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Workforce diversity is an organizational aspect which comprises of the resemblances and variations that exist among the workforce with respect to characteristics like “age, gender, ethnic heritage, physical or mental ability or disability, race, and sexual orientation”. With the entry of women, people from minority groups, and the physically disabled into the workplace, managing diversity is becoming a very crucial issue for organizations these days.
There are a number of steps or approaches for managing diversity in organizations.
Developing family-friendly workplaces, providing employees with training on handling diversity, and developing mentoring programs from employees are a few possible approaches to manage diversity at workplace. Various approaches to handle diversity can be imparted either at the individual level or can be made an organizational wide initiative. ‘Learning’ and ‘empathy’ are the two common approaches that can be used at an individual level while handling diversity. Testing, training, mentoring and designing alternative work schedules are few initiatives that can be imparted organizational wide to handle diversity. Yet, one most important point that is to be noted with respect to approaches to handle diversity is that many of these diversity training programs require the direct involvement of the participants as these approaches aim at creating a friendly platform for mutual interaction.
An organization is constantly faced with the challenge of integrating various global cultures as part of its expansion into global geographies. The organizations which give significance to issues of diversity always have the superiority in terms of working with people from various global cultures, norms and social values when they expand into international markets. Thus, in a business scenario, where geographical restrictions do not act as a hurdle, companies need to make sure that employees of the host country made part of its human resources thus ensuring smooth functioning of the organization.
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