Unit 1: Business Culture and Responsibilities
Learning Outcome: 02
Task 2.1 Explain what is meant by ‘diversity in the business context
Many companies pride themselves on having a diverse workforce, one that is made up of individuals with a wide range of characteristics and experiences. Some of the key characteristics of workforce diversity include race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, ability, and sexual orientation (Swarthout, 2017). A company that embraces diversity can broaden its skill base and become more competitive and innovative. Workforce diversity also brings with it a number of issues and challenges.
Discrimination occurs when someone is denied opportunities on the basis of a personal characteristic that has no bearing on job performance. Discrimination causes great harm and is illegal in most cases. It is important for employers to have diversity management policies in place (Swarthout, 2016). Most large organizations have taken steps to promote diversity awareness and understanding. These diversity initiatives contribute to a positive work environment that is free from discrimination.
Several issues and challenges are occurred in the organization because of diversity which is described as below:
Race and Ethnicity: As Swarthout (2017) notes, racial and ethnic minorities may have different perspectives, customs, or approaches to communication in the workplace. These differences can pose challenges for organizations that seek harmonious employee relations. Such challenges can be addressed through appropriate training and education.
Gender: Women have long struggled to obtain equal pay for comparable work and to remove the glass ceiling, an invisible barrier that keeps women and other minorities out of the top managerial ranks (Swarthout, 2016). Women also face gender discrimination and sexual harassment, i.e. sexual advances or other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.
Religion: Different people from different religions are worked in the same workplace. These cause diversity in the workplace sometimes.
Workforce diversity is a valuable asset for any business that seeks a competitive advantage in the global economy.
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Task 2.2 Recognise the benefits of having a diverse workforce
In this era of economic globalization, many companies are making efforts to achieve workforce diversity, which aims to employ workers from different backgrounds to provide tangible and intangible benefits to the organization (Johnson, 2018). Understanding the advantages of workforce diversity helps you establish an organization with a competitive edge.
Increase in Productivity
Workforce diversity can bring about an increase in productivity and competitive advantages. Conclude Kelli A. Green and her University of Florida colleagues in their paper, “Diversity in the Workplace: Benefits, Challenges, and the Required Managerial Tools.” Employers can offer more solutions to customers because of new ideas and processes brought into the organization (Johnson, 2018). Workplace diversity increases employee morale and causes employees to desire to work more effectively and efficiently.
Increase in Creativity
Workforce diversity increases creativity within a company because heterogeneous groups are cross-fertilizing one another within the organization. According to EthnoConnect, a consulting company specializing in workforce diversity, employees from different backgrounds bring in a variety of solutions on how to achieve a common goal. As more diverse ideas are suggested, the chances of finding a workable answer are improved (Johnson, 2018). In atmospheres when brainstorming is necessary, more ideas are formed because team members are culturally diverse. For example, employees from China working in American companies may approach a problem totally differently than do American-born workers.
Companies that plan to expand into global markets benefit from language diversity in the workplace. For example, a company with employees fluent in Japanese and who understand Japanese culture experiences an easier time communicating with representatives from Japan (Johnson, 2018). Many bilingual workers experience an advantage when applying for jobs because employees understand the benefits of language diversity.
Job seekers are drawn to companies with diverse workforces because it is evident that companies do not practice employment discrimination. Potential employees want to know that employers treat their staff fairly regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender (Johnson, 2018). Not only are such firms able to attract new talent but they can also retain existing talent because of high employee morale resulting from workforce diversity. For example, such companies are often known for their attitude of openness and inclusion and for being flexible and adaptable to change……………..