Speaking about managing diversity and diversity in the workplace we should underline the concept of diversity itself. All in all it is a condition of unlike elements, a wide range or variety of something dissimilar. But transferring this concept to the workplace, it can mean the variety that exists between people of absolutely different age, sexual orientation, education, race, religion and superstition, mental and health abilities, nationality and social status, family and employee status. Most of those factors were ignored in the past, but now they are valued greatly, as they show the cultural development and play an important role in improving organizational effectiveness. According to Kelli A. Green, Mayra López, Allen Wysocki and Karl Kepner (2002), “For this reason, profit and non-profit organizations need diversity to become more creative and open to change.”
So, the main aim of all aspects of managing diversity is to increase the efficiency of organization by the means of realization of worker’s potential. It means that all points of view, all voices, all needs and advice should be taken into consideration, as various ways of thinking and proposals constitute the diversity of organizational perspective and business success. Besides managing diversity means creating of healthy environment, where new changes are encouraged and accepted. The environment of the workplace is characterized by different factors beginning from office construction and up to leader’s attitude.
Firstly, a comfortable workplace allows to obtain greater efficiency from an employee and not to divert the worker’s attention, to promote middle economic indicators on the whole in a corporation.
The economic profit is obvious so that it can be even measured. The organization of working space taking into account the requirements of ergonomics allows to promote the labor of company employee’s productivity to 30%. Fatigue ability of employees goes down in the correctly equipped office, and, an employer will pay less than medical certificates. Besides, office must be beautiful that promotes an emotional mood which can not be measured with money. Moreover, the level of noise which is determined by placing of tables and distributing of workplaces influences the capacity of employees. The efficiency of work, claiming attention and concentration, will go down substantially, if next to employees, executing such work, to place call-center, for example.
Not only efficiency suffers, the microclimate suffers in an office too. The confused, tired employees are more irritable, they do frequent lunch time breaks on coffee, dissolving the boundless amounts of sugar in boiling water: fatigue is taken off by coffee, and lactose helps cerebration. But it is just the organizational elements and rules used in the workplace and organized by the leader, that create an opportunity for more productive work in the company.
But to have a diverse workforce means also to have a creative leader, the head. Lenora Billings-Harris (2006), a recognized speaker, performance improvement consultant, considers “that effective leaders and managers realize that everyone in the organization contributes to its diversity.” So, it is he, who is the person that can unite all the efforts for reaching progressive results. The leader’s tactful and delicate approach promotes to arrange atmosphere in the company. Moreover, the leader appreciates the cooperation and organic work in teams, because it helps to take into consideration all points of view, to fix a dialogue and problem discussion that will help to arrange a settlement, to make a bargain, to come to mutual understanding and all in all to come to consensus faster.
So the diversity, created by the manager is of vital importance, as it is valuing, understanding, acknowledging and accepting of individual work, needs and efforts among the employees of different age, sex, mental ability, working practice and everything said before.
But there are no perfect aspects of managing diversity, as they are like rules: are submitted for consideration and can be adopted or abolished. So they are partly a company success. Everything depends on manager’s leader talents and ability to organize qualified group (team) work, to create an opportunity for self realizing, to focus on effective work (Kelli A. Green, Mayra López, Allen Wysocki, Karl Kepner, 2002).
To my mind cultural differences and other disparities in no way can influence the future company workforce and progress, especially to weaken it substantially. Quite the contrary, it can intensively strengthen the productivity and effectiveness of work by means of introduction of fresh ideas, suggestions, innovation and perspectives, based on worker’s decision, experience and competence.
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Kelli A. Green, Mayra López, Allen Wysocki, Karl Kepner. (February 8, 2002). Diversity in the Workplace: Benefits, Challenges, and the Required Managerial Tools. Retrieved Dec.2, 2006 from http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hr022
2. Leonora Billings-Harris. (2006). Managing Diversity in the Workplace. Retrieved Dec.2, 2006 from http://www.sideroad.com/Diversity_in_the_Workplace/managing-diversity-in-the-workplace.html
3. NCVO’s work: Diversity. What is the NCVO Diversity Project? (2006). Retrieved Dec.2, 2006 from http://www.ncvo-vol.org.uk/about/vacancies/index.asp?id=1532