The Importance of Managing Diversity

The Value of Productive Diversity

Global expansion and the development of multi-national business have been affecting the employment structure of companies worldwide over time. Diversity in the workplace becomes really critical for the company to engage the employees and achieve the business objectives. With diversity in the workplace, the company provides the platform for the employees to be more actively expressed their different thoughts and unique ideas. It is also prevent the possibility for the employees to feel discriminated. For example, give opportunities for women workers to achieve the higher position will overcome discrimination issues through gender factors.

Diversity produces better result?

Research has consistently shown that diverse teams produce better results, provided they are well led. The ability to bring together people from different backgrounds, disciplines, cultures, and generations and leverage all they have to offer, therefore, is a must-have for leaders (Ibarra and Hansen 2011: 71). It can be argued diversity has been successful adding value and produce better results for the company. However, better results will only achievable if the diverse team is managed properly. Leader and managers is the main key of success diversity in the workplace. In order to keep maintain the performance of diverse team, the skills to maintain diverse team is really crucial. Therefore, it is required for leaders and managers to have those particular skills. For example is the ability to approach different people with different way. The goal of managing diversity is to encourage productive and mutually beneficial interactions among employees in any organization and to value employees with different backgrounds, needs, and skill sets in order to produce optimal benefits for employees, for the organisations they work for, and for communities and customers they serve. (Sayers, 2012). Employees as the core value of business have to be treated and managed properly, so the company will able to obtain the business objectives.

Coca Cola Company : Global Diversity

Let us consider Coca Cola as an international scale business. How is it possible for Coca Cola to maintain the business performance worldwide all these years? According to Steve Bucherati in the video of the importance of diversity in the workplace, the chief diversity officer of Coca Cola Company, diversity has been developing as core business strategy of the company to emerging the workforce in order to build relationship with the clients. The company does realize that their employees are really important for the business. Through the actions to developing the diversity within the company, Coca Cola is committed to bring the equality to the company. The Coca-Cola Company’s global diversity mission is to mirror the rich diversity of the marketplace we serve and be recognized for our leadership in Diversity, Inclusion and Fairness in all aspects of our business, including Workplace, Marketplace, Supplier and Community, enhancing the Company’s social license to operate. (Coca Cola Company, 2014). It is proved with various awards of diversity that Coca Cola has received so far. For instance, award from Diversity Business magazine’s Top 50 Organizations for Multicultural Business Opportunities.(Coca Cola, 2011).

Advantages and challenges of diversity

Diversity in the workplace allows the company to obtain competitive advantage in the industry with adding values to the company. There are some advantages that company will gain from diverse team:

  • · Increased retention;
  • · Reduced absenteeism;
  • · Better recruitment pool;
  • · Improved productivity;
  • · Improved staff loyalty, morale and job satisfaction;
  • · Greater customer satisfaction and sales;
  • · Access to wider markets;
  • · Improved public relations;
  • · Making the business more attractive to investors
  • · Lowered risk of discrimination claims;
  • · Lowered risk of safety and health claims.

Diversity adds more value to the company with new knowledge, information, skills and ideas from various types of people. Those aspects will enhance the company ability in decision making process and critical thinking about the business situation. The information

However, to manage diverse team is really challenging. Having beliefs of diversity will only work if there is an action to make it real. It is not easy to maintain the diverse team with certain people with different background. There are several obstacles of applying diversity in the workplace. For instance the difficulties of cross cultural behaviour and different languages. Communication and behaviour will become problems between the workers. Moreover, with contrast perspective, conflicts are really potential to be happened among workers. Here, leaders and managers in the company are challenged to manage the diverse team and to overcome the difficulties of diversity in order to achieve the better outcomes for the company.

Implementation of manager’s knowledge of diversity to produce better results

There have been different policy approaches in organisations’ management of diversity which have developed over time (Thomas and Ely, 1996; Kandola and Fullerton,1998; Harvey and Allard, 2002; Kirton and Greene, 2000). Managers can apply some approaches to manage the diversity in the workplace in order to achieve better outcomes for the business. The approaches to managing diversity (:

  • Reactive Approach
  • Assimilation Approach
  • Differentiation Approach
  • Radical Perspective Approach
  • Integration Approach

Firstly, reactively approach the diverse team in order to overcome any issues about discrimination, as the potential of discrimination to occur due to lack of understanding. Secondly is to treat everyone in the same way with assimilation approach to limit any differences. For example, give equal opportunity for women and men, homosexual or heterosexual, and white or black.

Lack of knowledge and skill to properly manage the diverse team, diversity will become backfire for the company. Poor management of diversity will lead to several conflicts of diversity such as poor communication and gap between the employees. Those aspects will lead to low productivity, poor communication between employees and low job satisfaction.

 

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