Differences in any business setting may arise for a number of reasons. Some may be due to differences in culture, ethnicity, and gender while others may results as a result of differences in personality. Often times, people from different cultures will have varying opinions regarding different matters. Similarly, friction may be experienced due to ethnic and gender differences.
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This paper looks at the importance of understanding cultural, ethnic, and gender differences in a business setting. Failure on the part of managers and professionals to understand the effect of culture, ethnicity, and gender differences in any organization has been blamed severally for conflict and poor performance (Bell, 2011).
It is thus imperative for organizations to spend ample time to deal with the challenges brought about by the differences in these three important aspects of social life in a business setting. By all means, managers and professionals must do everything within their powers to ensure that no differences arise due to culture, gender, or ethnicity.
Understanding the Effect of Culture, Ethnicity, and Gender Differences
Understanding of these differences comes with great benefits for organizations. In the world we live in today, organizations may be expected to spread their wings and distribute their operations globally in order to compete successfully with others in the same industry.
To so do, it is necessary for managers to aim at ensuring that employees can exist and work in any environment regardless of the culture, ethnic inclination, or gender. The human resource professionals must resolve to deliberately hire staff with varying cultural, ethnic, and gender differences.
There are, however, difficulties that will be encountered while pursuing such an agenda. Considering my ping pong experience, it is not easy for staff to quickly adapt to an environment full of differences. My experience with the ping pong ball has helped me to understand that it takes determination to fit in a business environment characterized by cultural, ethnic, and gender differences. With my fingers folded around the ball inside the sock, I certainly could not do much.
Despite the fact that I was not expected to get the right hand wet or even involve it any way, I could not help but get it to support the left hand. Although I eventually managed to do some work, it was not without support from the right hand. With much practice, however, it is possible to get some work done with the left hand and minimal support from the right hand with fingers folded around the ball inside the sock. In a similar way, addressing cultural, ethnic, and gender differences is a big challenge.
It can, however, be overcome through persistence and hard work, coupled with a positive attitude. It is thus important for managers to encourage every member in an organization to stay positive and embrace any differences that may arise.
As pointed out earlier, an organization can only excel in the present business world when its leaders understand the importance of differences commonly associated with culture, gender, and ethnicity. By embracing the differences well, an organization can tap into the strength of diverse talent and strengths of each person. To a great extent, creativity is enhanced through diversity considering that different people can get to learn from each other.
Cultural and gender differences may also create a great opportunity for staff in an organization to gain insights from others and work smartly for the benefit of the organization (Bell, 2011). In addition, an organization that embraces diversity stands a great chance of effectively dealing with work place discrimination encounters. Furthermore, employees may be encouraged by the fact that they can exist and work in a diverse business setting. Managers will thus be in a position to motivate and win the loyalty of staff.
To establish a strong global presence, for example, an organization must have a team that is well experienced and one that understands the tactics of existing and working in an environment that is characterized by differences in culture, gender, and ethnicity.
Without this understanding, it becomes very difficult to operate and realize goals as expected. Good managers take time to guide and support their staff through any challenges faced as a result of the differences and help them to create harmony and work their way to success in a smooth manner.
As has been explained in this paper, having staff members from varying cultures, gender, and ethnicity has the effect of adding value to an organization’s performance. In addition, businesses today are not limited by space and time. The advancement in technology has created an opportunity for organizations to have establishments all over. Diversity is thus a very important component of any business enterprise. Any organization that fails to embrace diversity in culture, gender, and ethnicity is thus bound to fail.
As noted earlier, an organization may use diversity as a strategy to motivate and retain staff. This has the effect of reducing costs of hiring new staff and retaining the best talent within the organization.
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Bell, M. (2011). Diversity in Organizations. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.