The concept of workplace diversity refers to valuing diverse skills and experiences that are brought to the workplace besides being aware of challenges faced by some groups. It is thus important to recognize the diversity of an existing workforce in terms of the variations in culture, age, gender, religion, or language (Brislin, 2008). An organization can therefore be committed to building on the knowledge, experience, perspectives and skills that are brought by diversity. The advantage of a diverse network of employees is that they reflect the contrasting nature of a community, and in this regard, the organization will be able to better serve the needs of the targeted public. In addition, the aspect of workplace diversity creates a more positive work environment, thus influencing productivity levels.
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Cultural diversity addresses the barriers that exist in society that hinder access to employment, developmental processes, and promotional opportunities by some individuals. Albrecht (2001) argues that cultural diversity calls for the employment of innovative and flexible strategies to be employed in attracting, recruiting, and retaining the best individuals, thus the organization remains competitive within the employment market. These processes take place alongside evolvement of workforce demographics.
A department characterized by the diversity of its people has a significant strength if it recognizes and values the different attributes, strengths and capabilities brought forth by each employee. A workplace diversity strategy recognizes and enhances the skills, capabilities and experiences of each employee (Jackson & SIOP, 1992). In this regard, the employees will be able to better deliver the key purposes of building the organization as well as the future of the country through better entry management and settlement of people. The diversity of the people in the department is one of its greatest strengths. The department recognizes and values the input of different individuals and their individual capacities. According to the legislation of Australia, it is unlawful to discriminate any individual with regards to employment opportunities available, including decision making processes pertaining to job description and allocation of responsibilities.
The concept of cultural diversity assists an organization to create an environment that values people’s contributions regardless of their experiences, perspective and backgrounds. The employment of cultural diversity enables an organization to identify areas of potential disadvantage for employees (Brislin, 2008). In this regard, the strategy aims to create a flexible, supportive and fair workplace, where employee differences are respected and viewed as assets to the organization. A department can thus utilize cultural diversity to ensure that diverse contributions from employees are utilized to foster productivity and best practice within their fields of specialization.
Cultural diversity in the workplace builds on principles of equal employment opportunities for all, which includes inherent gender, ethnicity, age, race, linguistic differences. It can also include gender identity, physical or intellectual abilities. In order to manage cultural diversity, a supervisor needs to recognize the values of individual differences so as to facilitate realization of the full potential of the employees (Cornelius, 2002). This will enable a department to achieve the goals of an organization. Cultural diversity in the workplace enables employees to build the relationship of their department with the community they serve, thus their contribution towards improvement of their products, services and programs is boosted. This increases creativity, productivity and different ways of thinking and decision making.
In conclusion, cultural diversity is associated with improved productivity, employee retention and reduced expenditure on recruitment processes. This is a great asset to departments within organizations, because it enables them to deliver their services effectively, while optimizing on opportunities for participation of community members in employment endeavours.
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