Managing Cultural Diversity in the Workplace | Free Essay Example

Managing Cultural Diversity in the Workplace

Words: 1683
Topic: Business & Economics
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Abstract

Increasing cultural diversity at the workplace is characteristic of many companies worldwide. The right management of a diverse workforce will bring an important advantage for the company and its employees. Moreover, the effective management of cultural diversity and equal opportunities are the key aspects of a healthy climate in the workplace. Notably, effective diversity management will allow taking the best of all the professional qualities of workers. The leadership that takes into account the peculiarities of their staff will be able to increase employee loyalty and their commitment to the organization. However, recent studies have revealed that cases of discrimination in the workplace are quite frequent. Consequently, the main difficulty lies in the idea that people should learn to be tolerant when working together and should respect the differences in views and approaches to work. From the standpoint of companies, management needs to be able to collaborate with a diverse workforce to achieve corporate goals and eliminate any discriminatory attempts. Most importantly, it should reinforce the organizational culture of trust, integrity, and respectful attitude towards coworkers.

Introduction

Cultural diversity is a characteristic inherent to the majority of companies worldwide. Understanding the value as well as the right attitude towards cultural diversity is an important advantage for the company and for the employees themselves. However, cases, when the rights of individual members of the work team are infringed, can be frequently met, which greatly affects the performance of employees. In this regard, it is important that employers comprehend the significance of cultural diversity and make the correct use of it. In particular, the existing cultural diversity should be used as a practical resource when each member of the team contributes to the overall productivity based on his or her expertise, knowledge, and skills (Barbera, 2014). The purpose of this paper is to review and analyze the prospective pros and cons of having a culturally diverse workforce and to outline the practices such as diversity management and inclusion to ensure equal opportunities for all the employees.

Background Information

It is essential to emphasize that the principle of equality in the workplace is guaranteed by the Constitution and the Labor Code in the majority of countries. Respectively, it is the task of leadership to ensure decent working conditions for all employees, regardless of their cultural background and peculiarities. Moreover, the effective management of cultural diversity and equal opportunities are the key aspects of a healthy climate in the workplace. It will also enable taking the best of all professional qualities of staff members (Diller, 2013). Effective team management will contribute to the development of innovative initiatives on the part of workers and will influence their productivity in general. Most importantly, the leadership that secures the basic constitutional right of staff for equal attitude will ensure employee dedication. However, recent studies have revealed that cases of discrimination in the workplace are rather frequent (Diller, 2013). Besides, employers are not aware of the ways to harness the power of cultural diversity, how to ensure equal working conditions, and how to organize the work of the team to avoid the possibility of discrimination.

Pros and Cons of Diversity

Diversity provides both complexities and potential opportunities for the company. Globalization processes (more active movement of people, information, and services) lead to greater availability of labor force; however, this leads to the fact that the staff should be able to cooperate effectively with people of varied backgrounds with different perceptions of the world, specific features, values, and attitudes (Rowley, 2013). Consequently, the main difficulty lies in the idea that people should learn to be tolerant when working together, should respect the differences in views and approaches to work (Rowley, 2013). From the standpoint of companies, management needs to be able to collaborate with a diverse workforce to achieve corporate goals and eliminate any discriminatory attempts.

However, there are significantly more positive aspects of cultural variety compared to the disadvantages. For the factor of cultural diversity to be turned into a competitive advantage, leadership should apply diversity management effectively. If applied correctly, every employee will be enabled to invest actively in the working process and will contribute his or her individual experience to it. Also, it will give the possibility to use the creative potential of employees (Rowley, 2013). In terms of personal motivation, people would be more likely to invest in the work, if they could feel safe at the workplace and when their colleagues are respectful towards them. Also, it will create a more favorable atmosphere and provoke people’s personal growth. In their turn, these factors would lead to an increase in the personal motivation of employees; thus, it would build on their dedication to work and duties.

Furthermore, the pluralism of opinions and openness to different approaches would form a motivated work team that is more productive and loyal; accordingly, employee turnover and professional burnout will no longer be the case for the company. Effective diversity management will provide an opportunity to expand recruitment possibilities and attract talented professionals and further enable retaining them in the company (Rowley, 2013). In general, this approach to diversity will strengthen the corporate spirit and rally the team to achieve organizational goals meanwhile increasing employee job satisfaction.

