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Workforce diversity

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Workforce diversity

  1. 1. Ms. Irene E. Balane MAEd – Guidance and Counseling
  2. 2. DIVERSITY DEFINED Diversity can be defined as acknowledging, understanding, accepting, and valuing differences among people with respect to age, class, race, ethnicity, gender, disabilities, etc. (Esty et al. 1995).
  3. 3. Forms of Diversity in the Workplace • Age At any given time, there may be three or four generations at work. That is, people whose ages could make them grandparents, parents and children if they were related, all bring different experiences, worldviews and strengths to the modern workplace. Also, many people delay retirement and stay in the workforce longer. • Religious People of all faiths -- and of no organized religious faith at all -- clock in workday mornings. Religious diversity in the workplace can have a particular set of challenges. This may especially be so for faith-based companies of a certain ideology or workers who wish to live consistently with their beliefs in organizations that are expressly non-religious. • Racial/Ethnic People of color have always been a part of the U.S. workforce, even if they were not treated fairly as such. Blacks, Asians, Native Americans and Latinos all played early roles in developing various industries. Now, they are more widely hired in professional, service, corporate and public places of employment. • Disability The U.S. government encourages the hiring of people with physical, mental or emotional disabilities through federal laws and by making funding available to companies to employ these workers. Even so-called invisible disabilities, such as depression, dyslexia and fibromyalgia, require workplaces to provide reasonable accommodations. These accommodations help workers adequately perform their duties without lowering performance expectations or standards.
  4. 4. Three Distinct Groupings in the Workforce: 1. Mature workers – they are these security oriented and has a committed work ethics. 2. “Baby Boomers” – the largest group in the workforce are regarded as career climbers – at the right place and at the right time. 3. “Baby Busters” – are bringing a new perspective to the workforce, less commitment, less rule bound being more into their own gratification with intolerance of the baby boomers and their attitude. As a result, they are viewed as selfish and not willing to play by the rules. Blending the three, will be required for human relations to be effective. That is each of us will need to be trained to effectively deal with one another and to respect one diversity of views that each offers.
  5. 5. WORKPLACE DIVERSITY Workforce diversity is the differences that diverse groups bring to the workplace, such as gender, nationality, age and race. Diversity in the workplace will require each of us to recognize the differences that diverse groups bring to the workplace. This may mean significantly reducing bias and prejudices against any one particular group. One challenge therefore, is to accept diverse groups of people by addressing different lifestyles, family needs, and work styles.
  6. 6. Benefits of Workplace Diversity An organization’s success and competitiveness depends upon its ability to embrace diversity and realize the benefits. When organizations actively assess their handling of workplace diversity issues, develop and implement diversity plans, multiple benefits are reported such as: Increased adaptability Organizations employing a diverse workforce can supply a greater variety of solutions to problems in service, sourcing, and allocation of resources. Employees from diverse backgrounds bring individual talents and experiences in suggesting ideas that are flexible in adapting to fluctuating markets and customer demands. Broader service range • A diverse collection of skills and experiences (e.g. languages, cultural understanding) allows a company to provide service to customers on a global basis. Variety of viewpoints • A diverse workforce that feels comfortable communicating varying points of view provides a larger pool of ideas and experiences. The organization can draw from that pool to meet business strategy needs and the needs of customers more effectively. More effective execution • Companies that encourage diversity in the workplace inspire all of their employees to perform to their highest ability. Company-wide strategies can then be executed; resulting in higher productivity, profit, and return on investment.
  7. 7. Challenges of Diversity in the Workplace Taking full advantage of the benefits of diversity in the workplace is not without its challenges. Some of those challenges are: • Resistance to change - There are always employees who will refuse to accept the fact that the social and cultural make up of their workplace is changing. The “we’ve always done it this way” mentality silences new ideas and inhibits progress. • Implementation of diversity in the workplace policies - This can be the overriding challenge to all diversity advocates. Armed with the results of employee assessments and research data, they must build and implement a customized strategy to maximize the effects of diversity in the workplace for their particular organization. • Successful Management of Diversity in the Workplace - Diversity training alone is not sufficient for your organization’s diversity management plan. A strategy must be created and implemented to create a culture of diversity that permeates every department and function of the organization.
