Good Example Of Workplace Diversity Essay
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Many companies are increasing diversity in their workforce. This is because of the fact that they now understand that this diversity has many useful aspects. It provides with improved performance, increases satisfaction levels of employees and makes customers happy and returning. If we consider the substantial growth of Mal-Mart, it is found that it originates from urban areas. The retailers have diversified their workforce. They now hire from pool of local talents and local people. In areas where minorities are more, the workforce is hired from pool of those minorities so that the sales force can understand and communicate with people of their own color and ethnicity in a better way. It helps the company in attracting and maintaining long term customers bringing huge sales to the company. So putting people of different color on sales post and in executive positions has proved beneficial for the company(Mello, 2006, p 22).
Similarly Toyota is also moving towards diversity by finding and locating competent and skilled minorities to work with the company. They have members of minorities on their advisory board. The special task these members perform is they search for highly energetic people out of minorities, manage them and make policies for them (Mello, 2006, p 27). The company is not only searching in automobile industry but they move out of the boundary of industry to search for young and energetic professionals aspiring to work as automobile dealers with the company. These selected candidates then pass through rigorous trainings to refine their skills. This not only helps Toyota in finding work-oriented workforce but has also made an image of the company as minority friendly company. This image helps to attract and attain customers from different cultures and ethnicities (Bohlander& Snell, 2007, p 31).
Human Resource Policy
Organizations deciding diversify their workforces with a purpose of increasing effectiveness and productivity has to make certain changes in their HR practices and management policies. These policies and practices are guidelines to implement objectives of the organization. These practices and policies are the strategic plans of the management to include work force diversity in their organization and achieve their missions with the help of this diversity. These plans also communicate message to managers, employees, customers and political leaders that the company values diversity. This communication brings favorable results for the company image at large(Mello, 2006, p 35).
The areas of management policy affected by workforce diversity are:
Training and Education
Rewards and Benefits
Workforce diversification attempts affect the job design. The managers have to consider the changes in the ways employees work. It involves complete restructuring or partial changes in the job designs. In today’s workforce women, workers are increasing. Similarly, aging workforce trend increases the number of old age people at work. Organizations have to introduce flexibility in working hours and shifts. Therefore, those women with children can have a balance in their work and personal life (Mello, 2006, p39). The choices of working locations are broadened to make work more flexible for women and old age workers. Similarly, in attracting and retaining workers with certain physical disabilities, reasonable steps are taken and accommodations are provided so that any work related items necessary for efficient working are under their physical access (Bohlander& Snell, 2007, 27).
Like job design workforce diversification affects the recruitment process as well. The organization has to make certain changes in their recruitment process and roles so as to include minority groups, increasing their participation in job applications by introducing valid alternatives and tests. Similarly alternative job evaluation and monitoring systems are introduced as well to evaluate their performances. This process of recruitment and retention include already common strategies in affirmative action programs (Mello, 2006, 39). The organizations have to change these strategies as diversification differs from affirmative actions. The purpose of these changes is to enhance productivity through workforce diversification instead of compliance with legal restrictions of recruiting from different quotas(Bohlander & Snell, 2007, p 44).
Education and Training Programs
Diversification affects education and training programs in two ways. Employers now show greater concern with educational empowerment of future worker. This has been the domain of public school systems in past. But now with diversification employers show more involvement in it. Now skills that are not directly related to specific tasks of job are included in training programs. These skills are literacy in general and English as secondary language. The employer also show increased interest in state sponsored job training programs and they sponsor such training programs which are joint collaboration of business and government policy initiatives. This effort offers tax rebates to employers for the costs that are incurred on training programs. Secondly, employers conduct training sessions on routine basis to increase awareness on multiple cultures and to understand factors sensitive to these cultures. This helps in better understanding of workers and helps in bridging the cultural gap between the workforces. This move increases the work force’s confidence in management and increases their productivity and satisfaction (Bohlander& Snell, 2007, 30).
With the progress of diversification at workplace the rewards, pay and benefit policies also become innovate. The purpose of this innovation is to offer flexible solutions to the diversified workforce. Women at job also have a role of household caregivers. Employers can attract women employees by offering them flexible benefits. These benefits include part time as well full time positions with separate rewards and salaries for both, paid parental leaves, support programs for child care and attractive retirement policies for aging workforce(Bohlander & Snell, 2007, 25)
The focus of performance measurement and improvement in productivity programs also changes because of the changed assumptions due to workforce diversification. The managers now need to understand different values and feelings so that they can understand motivational perspectives of the diverse workforce. Workforce diversification has also changes the definitions of productivity. This change is due to the changed managerial styles and increase in effectiveness of the organizations. Due to diversity, the work teams are also becoming diverse. In order to evaluate the individual contributions of worker from these diverse teams, group evaluation techniques should be developed and encouraged (Bohlander& Snell, 2007, 28).
Common themes linking these five human resource policies and practices are a common goal to increase organizational effectiveness and its cumulative effect on organizational culture. Organizations that want to attract and retain a diverse work force must change their culture to create an atmosphere in which people from the various categories feel accepted and comfortable so that their productivity increases (Mello, 2006, p 24). This is the reason the essence of diversification policies is different from affirmative actions. This is because to affirm diversity is different from accepting or tolerating it (Bohlander& Snell, 2007, p 33).
Role of Human Resource Professionals
Acknowledge that diversity in workforce is valuable for organization
Remove hurdles if any created by women, physically disabled workers and workers from different backgrounds. These hurdles can hinder in organizations success.
Identify how differences in personality can affect work done by the worker.
Recognize the role played by attitudes and values in performance.
Help in building career of workers.
Develop programs to create a balance in work-life.
The concept of diversity is captured on a global scale. Many organizations have captured diversity through their human resource management departments. Many talents and abilities are realized through individual abilities and many organizations have taken up to ensure that they are tamed to their best ability to improve their performance.
Bohlander, G. W., & Snell, S. (2007). Managing human resources (14th ed.). Mason, OH: Thomson/South-Western.
Mello, J. A. (2006). Strategic human resource management (2nd ed.). Australia: South-Western College Pub.
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