Combating Discrimination

A negative attitude towards different skin color, language, or appearance is often the result of hidden stereotypes and prejudices that might lead to excessive control over ethnic minority employees as well as to underestimation of his or her professional qualities (Mor Barak, 2013). Often communication with an unfamiliar culture can cause confusion or even fear. It is possible that some employees would try to avoid contact with their colleagues if those are by any criteria different from them. Thus, to help an ethnically diverse newcomer to get started, it is particularly important to assign him or her with a personal mentor. Such training would help to determine the possible difficulties and to overcome the probable discriminating accounts.

To repeal discriminations, it is necessary to identify them. To define and improve the general atmosphere in the team, managers could survey employees on the topic of cultural diversity (Mor Barak, 2013). The results should be discussed among team members. It is crucial to raise issues of cultural diversity and individual differences even if there is no any particular controversy present. Nevertheless, it is not always easy to identify discrimination. Thus, every manager and employee should be able to recognize the facts of discrimination in the workplace to prevent such situations in the future. In that matter, a close interaction between employees of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds contributes to the formation of work culture and practices. Multicultural management promotes responsibility and increases personnel opportunities to affect their work (Mor Barak, 2013). Importantly, a culturally diverse environment creates the setting for trust and discreet communication. As a consequence, there would be more room for different points of view and versatile experiences. When the team consisting of versatile employees works jointly, it is evident that stable working conditions would provide growth and would result in higher labor productivity.

Human Resource management

In order to establish an equal and inclusive environment for all the employees, it is essential that human resource management (HRM) follows a number of rules and regulations and sets the common policy for all the employees notwithstanding the direction of the company’s activities. In particular, it is necessary to eliminate possible discrimination in the selection of personnel (Lussier & Hendon, 2014). Also, it is crucial to promote the same ethical postulates in human resource management and in managing the activities of the company in general. It is of vital importance to create the conditions in which there is the fair, respectful, and worthy treatment of all employees regardless of their position in the organization (Lussier & Hendon, 2014). This aspect should be applied to all the stakeholders involved. Also, the leadership should exclude and prevent the occurrence of obstacles that might arise from any form of discrimination. HRM department should establish equal opportunities with respect to racial or national background and worldview of workers (Otten, 2014). The company’s management should develop and implement policies that will set similar and equal standards in working and encourage employees to follow these domains (Lussier & Hendon, 2014). The equal opportunities policy should be followed when making any managerial decisions and planning for the company performance.

Organizational Culture

It is necessary to emphasize that team spirit is the most important element of corporate culture, which will be particularly strong in a working group in which there is no room for discrimination, and equal treatment of all employees is highly encouraged. To strengthen team spirit, HRM should use approaches that form trust and commitment due respect of leadership to employees and among coworkers as well. Such corporate culture would create a beneficial spiritual and emotional background with a comfortable moral and psychological climate (Barbera, 2014). However, this approach implies not only the formal conditions but also the existence of a corporate code of ethics. It is crucial that this code is supported and followed by all the employees. The established code of ethics will serve as a basis for management decisions and a platform for promoting rules of conduct describing a certain type of relationship between managers and subordinates, which will be optimal in regard to the implementation of professional duties (Rowley, 2013). The code of ethics should be a regulator of business life and a tool for achieving business success.

Conclusion

A normative value pivot will support the basic values shared by the staff and will promote respect for the diverse knowledge, skills, and experience of employees. Also, it will be the foundation for the norms and patterns of behavior within the organization. When encouraging effective corporate culture with a tolerant and respectful approach to diversity, the management will be able to attract highly qualified personnel to the company and retain them. A corporate culture that encourages diversity is a powerful tool in the formation of team spirit, and it contributes to increased productivity and commitment of employees to the company.

References

Barbera, K. (2014). The Oxford handbook of organizational climate and culture. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Diller, J. (2013). Cultural diversity. Boston, MA: Cengage.

Lussier, R., & Hendon, J. (2014). Human resource management. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Mor Barak, M. (2013). Managing diversity. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Otten, S. (2014). Towards inclusive organizations. London, UK: Psychology Press.

Rowley, C. (2013). Globalizing international human resource management. London, UK: Routledge.