Multicultural organizations require the inclusion of people from different races, gender and cultural background into the workforce of the same organization. This has caused the desire for managers to understand diversity and the affirmative actions required to manage these employees. The two terms are interrelated as they involve cultural management and ensuring employees are offered equal opportunities regardless of their cultural background. Affirmative action, however, has a legal aspect on it requiring employers to ensure the components, and distribution of people in the community it is based on is indicated in their workforce. It is, therefore, a requirement of the civil rights law and can be charged for damages if the employers break it. Diversity and its management involve is a strategy used by managers, to ensure high productivity by increasing the talents and innovation of employees who have been excluded from the organization. Affirmative action was introduced to benefit excluded groups who had been removed from the workforce thus is limited in nature (Bell, 2012). Diversity involves all employees in the organization with the desire to ensure that they develop a feeling of value and appreciation. It is used in an organization, to ensure the behavior of employees’ change thus improving the policies and skills in the organization. This is contrary to affirmative action whose main agenda is to ensure demographic distribution in the organization.
A diversified organization is one with all the elements of diversity while recruiting and employing employees with the aim of improving its performance. The key element is cultural background, which involves having employees with different beliefs, values and religions in the organization. A diverse organization should encompass demography in its employees, which includes employees from different genders and ages. This involves having both young developing talents in the organization and the baby boomers to be replaced by this age. Employees should not be discriminated on their sex as long as it is proved that they can deliver effectively. It also involves recruiting employees of different languages, which is essential in developing customer relations (Mor-Barak, 2011). Economic status of the employees is another element of diversity which requires managers to include both the well off and the have-nots in its workforce. Differences in skills and abilities of the employees indicate diversity thus employees should be keen to introduce different interests and skills in the organization workforce.
Managing diversity is affected by several challenges, which bar manager’s from effectively implementing the strategy. Communication barriers due to language and attitudes indicated by employees are a significant challenge to diversity. This leads to ineffective communication thus reduced cooperation and confusion increases in the organization. Resistance to change is a unique component for most employees thus they might be unwilling to embrace diversity and accept employees of other cultures (Ferreira, Erasmus, & Groenewald, 2009). Diversity involves implementing a strategy which is backed up by training to trap the abilities of the employees. Development and implementation of this strategy has become a challenge for most managers as the plan might be discriminatory to one department or culture leading to inequality. Effective management of this strategy to ensure that it retains its glamour and remains beneficial to the organization has also caused another challenge to most organizations. This requires inclusion of experts and frequent overview of the strategy to ensure it remains efficient in the organization. These challenges have reduced the implementation and acceptance of diversity in organization thus promoting inequality in the workforce. People also have a strong feeling of attraction to other in within their races and community making it complicated to develop such relations with different people.
There are several steps, which can be taken to maintain diversity in an organization and ensure compatibility among the employees. Conducting a customized survey on the employees regarding their issues and opinions on diversity can assist management in assessing the situation. This indicates the loopholes in the initial plan which requires to be amended. A comprehensible report and the plan is then ratified which includes the opinions collected and changes required in the implementation process, to ensure diversity in the organization is maintained. Implementation and evaluation of this plan should include the personal commitment of managers (Bell, 2012). These are involved in the recruiting and career development in the organization thus should be willing to embrace diversity. Their cooperation with employees and participation is also essential in the evaluation process which determines the effectiveness of the implemented plan.
Monitoring the diversity of the organization is an essential part of ensuring diversity, which can be acquired using different methods. Career opportunities and promotions should be developed with the intention of maximizing the capabilities of the employees. Job retention should be conducted frequently which involves valuing the performance and achievement of the employees regardless of their department and culture. The hiring process should be fair and transparent, and it should be conducted in diverse areas, to ensure demographic distribution in the organization is maintained. This can involve partnering with international professional to exchange ideas and employee distribution. This will ensure employee and work balance in the organization thus retaining diversity.
Bell, M. P. (2012). Diversity in organizations. Mason, Ohio: South-Western College.
Mor-Barak, M. E. (2011). Managing diversity: Toward a globally inclusive workplace. Los Angeles: SAGE.
Ferreira, E. J., Erasmus, A. W., & Groenewald, D. (2009). Administrative management. Lansdowne [South Africa: Juta Academic.