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Diversity comprises the entire range of primary aspects of an individual, such as cultural background, race, sexual orientation, religion, age, and disability. Some secondary aspects of diversity include styles of work/communication, organizational position/level, geographic orientation, and financial status. Topical research reveals that when valued and acknowledged, diversity increases individual efficiency, organizational efficacy, and continued competitiveness (Bassett-Jones, 2005; Cox, 2001).
However, it also poses a challenge of miscommunication in organizations, because people come from different cultural lines, races, genders and age groups, in addition to different communication styles, work styles, and status. Therefore, this paper hypothesizes that although diversity is essential in enhancing organization performance, it also poses a challenge of miscommunication/misunderstanding in organizations.
One potential solution to the problem of miscommunication in an organization could be the use of images, videos, and translation as a means of enhancing communication, for persons from different ethnicities (Segal, 2009). So, to handle other diversities, some potential solutions may include maximizing contentment for all workers at the place of work, maintaining a workforce of international class, and creating an environment that encourages continuous learning.
So, to ensure the environment is suitable for all workers, an organization may conduct audits on cultural diversity. Such audits may capture the heart of the workforce and offer open assessments of the work environment. The outcomes form the center for improvements in diversity-related issues. An organization may also use an informal method to get workers to express their concerns.
For instance, an organization may develop an internal website where workers can communicate their views, learn about diversity and participate in the open dialog with their seniors. Another example of an informal instrument is the utilization of a worker feedback hotline, which enables workers to contact advisors on diversity and give feedback on topics related to their understanding of diversity at the place of work. In these forums, employees, especially those who are in the diverse groups, may also explain if they feel appreciated and dignified to work in the organization.
Another potential solution for addressing diversity in organizations is dialoguing with affinity teams. An organization may promote and support the establishment of worker groups. Regular forms of groups include task teams, diversity councils, affinity councils, focus teams, subject study teams, and association groups. Such groups offer a forum to communicate and recognize the diverse interests and needs of workers.
Involvement in such groups gets highly encouraged and, habitually, the input gets hunted, from worker groups, to establish their opinion on progress achieved regarding diversity. Also, the groups serve as sounding panels and give feedback on vital diversity matters. Mostly, employee support groups consist of persons who share ethnicity lines, age, gender, sexual orientation, beliefs, national foundation or cultural background. These groups offer a voice for participants, enabling them to communicate diversity concerns and problems to top management.
The establishment of formal mentoring programs is, also, a potential solution to diversity in organizations (Phillips-Jones, 2002). Mentors can be utilized to aid assimilate new workers into the institutional culture. Mentoring may also, entail the readiness of leaders to admit protégés and orient them to new and further challenging features of the organization.
The wellness of workers is, also, a potential solution to diversity. This creates a site for diversity involvement, as organizations institute links amid diversity and work-life actions like; needy care funds, life cycle support, and substitute work programs.
One implementation strategy can be through the mentoring process. Mentoring in an organization involves following, monitoring, and directing candidates from underprivileged groups placed in senior roles (Harrison, 1993). Such persons may be educated using an innovative advancement program, which terminates with a superior degree. In the course, participants should capitalize on the preparation and exploit their possibility of promotion in the organization.
An organization may also acquire videos and translation services from experts, which may be used to communicate roles to workers who do not understand the communication language used in the organization. The translation services could also be helpful to workers while communicating with the management and among colleagues.
An organization may create worker councils that support awareness, appreciation, and communication of diversity, as well as, discover and tackle certain needs (Chang & Tharenou, 2004). Every council should obtain equal funding every year to carry out educational and related actions. Such activities should be strongly aligned to nurturing the business targets of an organization. Also, the councils may take part in community service events, in addition to, promotional actions in the diverse, targeted markets.
Another strategy is coming up with an organizational structure that takes care of the “whole individual” (Albrecht, 2000). This can be achieved through frequent training, career advancement/ work-life programs. Such programs intend to maintain and expand the existing workforce and assist workers balance career and individual needs.
An organization may, also, create a reward for a worker who respects diversity, faces and removes barriers, participates in the community, and is ready to do all he/she can in promoting diversity. To add to this strategy, policies that embrace diversity and encourage individual accountability for diversity may be encouraged.
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Another strategy could be the use of caucus teams. In these groups, workers perform worker advocacy and self-advancement. The groups act as a medium of communication between workers and managers to unearth issues that require concentration. The advantages of such groups include the enrollment of new workers; career advancement of workers; retaining effectual staff; enhancement of senior leadership and the inclusion of every diverse person in the organization.
An organization may exploit worker participation in affinity groups to incorporate employee issues and propositions into the decision making procedure. A company may, also, share its diverse workforce strategy reports with the managers of its corporate affinity factions and give them a chance to congregate, with the top management, to discuss their issues as on those reports (Harrison, 1993).