  8. 8. Challenges of Diversity in the Workplace • Negative attitudes and behaviors can be barriers to organizational diversity because they can harm working relationships and damage morale and work productivity (Esty et al. 1995). Negative attitudes and behaviors in the workplace include prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination, which should never be used by management for hiring, retention, and termination practices (could lead to costly litigation). • Prejudices and Discrimination - Managers may also be challenged with losses in personnel and work productivity due to prejudice and discrimination, as well as complaints and legal actions against the organization (Devoe 1999). • Communication - Perceptual, cultural and language barriers need to be overcome for diversity programs to succeed. Ineffective communication of key objectives results in confusion, lack of teamwork, and low morale.
  9. 9. Required Tools for Managing Diversity Effective managers are aware that certain skills are necessary for creating a successful, diverse workforce. • First, managers must understand discrimination and its consequences. • Second, managers must recognize their own cultural biases and prejudices (Koonce 2001). Diversity is not about differences among groups, but rather about differences among individuals. Each individual is unique and does not represent or speak for a particular group. • Finally, managers must be willing to change the organization if necessary (Koonce 2001). Organizations need to learn how to manage diversity in the workplace to be successful in the future (Flagg 2002).
  10. 10. Managing Conflict According to Roosevelt (2001), managing diversity is a comprehensive process for creating a work environment that includes everyone. When creating a successful diverse workforce, an effective manager should focus on personal awareness. Both managers and associates need to be aware of their personal biases. Therefore, organizations need to develop, implement, and maintain ongoing training because a one-day session of training will not change people’s behaviors (Koonce 2001). Managers must also understand that fairness is not necessarily equality. There are always exceptions to the rule. Managing diversity is about more than equal employment opportunity and affirmative action (Losyk 1996). Managers should expect change to be slow, while at the same time encouraging change (Koonce 2001). Another vital requirement when dealing with diversity is promoting a safe place for associates to communicate (Koonce 2001).. Managers should implement policies such as mentoring programs to provide associates access to information and opportunities. Also, associates should never be denied necessary, constructive, critical feedback for learning about mistakes and successes (Flagg 2002)
  11. 11. Why Human Relations? Human relations is an interdisciplinary field because the study of human behavior in organizational settings draws on the fields of communications, management, psychology, and sociology. It is an important field of study because all workers engage in human relations activities.
  12. 12. Advantage to Having Good Human Relations; From a personal perspective, there are many advantages to having good human relations skills. • First, of the top ten reasons people are fired, several reasons relate back to lack of human relations skills—for example, the inability to work within a team, personality issues, sexual harassment, and dishonesty. Other reasons, perhaps not directly related to human relations, include absenteeism, poor performance, stealing, political reasons, downsizing, and sabotage. • Second, people who are competent team players and have a good work ethic tend to get promoted faster. In fact, according to guru on personal development Brian Tracy, 85 percent of your success in life is determined by social skills and the ability to interact positively and effectively with others. • Another reason to develop good relationships with others relates to your own personal happiness. According to psychologist Sydney Jourard, most joy in life comes from happy relationships with other people.
  13. 13. Human Relations Consider John, a very talented project manager but lacking in human relations skills. While he is easily able to plan and execute the finest details for a project, no one likes to work with him. He doesn’t make efforts to get to know his team members and he comes across as unfriendly and unapproachable. How successful do you think John will be in his workplace? While he has the skills necessary to do the job, he doesn’t have the people skills that can help him excel at it. One could say he does not have emotional intelligence skills—that is, the ability to understand others —therefore, he may always find himself wondering why he isn’t more successful at work. • While project management skills are something we can learn, managers find it difficult to hire people without the soft skills, or human relations skills. We aren’t saying that skills are not important, but human relations skills are equally as important as technical skills to determine career and personal success.
  14. 14. Human Relations Julie talks behind people’s backs and doesn’t follow through on her promises. She exhibits body language that says “get away from me” and rarely smiles or asks people about themselves. It is likely that Julie will have very few, if any, friends. If Julie had positive human relations skills, there is a much better chance she could improve her personal relationships. • Human relations skills such as communication and handling conflict can help us create better relationships. • Positive human relations skills reduce conflict in the workplace, thereby making the workplace more productive. • If people are not able to get along and resolve conflicts, the organization as a whole will be less productive, which could affect profitability.
