There are several reasons why a diverse workforce will add value to a company. Most businesses, either large or small, work on a global scale; the information age has brought the entire world a lot closer. Having associates that can deal with different cultures around the world is crucial to an expanding business. A diverse workforce will help to build more rounded individuals with experience they will gain from a mixed environment. Customers will benefit from the diverse workforce because a company that makes a choice to be open and flexible with its associates will more than likely be easy to work with in a business relationship. Probably the most important aspect of having a diverse workforce is the vast knowledge gained by pooling of the different life lessons, cultures and experience together allowing everyone the chance to learn new and different business practices.
The Army and Air Force Exchange Service defines diversity as valuing the concerns and desires of both the workforce and customers by establishing a common bond with them, where the individual uniqueness is appreciated and differences are respected. Diversity promotes a corporate community and harmony, which maximizes personal talents and experiences, responds to the needs of all associates and enriches the climate for customers and associate satisfaction (AAFES. 2002).
As a worldwide corporation AAFES certainly knows the value of a diversified workforce. Each part of the world they operate in has its own set of cultural significances which need to have a workforce that can handle those differences but also maintain the standards of the company.
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They have formed a strong workforce despite the diversity they are faced with because they have trained their associates to have respect for individual differences. The Freeman Institute offers seminars to companies looking to increase their insight and train their associates in the area of diversity. Their Philosophy in presenting the subject of diversity is best understood when considering an onion with its many layers. Each layer presents another opportunity to discuss the best ways to work together with greater harmony, understanding and mutual respect (Dr. Freeman.
Each person brings a different cultural background into a company; there are obvious differences such as race, gender, professional status and disabilities. There are a lot of unseen differences that associates and managers must consider such as religion, sexual orientation, musical taste and individual styles. The different personalities and life experiences that are brought into a company by people of diverse backgrounds reach far and wide. The company needs to embrace these differences and use them to develop a uniquely molded team. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses in their work ability and personalities.
A manager that can pick out associates strengths and use them to benefit the rest of the workplace has taken a huge step in unifying their company. Using the diverse backgrounds of each associate properly will add tremendously to the problem solving area of a business. The different ideas and solutions that each persons brings to problem solving meeting, the better equipped the team will be to conquer tough opportunities with an array of different outlooks. Each person also brings with them a special gift or talent. If we use an analogy that a business is like a human body, not everyone can be the head or the foot. Each individual part of a body working in unison focused on a single goal will accomplish a task.
Without the wrist the fingers are useless, without the shoulder the arm, hand and fingers are useless. We can see it takes the combination of various specialty parts to make up a whole body (Apostle Paul. 67 AD).
Diversity and Cross-Cultural Differences in Workplaces Introduction Different people have different mental structures due to the diverse type of personality and cultural background. The study of psychology has enabled people to know about the mental functioning of others making it easier individuals and groups to understand one another. Since people must interact in the day-to-day ...
A company has many different parts (people) that have different talents, when used properly they can be combined and focused toward one single goal.
workforce diversity is dealt with through the doorway of our own unique personality styles (Dr. Freeman. 2002).
Training and understanding of the diversity issue is the most important step to developing a workforce that has no diversity barriers. Company guidelines and mandates will work to a degree, but companies that can train their associates to look inside themselves and gain a good understanding of their personal differences and cultural diversities will have a much easier time training them to accept others. Diversity consciousness cannot be simply mandated into a system, integrated into a corporate culture, or prompted by financial incentives.
It is reflective of an attitude that organizations and their staffs must adopt that allows them to change their basic concepts about workers and converts “them” into “us” (Becker, Erviti, Shelley. 1997).
One of the keys to handling the issue of workforce diversity is also mutual respect for each individual which creates and attitude in the workplace that will eventually lead to a melting of personalities into one uniform culture. In conclusion, it is quite obvious as we look around in America that the culture of the country is changing. Companies that don’t take serious action and develop or expedite cultural diversity training will soon find themselves in a whirlpool of personalities and conflicts which may be too much to overcome.
The internet has made the world a lot smaller, people of all cultures and nationalities are mixing constantly and in business there is no room for bigotry or prejudices against any other group of people. Businesses that develop sound plans for training and understanding of cultural diversity issue will be on the cutting edge of making their companies sound by using all of the talents and ideas given to them by the combination of associates they have. The workplace will be an enjoyable atmosphere which will trickle over and be experienced by their customers. References The Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) (2002) web > Becker B. , Erviti M. , Shelley A.
... companies now operating in a global setting we are learning more and more about each others cultures and understanding ... behavior, productivity improvement, technology utilization, quality, diversity, work-life balance, and the global economy, ... voluntary classes, but there are required training classes in such things as safety ... very quickly. Even though we have people of different races and backgrounds ...
Managing Workplace Diversity. web > Zondervan. (1992).
New Life Study Bible Apostle Pauls Letter to the Romans. Chapter 12: 4-6 Dr.
Freeman A. J. (2002) Diversity, People who Drive You Crazy. web.