Diversity in the Workplace: Benefits, Challenges and Solutions
Workplace diversity refers to the variety of differences between people in an organization.
That sounds simple, but diversity encompasses race, gender, ethnic group, age, personality, cognitive style, tenure, organizational function, education, background and more.
Diversity not only involves how people perceive themselves, but it also influences how people perceive others. Those perceptions affect their interactions. For a wide assortment of employees to function effectively in an organization, they need to deal effectively with issues such as communication, adaptability and change. Diversity will increase significantly in the coming years.
Successful organizations recognize the need for immediate action, and as a successful organization, UMC is ready and willing to spend resources on managing diversity in the workplace now.
Benefits of Workplace Diversity
UMC success and competitiveness depend upon its ability to embrace diversity and realize its benefits. When organizations actively assess their handling of workplace diversity issues, and develop and implement diversity plans, multiple benefits arise. These include:
By employing a diverse workforce, UMC can supply a greater variety of solutions to problems in service, sourcing, and allocation of resources. Employees from diverse backgrounds bring individual talents and experiences in suggesting ideas that are flexible in adapting to fluctuating markets and customer demands.
Broader Service Range
A diverse collection of skills and experiences (e.g. languages, cultural understanding) allows UMC to provide service to customers on a global basis.
Variety of Viewpoints
A diverse workforce that feels comfortable communicating varying points of view provides a larger pool of ideas and experiences. UMC can draw from that pool to meet business strategy needs and the needs of our customers more effectively.
Most Effective Execution
By encouraging diversity in the workplace, UMC inspires all of its employees to perform to their highest ability. This intuitively results in higher productivity, profit, and return on investment.
Challenges of Diversity in the Work
Taking full advantage of the benefits of diversity in the workplace is not without its challenges. Some of those challenges are:
Perceptual, cultural and language barriers need to be overcome for diversity programs to succeed. Ineffective communication of key objectives results in confusion, lack of teamwork, and low morale.
Resistance to Change
There are always employees who will refuse to accept the fact that the social and cultural makeup of their workplace is changing. The “we’ve always done it this way” mentality silences new ideas and inhibits progress.
Implementation of Diversity in Workplace Policies
This can be the overriding challenge to all diversity advocates. Armed with the results of employee assessments and research data, we must build and implement a customized strategy to maximize the effects of diversity in the workplace for our organization.
Successful Management of Diversity in the Workplace
Diversity training alone is not sufficient for our organization’s diversity management plan. A strategy must be created and implemented to create a culture of diversity that permeates every department and function of UMC.
Recommended steps that have been proven successful in world-class organizations are:
Assessment of Diversity in the Workplace
Top companies make assessing and evaluating their diversity process an integral part of their management system. A customizable employee satisfaction survey can accomplish this assessment for us efficiently and conveniently. It can help our management team determine which challenges and obstacles to diversity are present in our workplace and which policies need to be added or eliminated. Reassessment can then determine the success of the implementation of our diversity in the workplace plan.
Implementation of Diversity in the Workplace Plan
The personal commitment of executive and managerial teams is a must. Leaders and managers within UMC are incorporating diversity policies into every aspect of our organization’s function and purpose. Attitudes toward diversity originate at the top and filter downward. Our management’s cooperation and participation to create a culture conducive to the success of our organization’s plan is ever-apparent.
Recommended diversity in the workplace solutions include:
Ward Off Change Resistance with Inclusion
We would like to involve every employee possible in formulating and executing diversity initiatives in our workplace.
Foster an Attitude of Openness in Your Organization
We want to encourage employees to express their ideas and opinions and attribute a sense of equal value to all.
Promote Diversity in Leadership Positions
This practice provides visibility and realizes the benefits of diversity in the workplace.
Utilize Diversity Training
Use this as a tool to shape our diversity policy.
As the economy becomes increasingly global, our workforce becomes increasingly diverse. Our success and competitiveness will depend on the ability to manage diversity in the workplace effectively. Remember, “UMC Includes Me!”