Diversity encompasses a variety of individual traits. Diversity does not apply to only special interest groups. Age, religion, gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation are some characteristics that define human beings.
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In the recent past, major organizations have been restructuring their workforce to include a diverse workforce. This paper will present views supporting the argument that diversity is an organizational resource. It will also attempt to discuss some demerits of workforce diversity.
Workforce diversity gives an organization a competitive advantage (Ehimare, Ogaga-Oghene, 2011). Recent evidence shows that organizations with diverse worka force are more successful. This may be attributed to the fact that customers identify with companies whose workforce represents the society’s makeup (Jackson, Joshi, 2004). Expansion calls for a diverse workforce.
Organizations may encounter hostile reception in some regions if they do not incorporate locals into their workforce. This is particularly true for profit making organizations. Diversity in such cases is crucial for the companies’ survival. A diverse workforce aids the company in understanding the consumption pattern of the society in question. Employees drawn from the region are likely to perform better than those drawn from outside.
The relationship of an organization with the local community is crucial and may make the difference between failure and success. Since no organization sets out to fail, it is important for any organization to optimize all assets including diversity. Diversity is not optional for organizations that wish to expand their operations to other parts of the world.
Organizations compete for the best workforce. Organizations must attract and retain people with the best skills. To do this, organizations must embrace diversity. Companies which value diversity are likely to attract well-trained employees. This may be because new employees look for places they are likely to fit in quickly. In addition, diversity enhances individual output. Organizational success is anchored on individual productivity.
If some employees are not happy they are likely to slow down the overall performance of the organization. Diversity is a good indicator to prospective employees that they are not likely to suffer any prejudice. Many people dread workforce prejudice. Therefore, for an organization to remain competitive in the job market, it has to demonstrate that it cherishes diversity.
Cooperate image is important for profit-making organizations. Cooperate image is regarded as an asset. A good cooperate image translates to good business. This may, in turn, enable the organization to make more money. Image is also important for nonprofit making organizations.
Workforce diversity forms an important part of an organization’s image. A good reputation is more likely to endear customers or service users to the organization. In some sectors, image is almost all there is to the business. It is in the interest of such organizations to have a good reputation.
Demerits of diversity have been noted. Common problems associated with diversity include prejudice, workforce management difficulties, and high cost. Minority groups may encounter workforce discrimination. Such employees may find it difficult to secure promotions.
Due to the nature of diversity, managers may not cater to employee needs satisfactorily. Conflict resolution may also become difficult. Organizations may spend a lot of money setting up a diverse workforce. Moreover, organizations may incur losses due to litigation if some employees suffer prejudice of any kind.
This paper discussed the importance of workforce diversity. Diversity confers a competitive advantage both in the job market and in the marketplace. Organizational diversity boosts the cooperate image of the organization.
Ehimare, O., Ogaga-Oghene, J. (2011). The Impact of Workforce Diversity on Organizational Effectiveness: A Study of a Nigerian Bank. Annals of the University of Petroşani, Economics, 11(3), 93-110. Web.
Jackson, E., Joshi, A. (2004). Diversity in Social: A Multi-attribute, Multilevel Analysis of Team Diversity and Sales Performance. Journal of Organizational Behaviour, 25, 675-702.