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Diversity in the workplace is a subject that has gained increased attention in the workplace over the past few years. After all, the impact of affirmative action and equal employment opportunity programs on the nation’s work force is undeniable. Women and minorities were the first to dramatically alter the face of the economic mainstream, while gays, persons with disabilities and senior citizens followed not far behind. The result is a diverse American labor force representing a microcosm of our society – yet one that continues to struggle with its identity. Diversity as a social condition is not new to America. We were founded as a nation of Diversity.
Mentoring and on-the-job training of less skilled workers through courses, assistant programs, and continuing education programs may even the gap between different employees. However, it is important to recognize potential and use the skills already at hand to create a more efficient team environment where each member’s contribution carries some value and contributes to the organization’s goals. Economic status is as important an issue as is education. Various employees come from different economic background. Their views and manners may differ, along with their expectations and motivations in daily routine and overall purpose. Nevertheless, they have to work together. There are potential problems and differences of conduct, motivation, and initiative. Managers have to get to know their people and develop ways of using their differences for the benefit of the organization. The focus should be on the positive aspects of individuals, and on merging the best qualities people have to form effective teams.
Managing conflict is also very important. One thing managers should recognize is that there will always be a potential for conflict and their job is to intervene and resolve diversity issues early and quickly. Statistics show the extent of diversity in the workplace. “Eighty-five percent of those currently entering the American workforce are minorities, diversity in organizations; however, diversity training is one of the primary and most widely used initiatives to address diversity issues.
Diversity issues will continue because the population will become even more diverse and more companies will become global. As diversity is becoming more and more complex, diversity training will continue to be an essential element of the overall diversity strategy. Managers and supervisors need to understand the challenges of managing diversity in the workplace and recognizing the benefits of multiple perspectives in support of diversity. They need to focus on evaluating behavior and understanding what it takes to retain, motivate, and promote culturally and socially diverse employees.
Furthermore, they need to skip the personal stereotypes that might result in potential discrimination, by applying interpersonal skills to accommodate the needs of others who are culturally different
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