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Workplace Diversity Management and Its Benefits

The process of adapting to be left-handed while being right-handed is in itself a tough challenge. However, struggling with this daunting task in an environment where no one seems to appreciate you is really depressing. The experiment highlights the challenges that minority workers face in organizations that tend to overlook their unique needs. Managing workplace diversity has long ceased to be an optional practice but a business priority for most organizations operating in different parts of the world. The benefits that managers realize by putting in place policies that enhance diversity are numerous, especially in the 21st Century.

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As pointed out by Saxena (2014), building harmonious and inclusive work environments grants a business entity an upper hand in terms of employee productivity. The overall profitability of the business is enhanced by the proper management of diversity. The intense competition that businesses are facing in the recent times exerts pressure on managers to effectively understand and manage diversity in their workplaces. As such, effective diversity management in the workplace is one of the most fundamental business priorities of current organizations.

In an environment where the unique needs of minorities and special-needs groups are disregarded, the efficiency of members of such groups is unfortunately gauged by comparing them to the majority groups (Harvey & Allard, 2012). As a result, they tend to feel that they are discriminated against as their special challenges may hinder them from performing in a similar manner with their counterparts in the majority group.

Rather than devising ways of empowering the minority groups to the extent that their performance matches that of the others, their differences become their limiting factors. In a similar way, the ‘leftie’ experiment clearly proves how life is challenging to some people who are compelled to adapt to the mainstream expectations despite their iniquities. However, since left-handed people are exposed to these challenges from an early time in their lives, most of them effectively adapt to the situation by becoming ambidextrous. This may unfortunately not be the case for most minority groups.

Understanding and managing cultural, ethnic, and gender differences among workers are crucial factors for ensuring that the potential of the employees is maximized. Diversity offers numerous benefits to an organization. For instance, according to Saxena (2014), diverse organizations are more creative and offer numerous perspectives for addressing workplace issues. These benefits are essential as they translate to the achievement of the key business outcomes such as productivity and profitability. On the other hand, homogeneous firms are disadvantaged in terms of their approaches to problem solving and creativity both of which are major threats to business success in modern times.

Poor management of diverse entities can be utterly detrimental. This is because the environment lacks harmony as communication and trust among the workers decline (Harvey & Allard, 2012). This situation increases conflicts and entirely kills the spirit of teamwork rendering the organization totally chaotic. As a result, the performance of the employees also declines and the business becomes totally unprofitable. In a world characterized by ruthless buy-offs and consolidation, this might mark the end of the organization irrespective of how many years it has been in existence.

In the wake of globalization, understanding and managing diversity is taking a central position even in organizations that previously thought that it mattered less. Modern workplaces feature either one or more of the aspects of diversity. As such, it is vitally important for contemporary managers to devise measures aimed at appreciating diversity. In addition, the benefits that diversity management offers to the modern workplace as well as the threats posed by the poor management of diversity are so critical to the current business environment for any sane manager to ignore.

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Harvey. C.P., & Allard, J. M. (2012). Understanding and Managing Diversity: Readings, Cases, and Exercises (5th Ed). New York: Pearson.

Saxena, A. (2014). Workforce diversity: A key to improve productivity. Procedia Economics and Finance, 11, 76-85. Web.

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