The work force diversity is defined as difference between employees of the organization on the basis of functional specialty, age, sexual orientation, lifestyle and geographic origin etc. In other words those human characteristics that can make people different are covered in the area of workforce diversity. Normally there are two broad sources of workforce diversity that result in variations among people. One of them is related to that factor over which people have little or no control and the second one is based on the factor over which people have control. The workforce diversity can become harmful for the productive teamwork of the organization if the management could not properly manage it.
The affirmative actions taken by the management is not considered to be effective diversity management efforts. Rather, these affirmative actions are resulted by the pressure of the government on the organizations. The international competition and trends of the natural environment fall under the area of diversity. In short the work force diversity that is also known as Cultural Diversity in the Work Place in some cases. Also become a valuable asset for the organization by improving the functional units of organization and indicating customer market.
Workforce Diversity Sources
In modern age, the diversity is much more than simple differences in skin color and gender. Besides it is utilized for defining all kinds of differences that are present in the human resource element of organization like workers of color, dual-career families, women in business environments, educational level of employees, older employees with disabilities etc. Following are some of the authentic sources that can lead to diversity in the workforce of an organization. Among all these sources of workforce diversity some came under the title of cultural diversity in the workplace. Let’s see all of them in detail.
- Racial and Ethnical Group
- Older Workers
- Dual Career Families
- Religion and Culture
- Persons with Disabilities
- Young Individuals with limited skills and education
- Competitive Advantage with diverse workforce
- Innovation, Creativity and Problem Solving
Each one is discussed below one by one.
Racial and Ethical Groups
Mostly employees with color differences are marked as employees belonging to different groups. In such cases employees face misunderstanding and wrong expectations with each other on the basis of cultural difference and ethnic diversity.
It is a big fact that the overall population of the world is growing older which has also directly affected the workforce in the organizations. Therefore certain new policies are applied in the organizations to deal with this factor of workforce diversity like reversal of early retirements.
In large organizations only 11.9% of the corporate officers are represented by the women. On the other hand the managerial positions occupied at the middle and lower levels by the women are increasing from a couple of years which creates the diverse environment in the organizations. Moreover there are many single parent families and most of them are headed by the women. So the number of women workers in the organizations is increasing which require different sets of policies and rules of work.
The educational level of employees is also becoming a source of workforce diversity within organizations. Within organizations there are two ended employees having higher educational levels and quite lower educational levels. So this situation requires effective HR policies to keep all the diversified workforce as productive.
Dual Career Families
Dual Career families affect the organizations as both opportunities and challenges. Many organizations are making adjusting policies that facilitate the working of dual career families. Some organizations allow both partners to work with the same company. If any partner is transferred to another location, the spouse is also assisted to be transferred for a suitable position at the same location.
Religion and Culture
As the world is changing into a global village, there emerges a new kind of diversity in the form of difference of religion and culture among employees. Organizations are operating at a large scale in different locations which promotes such workforce diversity. Such sorts of work force diversities are known as cultural diversity at the workplace.
Persons with Disabilities
Usually a disabled person is not considered as an effective worker and it is assumed that his disability becomes an obstacle for his effective work. However now certain laws has been passed in western countries especially America, that inhibits the discrimination of qualified persons with disabilities.
The immigrants in different developed countries are increasing in their number including more educated, skilled workers and low educated, unskilled workers. All these immigrants have the spirit to work hard and they bring their own cultural values and norms with them which would make the organizations diversified in many ways.
Young Individuals with Limited Skills and Education
Young unskilled and uneducated individuals are hired by many organizations during the peak seasonal periods which would create a diversified environment and many other performance issues for the HR department of the organization.
Competitive Advantage with Diverse Workforce
In the old days, the organizations kept a diverse workforce due to legal and social aspects. But now the companies are focusing on diversity with respect to get competitive advantage. They favor the open and productive environment that shows value to the diversified employees. The workers in the labor market also consider such organizations as favorable for them. In this way the qualified and skilled workers are attracted towards such organizations where they show their effective performance which would ultimately give edge to these organizations over competitors.
The diverse workforce can be helpful for the organizations in understanding about the diverse customers that are located in different geographical areas. The organizations with multinational workforce can analyze the habits and preferences of different customers through their employees. In this way the more effective products are designed with more effective marketing campaigns for diversified customers.
Innovation, Creativity and Problem Solving
Innovation and creativity is promoted with the diverse workforce because people with different backgrounds have different perspectives for certain problems. A diverse team holds wider experience for tackling different problems. When this team makes an effort to solve the problems, it can develop more innovative options and solutions that cannot be considered by the homogeneous workforce.
Hello everyone! This is Richard Daniels, a full-time passionate researcher & blogger. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Economics. He loves to write about economics, e-commerce, and business-related topics for students to assist them in their studies. That's the sole purpose of Business Study Notes.
Love my efforts? Don't forget to share this blog.