This week’s article analysis focuses on the effects of diversity of workforce at the workplace. Contemporary companies normally strive to establish a diversified workforce. Employee diversity has numerous benefits (Hr.com. 2005). However, diversity poses challenges and obstacles at workplace.
Nevertheless, organizations that effectively manage diversity may have an advantage over those that embrace workforce homogeneity (Hr.com. 2005). Workplace diversity entails establishing a culture where people from diverse backgrounds can work together effectively in harmony.
People from diverse backgrounds normally have differing approaches towards tasks. In contrast, a homogenous workforce may be resentful towards change limiting innovation potential of the organization (Hr.com. 2005).
Diversity can be used to stimulate creativity in a workplace. Workforce from diverse background may have differing views that may lead to a vivacious debate, which frequently spurs innovation (Joseph, 2012). In the contrary, a homogenous team may be resentful to differing opinions: in fact, dissenting opinions are often unwelcome and unexpected.
In contrast, conflicts spurred by diversity can create strain at workplace. This could ultimately affect productivity if not managed appropriately (Joseph, 2012). Such conflicts may undermine collaboration due to intense individuality at the workplace; tension generates conflicts which stalls the operations of an organization.
Consequently, set targets may not be achieved as desired. Normally, if an organization is shifting from a homogenous culture to a diverse one, members of the former may dislike the change (Joseph, 2012). This may affect teamwork within the organization.
Effective management of diversity can fend off potentially destructive conflicts by emphasizing collective targets and ideals in the diversification process (Joseph, 2012).
In the process of implementing a diverse workplace, an organization may need to restructure its hiring policies. The organization may also need to ensure their employment policies do not violate anti-discriminatory laws pertaining aspects such as, ethnicity, sex, nationality, faith and disability (Joseph, 2012).
Successful establishment of a diverse workplace requires prior rigorous planning. In addition to changing hiring policies, planning and executing diversity education are necessary to prepare the organization for changing workforce (Joseph, 2012).
This facilitates a successful assimilation process. In this regard, the company should establish a policy to tackle issues arising from diversity, such as measures for resolving disagreements.
Workforce diversity eliminates the need for a central office (Vaux, 2012), replacing it with strategic hubs globally or regionally that communicates online through electronic and other efficient communication forms. As a result, a network of interconnected virtual offices serves the office instead (Vaux, 2012).
Diversification of the workforce also affects communication routine. Employees from different cultural backgrounds may communicate differently (Vaux, 2012). This may result in to confusion and disappointment at workplace.
Miscommunication may also lead to stereotyping at workplace, further aggravating strain, which may leave the organization vulnerable to legal action (Vaux, 2012). Suitable implementation of diversity in an organization generates more income from greater sales and productivity.
A diverse workforce provides additional probable solutions to challenges and a supple work environment (Vaux, 2012). Workers reflecting a broad array of experiences are likely to offer a better diversity of options, options that may never be reflected on in a less diverse work environment, and can have additional know-how in applying such options.
Diversity also offers flexibility. Flexibility, in turn, provides the company with the capacity to face problematic situations enthusiastically and, thus, react to adjustments in the general business environment (Vaux, 2012).
Hr.com. (2005). Organizational development. Retrieved from http://www.hr.com/en/communities/organizational_development/how-culture-affects-productivity_eacudb4q.html
Joseph, C. (2012). How Diversity May Affect Workplace Operations. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/diversity-may-affect-workplace-operations-11706.html
Vaux, R. (2012). How Does Diversity Affect the Workplace? Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/diversity-affect-workplace-10510.html