Good Stereotype Threat At Work Essay Example
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Dialogue, Workplace, Employee, Management, Culture, Diversity, Organization, Teamwork
Recognizing individual differences associated with gender, ethnicity, race, age, socioeconomic status, and religious, political or other ideologies, and managing a diverse workforce is a highly essential quality of a manager. Employee diversity in an organization tends to negatively influence creativity and morale of the workforce because of the obvious communication problem amongst the members. Hence a manager plays a crucial role in promoting teams with high morale for the collective growth and success of both the employees and the organization. Pooling the talents of people with different perspectives, backgrounds and points of view for mutual learning, and bringing about harmony at the workplace is the key to success in today’s business environment, particularly in the light of current demographic trends in the Western Countries. Effective managers indulge in open communication and encourage free and open sharing of thoughts of team members to keep them unified for the continuous growth of the organization.
Stereotypes associated with various cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, which influence the behavior and productivity of individuals, are the major threats challenging decision making while managing diverse team members. A member belonging to a group with a negative stereotype would find it very difficult to get a more fitting position to express his true caliber in a diverse environment unless supervised by a manger who is immune to prejudice. Perpetual concern on one’s negative stereotype and the ensuing compulsion to ‘overwork’ to prove one’s worth at the workplace only leads to employee turnover even though in some isolated cases it might motivate the employee to be passionate about success to disprove the negative stereotype.
Normally, in a diverse workforce situation, employees hesitate to open-up, fearing that if they openly share matters with fellow workers others would see their culture and background as inferior. Hence breaking this mental barrier and promoting an open ambience for all would help employees of varied culture and background mingle and understand each other. This also would help employees complement each other’s inadequacies for the growth of the self and organization. Having promoted a culture of openness, the manager needs to clarify roles for each member in a transparent manner.
Communication across the organization in a diverse environment is a real challenge for managers. Maintaining uniform script while communicating within and outside the organization too is all the more important. Promoting a strategy of open discussion to clarify ambiguity in communication will help employees belonging to various socioeconomic backgrounds understand the organizational requirements from time to time. Protocols need to be established for open discussions giving proper due to all sections to promote active participation of members from different groups. Also, feedback from members of all groups is crucial to make the strategy of open discussion bear fruit. Open discussions must value the patterns and styles of communication associated with different groups. For instance, in one culture listening to a discussion and talking less may be the accepted norm, whereas yet another culture may encourage more conversation and little talk. While discussing issues, there is also the likelihood of more privileged individuals stealing the show and diverting discussions to their favor.
Open discussions encourage every member to record his points of view and suggestions, but most of the times, discussions favor the talkative. Hence, silent workers and those with poor presentation skills may not reap due benefits. The management however can build trust through transparent, open discussions. Effective monitoring and follow up of decisions taken in the open discussions is vital while implementing the strategy of open discussions to promote harmony in a diverse work environment. The manager has to be careful while adopting the strategy of open discussion since there is more room for such discussions questioning the values of members belonging to one or other group. If the members are encouraged to give open suggestions and feedback, it is likely to raise conflicts since the participants belong to different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.
Thus, the managers leading diverse teams have the advantage of properly utilizing the variety of talents and skills of employees to achieve common organizational goals. They also have the responsible role of tapping the potential of all the team members to the fullest by breaking the barrier of stereotypes and prejudices by participating them in open discussions.