the defining moment for them, is that I had kept paper records of all my assignments, and past performance appraisals and customer satisfaction surveys.
The divisional manager was guilty of operating a “glass ceiling” at management level and stopped women of color from promoting to higher positions of authority. The senior management was all male, and less than 10% were female. The positions were filled without any stated qualifications or criteria. It was always done with a “tap on the shoulder” and is not legal. Companies are subject to the attributes of economic, competitive, and technological pressures that require different global strategies.
In this situation, the company or rather the executive pursued policies or practices continually which denied equal and fair job opportunities to be made to all individuals, regardless of gender, sex, or culture. In corporate life and elsewhere, there must be mutual trust and respect and that is the heart of having an effective diverse workforce. This is more relevant when the key players are from different countries and of different cultures. Diagnosis of the problem
In my situation, the executive was guilty of failing to follow company mandated job posting procedures, ensuring that all employees had equal opportunity to review those postings. Additional infractions were: discouraging females of color from applying for managerial positions, failing or refusing to consider females of color for promotions, timely notice of job opportunities, using subjective or arbitrary criteria for promoting all males to managerial positions, and fostering a hostile, demeaning work environment for individuals of different cultures.
He was brought up on conduct unbecoming, and discriminatory practices and fired. Strategies for dealing with issues in the workplace Diversity in the workplace can allow a company to obtain leveraging techniques against their competitors. Companies must do more than understand the need for diversity, and the organizational head or CEO must establish fundamental cultural changes across the organization. Change starts at the top, and only then can diversity be expected to become the cultural norm. A diverse workforce must have openness, tolerance and respect.
Diversity is about leadership and management. Diversity training allows management to use existing diversity to generate innovations in hiring, service and managing staff. “To increase organizational competitiveness and effectiveness, companies are placing focus on diversity. ” (Stringer, 1995). Managing diversity requires commitment by the company to recruit, educate and retain employees from diverse cultural demographics. Some strategies for managing diversity in the workplace are: management development: increasing the visibility and understanding of diversity; organizational development: romotion of a workplace environment supportive of diversity; talent acquisition: integration of diversity in all departments; and individual development: empowering employees to resist and overcome cultural barriers; and career training by preparing for work in a diverse environment with sensitivity training initiatives. Conclusion Companies today operate in a global working environment. Individuals are forced to, develop better interpersonal and cultural sensitivity skills, and learn new and innovative ways of getting their jobs done.
A diverse workplace is a strong competitive advantage in today’s global markets. It helps to attract a diverse customer base and provides new innovative employee perspectives in an organization. Valuing diversity includes awareness, education, and positive recognition or acknowledgement of the differences among all individuals in the workforce. References Stringer, D. (1995) The role of women in workplace diversity consulting. Journal of Organizational Change Management. Vol. 8:1:44-51. Retrieved July 20, 2008 from: http:www. emeraldinsight. com/