Diversity management is a stratagem which contributes actively in encouraging the conception, recognition and implementation of diversity in the operations of different corporations and institutions. This whole notion has its roots in the idea that diversity is the only means of enriching lives of innumerable people by ensuring equal rights, positive behaviour and a fair attitude to all and sundry. Individuals are often dissimilar in terms of age group, societal history and environment, sex, sexual preferences, fitness in reference to psychological and physical health. In addition to that, religion and matters of faith are also important aspect in determining the individuality of any human. Diversity management is basically the acceptance and appreciation of likeness and dissimilarities amongst the entire staff. This holds consequential importance when being considered at the time of planning policies, procedures and planning allotment of resources.
Diversity is usually described as recognizing, comprehending, appreciating, and celebrating the dissimilarity amongst the people in terms of age group, social class, race, sex, bodily and psychological ability, sexual preferences and matters pertaining to faith. (Esty, et al., 1995). Issues relating to diversity are said to have pivotal importance and are expected to become increasingly more important in the coming years owing to the increasing dissimilarities amongst the U.S. population.
Firms have an undeniable need to pay attention to diversity and find different methods to become all-encompassing organizations for the reason that diversity has the likelihood of giving increased output and economical benefits (SHRM, 1995). Stephen G. Butler has stated on numerous occasions that diversity is an irreplaceable positive element that America can in no way, afford to lose. (Robinson, 2002). Appreciating and administering diversity effectively is a vital element of efficient management of people and resources. And this very element usually leads to increased productivity in the workplace. (Black Enterprise, 2001).
Innumerable demographic changes have come about in the recent times (females in the place of work, restructurings in the organizations, and equal opportunity rulings) will need firms to reassess their administration policies & develop innovative and up-to-date strategies for dealing with people. These changes will give a better work performance and improved service for the customers.
Merits of diversity in the work environment
Diversity is advantageous to both employees and employers. Even though associates are mutually dependent in the place of work, showing consideration for distinctive differences can improve productivity significantly. Diversity in the work environment can greatly minimize lawsuits and multiply marketing possibilities, employment, originality, and business image (Esty, et al., 1995). In an age when versatility and inventiveness are crucial for business rivalry, diversity is momentous for the success of the organization. Diversity is a very important asset; it helps in reduction of costs and also decreases loss of time.
Each individual is only one of its kinds and does not characterize or orate for any specific group. At the end of the day, supervisors must be ready to modify the organization if the need arises. (Koonce, 2001). Firms need to gain knowledge of how to deal with diversity in the work environment to be triumphant in the future (Flagg, 2002). Diversity is a theory that has conventionally been used in all kinds of narrow and broad contexts (Kramar, 2001). A comprehensive outlook of diversity has repercussions for the existing culture of organizations, and an approval of dissimilarity. However, the comparatively narrow descriptions of diversity aim at putting an end to prejudiced policies and customs stemming from individual characteristics.
A comprehensive reasoning of diversity consequently influences the firm at every level, whilst narrow elucidations have an analogous orientation as Affirmative Action (AA) and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) initiatives. A variety of dissimilarities have been made amid EEO, AA, and diversity. EEO has been described as "giving citizens a just opportunity to be triumphant without any traces of prejudice; Factors such as age group, ethnicity, gender or nationality should not be considered and merit should always be considered" (Stone 1998: 824). AA refers to 'programs that need firms to do extra hard work to hire and encourage women and people of minority groups' (Stone 1998:818). AA takes a hands-online of action for bringing about impartiality in the work environment, and necessitates an acceptance of dissimilarity. As opposed to the EEO which only gives an assimilatory approach in the process.
Management of diversity can only come about when the organizational culture starts respecting and valuing this valuable asset instead of just recognizing and acknowledging its existence difference. Diversity has the ability to reach to the bulk of the working population much more than the particular EEO and AA targets ever have done. Additionally while EEO and AA requirements have been legally accepted, it's still not possible to maintain a real diverse workforce without the management's initiation.
EEO and AA might have had crucial significance in the initial stages of diversity management but currently, they are not even the tip of the iceberg. Similarly the merits of efficient diversity management, recorded in previous studies of huge private sector firms are inclusive of increased productivity (Wolf 1998), better creativeness and originality (Smith 1998), improved understanding of clientele, enhanced employment opportunities (Agocs & Burr 2000), reduced costs (Cox 1993), increased constructive self-esteem (Kramar, 2001), and increased retention of employees (Teicher & Spearitt, 1996).
In the case of diverse workforces, enhancing communication, cooperation, and utilization of employee, leads to increased efficiency. Different perceptions, uniqueness, originality and new ideas are the result of diversified range of people in the workforces who have their own expertise in their field and perform outstandingly when it comes to teamwork (Wolf 1998; Smith 1998). Knowledge and understanding of diversity is an important asset for grasp of international customers' requirements, and it also gives entrance to greater labour pools (Agocs & Bur, 2000). The right to use wider employment pools permit for hiring of best possible human resources, and it can substantially decrease costs of training and hiring (Cox 1993). Australian companies, inclusive of NRMA and Pacific Dunlop, illustrate a relationship between unsuccessful diversity management and issues such as decreased confidence, increased non-attendance, and turnover of staff. (Kramar, 2001). Firms that implement diversity management demonstrate enhanced retention of employees (Teicher & Spearitt, 1996).
The Civil Rights Act of 1967 owed to make America a civilization in which explicit prejudice on the basis of individual dissimilarity was against the law in matters pertaining to employment. As organizations started recognizing and acknowledging the importance of diversity management, AA, multiculturalism and management of diversity respectively subsequently came into being. This is how more wide-ranging approaches to managing a progressively more different group of employees. AA rulings in the mid-1960s meant to make workplaces more impartial and open-minded in terms of representing women and people of minority groups. Firms started to think about how their efforts concluded with fair dealing for people who had seldom benefited from any unceremonious source of authority and influence. The quote system of AA has been misinterpreted as a scheme that intended only at recruiting persons on the basis of ethnicity and sex. Although, the real aim of having a workforce like this was to cash in on and utilize the talent available in the marketplace.
People who benefited from AA had to deal with a lot of hostility. A time came at which the employees that benefited from AA and the other employees got involved in a squabble which was a "we" vs. "them" battle. This approach to the differences at the workplace could easily prove to be detrimental for the entire organization. Contemporarily problems of ethnicity and gender issues were increasing with an alarming rate in the society.
The Equal Rights Movement and the Civil Rights Movement illustrated practically that the two most important facets of diversity i.e. sex and ethnicity were still a hindrance for the people who were struggling for success. These kind of revolutionary movements were pivotal to the emancipation and liberation of women, people of minority groups and refugees. These were the same sects of society that had traditionally been punished in this nation only because they were not 'fitting' inside the conventional concept of adaptation and adjustment. This was the time when such differences started arising and the need for diversity management increased further.
During 1980s, multiculturalism intended celebrating group dissimilarities for instance ethnicity, sex, ethnic group, sexual preference, and was a recipient of the 1980's increasingly progressive lawful and societal movements. They were not aimed at legal reform only this time and multiculturalism also asserted that our dissimilarities should be acknowledged and used properly. This is was the time in which multiculturalism became a valuing diversity for the entire organizations.
Organizations were faced with a new challenge wherein they needed to introduce a system, strategy or program in which the dissimilarities were accepted, recognized and used. The female population and the people of the minority groups received hard-earned and long past due acknowledgment. The white me were at times demonstrated to be the villainous characters behind governmental / societal injustice that occurred for decades. This culminated into…