  15. 15. Human Relations Kathy is doing a great job at work but suddenly starts to arrive late, leave early, and take longer lunches. Upon further examination, we might find that Kathy is having childcare issues because of her divorce. Because of a total person approach perspective, her organization might be able to rearrange her schedule or work with her to find a reasonable solution. This relates to human relations because we are not just people going to work every day; we are people who live our personal lives, and one affects the other. • Most organizations employ a total person approach. This approach recognizes that an organization does not just employ someone with skills, but rather, the whole person. This person comes with biases, personal challenges, human relations skills, and technical skills but also comes with experiences. By looking at a person from this perspective, an organization can begin to understand that what happens to an employee outside of work can affect his or her job performance.
  16. 16. Fourteen Principles of Management 1. Division of work. Work should be divided in the most efficient way. Fayol believed work specialization, or the focus on specific tasks for teams or individuals, to be crucial to success. 2. Authority. Authority is the right to give orders and accountability within those orders. Fayol believed that along with giving orders and expecting them to be met, that person in authority also assumes responsibility to make sure tasks are met. 3. Discipline. Discipline is penalties applied to encourage common effort, as a successful organization requires the common effort of all workers. 4. Unity of command. Workers should receive orders from only one manager. In other words, reporting to two or more managers would violate Fayol’s Fourteen Principles of Management. 5. Unity of direction. Everyone in the organization should move toward a common goal and understand how the team will achieve that goal.
  17. 17. Fourteen Principles of Management 6. Subordination of individual interests to general interests. The interests of one person shouldn’t have priority over the interests of the organization as a whole. This focuses on teamwork and the importance of everyone acting toward the same goal. 7. Remuneration. Many things should be considered when paying employees, including cost of living, supply of qualified people, and business success. 8. Centralization. The degree of importance in the subordinates’ (employees’) role in their organization and the amount of decision making that occurs at a central level versus a decentralized level. For example, in many organizations decisions are made centrally (i.e., in the “corporate office”), which does not allow as much flexibility as decentralized decision making; this would mean each individual area can make its own decisions. 9. Scalar chain. This refers to how authority is divided among managers. Specifically, Fayol said lower-level managers should always keep upper-level managers informed. 10. Order. All materials and people related to one kind of work should be organized and neat. Things should be easy to find.
  18. 18. Fourteen Principles of Management 11. Equity. All employees should be treated equally. 12. Stability of tenure of personnel. Retention of employees should be a  high management priority. The cost of hiring a new worker is expensive,  so efforts should be maintained to keep current employees. 13. Initiative. Management should take steps to encourage workers to take  initiative. In addition, workers should be self-directed and not need a lot  of management control to accomplish tasks. 14. Esprit de corps. Managers should encourage harmony among  employees. This harmony creates good feelings among employees.
  19. 19. Globalization The world was rapidly changing with other countries  making significant inroads into traditional market. It was only  late 1980s did US businesses begin to get the message and  late 1990 did Philippine businesses join the Wagon The  Philippines for one became more aggressive and began to  expand into what is commonly called the global village. A global village recognizes that organizations are no  longer constrained by national borders. With this, people  must adapt to cultures, systems and techniques that are  different from their own.  Globalization has long been with US. Different countries were  able to trade in the US and western countries.  But it was that  multinational corporations (MNCs) who initiated the rapid  growth in international trade. 
  20. 20. Multinational corporations are those that maintain  significant operations in two or more countries  simultaneously but are based in one home country.  Globalization is extending the reach and goals on MNCs  to create and even more generic global organization – the  transnational corporation (TNC). This type of organization  doesn’t seek to repeat its domestic successors by managing  foreign operations from home. Decision making in TNC  takes place at the local level. Individuals in the host  countries called nationals typically are hired to run  operations in each country. And marketing and products for  each country are uniquely tailored to the country’s culture.
  21. 21. How Does Globalization Affect  Human Relations? A boundary less world introduces new challenges for us.  These include our views of people from foreign lands, to an  understanding of their culture. Our specific challenge is  recognizing the differences that might exist and finding ways  to make our interactions more effective.  Parochialism means that use often see things solely  through our own eyes and within our perspectives. We  believe what we do is best. We simply do not recognize that  other people have different ways of doing things and live  differently than us. In essence, our parochialism leads to what  is technically called our ethnocentric view. That is, we view  our way as being better than these in other cultures. This  perception first requires us to understand the different  cultures and environment. 
  22. 22. Understanding cultural environments then is  the success of interacting with others in the global  village. These become relevant if we find that our  jobs take us abroad. That is if you go to another  country, you must understand that country’s legal,  political, economic and cultural systems. Failure to  do so may result to cultural shock. Cultural shock is  cause by the confusion and the frustration that  occurs when we are first exposed to different  culture.

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