Success Measurement Techniques
Every diversity strategy should contain clear measures to assess the efficiency and to determine whether results support organizational goals and objectives. These measures should be easy and clear so that all workers and leaders can realize the expectations. Companies should be prepared to reward groups or persons that achieve the declared objectives and targets, on top of, to reprimanding those who fail. Examples of basic diversity measures include satisfaction with the climate at the place of work, attrition rates of workers and workforce contentment. A discussion of other success measurement techniques is as follows.
A yearly organizational chart assessment may be used to assess the present diversity condition in an organization. Every department head may frequently meet, with the executive, to confer on the “promotability” of existing workers and the preparations done, at all levels, to build organizational talents (Harrison, 1993).
An organization may assess certain workforce targets. This can be achieved by assessing whether its workforce mirrors the customers it supplies and societies in which the partner business rests.
For instance, a company’s exempt employee’s representation in the globe will mirror the demographics of the markets it supplies, after 2-3 years. This pinpoints how the partnering company incorporated diversity into its customs.
An organization may identify coaching as the core of leadership. Hence, a “Leader as Coach” profile can be utilized to define workplace conduct and ends to be attained (Combs, 2002). Definite behaviors get identified in six end field (for instance, constructs the right group, motivates excellence, minds about others) and all of them become measured as being a growth opportunity or “strength”. The profile gets done annually for everybody in a leadership place. The coach and the leader come together to confer on the feedback obtained from all sources and concur upon the main three or four priority strengths and development chances. The profile may be employed in yearly processes associated with plans in human resource, performance, and expansion.
Also, an organization may employ a scorecard to measure its advancement in diversity (Combs, 2002). The scorecard may consist of three fields. The first field may be coaching as the instrument to developing awareness about diversity and advancing the company’s target to conventional diversity. The second fie may be a plan on workforce representation, while the third may be activities of the council of workers. Exact measurements become identified for every area at the start of the year.
These are incorporated in a scorecard layout that also contains a description of actions that are supportive of the objectives in every field, and a blank part whereby current results become explained. Measurements follow activities of managers, worker councils, the team of HRs and corporate management (Harrison, 1993). A high team examines the outcomes of the scorecard, so as, to establish performance and growth. Senior managers build actionable plans centered on internal growth, retention, cross- efficient moves, outside recruitment and capacity. The development of each manager’s strategy gets conferred on each other month at a top-level conference.
Another strategy could be that managers and leaders establish at least four actions in their relevant yearly performance plans that clearly show their dedication to motivating diversity (Combs, 2002). Such actions should be precise and substantial. For instance, one of the actions can be planning to mentor six workers in the year, on diversity-related issues.
An organization may create a “Diversity Diagnostic Tool” that can provide the business teams a template of recommended action items to allow managers to build their Diversity Action Plans. Every action item gets assessed so managers can observe which action items the executives deem most significant. This tool evaluates the efficiency of actions executed and dedication.
An internal diversity audit may be performed to evaluate each unit’s advancement in attaining diversity (Combs, 2002). The audit offers a common structure for communication, organizing departmental diversity, as well as, work unit self-evaluation. Job units build a diversity arrangement with two to four goals, quantitative and qualitative measures, commencement and conclusion dates, and designation of the person in charge. Heads of departments and work unit directors meet each year with all workers to assess where their units rest on a diversity band. Additional initiatives may be constructed based on the step the unit has merited.
An organization may use photograph audit, so as, to assess whether the images it utilizes characterize the society it serves. The objective is to aid precise, balanced, and inclusive treatment of society’s diversity. A month maybe arbitrarily selected each year to assess all attributed photographs. In case, some segments of the society do not get represented well counteractive action should be taken.
In conclusion, diversity poses a challenge of miscommunication in organizations, as people come from different cultural lines, races, genders and age groups, in addition to different communication styles, work styles, and statuses. However, there exist many ways of overcoming this challenge. A potential solution to the problem of miscommunication in an organization could be the use of images, videos, and translation as a means of enhancing communication, for persons from different ethnicities. So, to handle other diversities, some potential solutions may include maximizing contentment for all workers at the place of work, maintaining a workforce of international class, and creating an environment that encourages continuous learning.
Besides, an organization may promote and support the establishment of worker groups such as task teams, diversity councils, affinity councils, focus teams, subject study teams, and association groups. Such groups offer a forum to communicate and recognize the diverse interests and needs of workers. So, to implement these strategies, an organization may form mentoring groups and, also, acquire videos and translation services from experts, which may be used to communicate roles to workers who do not understand the communication language used in the organization. So, to measure the success of these practices, and internal diversity audit may be performed to evaluate each unit’s advancement in attaining diversity.
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