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Essay 02: Cause and


Lagman, Alyssa Noreen R. AT 102 19 February 2013

Draft 2
Why Workplace Diversity Occurs in Businesses?
The aspect of globalization has required organizations to embrace diversity in the
workforce since the expertise they need to meet their goals are found in people from
diverse cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds. Consequently, the work place today
is characterized by a mixture of workers of different genders, religion, social class, sex
and cultural beliefs. Diversity can thus be defined as the differences that are found in
people but which play a critical.
Most companies in the past 35 years have come to appreciate the essence of
adopting a corporate culture in order to attract as well as retain workforce that is
competitive. The evolution of diversity in the workplace has been characterized by a
shift from the belief that new hires must conform to the existing culture of an
organization. The current trend has saw companies recognize and live to the fact that
cultural diversity is essential. Therefore, they must be keen to ensure that employees
learn to appreciate and respect each other's culture, religion, gender, sex or social
class. This recognition has worked to the advantage of those organizations which value
and to know how to manage diversity effectively. However, diversity has not come
without its challenges. This has required managers to adopt appropriate approaches to
manage this diversity in order to realize the benefits that come with it.
One of the challenges which managers face and, which still lie ahead of a diverse
workforce, is the lack of realization of the essential tools for managing diversity.
Acknowledgment of the differences in employees without recognizing the value with
which these differences carry cannot work to the anticipated outcomes. The other
challenge is in devising mechanisms of resolving conflicts and combating various forms
of discrimination, as well as, promotion of inclusiveness. The essence of putting in place
the necessary mechanisms of managing diversity is found in the fact that, with
diversity, the workforce is likely to experience lower cohesiveness as a result of lack of
similarity in culture. In addition, misunderstandings and errors in communication may
cause conflicts in teams or groups thus derailing the accomplishment of tasks or
Employees from different cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds may have
low familiarity or contact since they come from different countries or regions in the
world. This low familiarity can trigger tension and mistrust if there are any
misunderstandings between them. The other challenge is that of stereotyping in which
some individuals or groups may have a generalized and strong perception or notion
about their fellow employees belonging to a different culture. Rather than looking at the
contributions, aspirations, motivations and capabilities of their team members,
stereotypes give a negative perception which affects how people are treated (Smith,
Miller, Archer, & Hague, n.d).
Therefore, it is clear that diversity in the workplace has been accompanied by
various challenges, which if not constantly and promptly addressed, they have the
potential to compromise the effectiveness of team work and consequently, dismal
performance of organizations. However, managers and other leaders in organizations
can adopt certain approaches in order to tackle these hurdles. Managers must first of all
have an understanding of discrimination and the consequences it harbors. They must
also have a grip of the fact that differences among individuals rather than differences
among groups are what diversity is all about. Therefore, individuals cannot speak for or
represent a particular group as each person is unique.
Based on the dynamics of teamwork and workplace in general, managers must
choose the best approach for managing diversity. There should be the creation of an
environment which facilitates dialogue in which every team member is given a chance
to speak and be listened. The best avenues for communication and dialogue are
business meetings and social gatherings in which associates are involved.
Implementation of policies including mentoring programs is critical in enabling
associates have access and gather vital information in the form of feedback to facilitate
the formulation of strategies for tackling burning issues while at the same time
encouraging success.
The importance of practicing and promoting better communication cannot be
overemphasized. Managers ought to learn several central things about communication.
The style of communication used should fit the situation and the language should foster
trust and integration. Clear and fair communication is as important as learning to listen
carefully to what others have to say about different issues. Discussions about the
meaning and benefits of diversity in relation to the organizational needs ought to be
encouraged among employees. Such forums should also promote personal
acquaintance in order to promote trust among members from diverse cultures. A close
attention to the style of communication is vital for managers since how something is
said may be more important than what is said.
Diversity in the workplace has evolved gradually over the past 35 with many
organizations making a major shift towards corporate culture in order to attract
competitive work force. Factors such as gender, sex, social class, culture and religion
affect relationships in the work place since they form the basis of values that shape
different personalities. Challenges of a diverse workforce include low cohesiveness,
mistrust and tension, and stereotyping. Approaches for managing diversity should lay
emphasis on understanding the meaning and consequences of discrimination,
encouraging dialogue and forums that create awareness about diversity and promote a
culture of clear and fair communication.