Diversity and Motivation Term Paper

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Diversity and Motivation

Human Resources Manager of a good company would have an extremely responsible job on his shoulders. He would, in essence, be responsible for the well being of the employees of the company as well as for their efficient working in a manner that would bring profit for the company and not a loss. If he were to neglect his duties, the company would suffer, as would the employees. The success and proper utilization of the tremendous responsibility of the human resources manager lies in his understanding and grasp of the major concerns of the company he is working for, as well as certain management issues that would prove beneficial for the better functioning of the company. The primary concern of the manager of today must be an understanding of 'workplace diversity'.

What is diversity? It is the basic concept that no matter whom you are or what the nature of your background is; there is a place for you somewhere, in some workplace. How does one achieve diversity in the workplace? The various policies and regulations of the 'Equal Employment Opportunity'-EEO and the 'Affirmative Action' - AA constitute the guidelines for the human resources manager to follow. However, these do not constitute all the issues of diversity, though they do include race, ethnicity and gender. In a broader sense, diversity includes the idea that a person must be given an opportunity to prove his potential and utilize it to its maximum. An ideal working environment must include all groups of people from all walks of life, and all the diverse opinions and ideas that they bring in to the workplace must be considered on an equal footing so that there is a rich wealth of talents and ideas from a wide range of sources. (What is Diversity?)

The EEO in addition protects employees from being discriminated against on the basis of any disabilities that they may have Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Titles 1 and 5, protection in the form of monetary benefits against discrimination through the 'Civil Rights Act of 1991', protection of those who are aged above forty through the 'Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967', protection against sex discrimination where both men and women are paid equal wages for the same work that they do -Equal Pay Act of 1963, protection for those disabled persons who work for the federal government through the 'Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Sections 501 and 505', and protection for all discriminations based on race, color, sex, religion or nationality through the 'Civil Rights Act of 1964'. (What is Diversity?)

Any employee who finds him being discriminated against on any of the above issues can seek protection by quoting any of the various policies offered by the Equal Employment Opportunity body. The AA - Affirmative Action reinforces the policies of the EEO by stating that all employees have the protection of AA against discrimination based on race, sex, color, age, citizenship, nationality, disabilities - mental or physical, any medical conditions whether genetic or disease related, any personal campaigns carried out by the employee, like for example, a war veteran or a person who has undertaken a campaign for some reason, etc. The AA offers this protection in all areas of management like when a person is being hired, promoted, transferred, or terminated. All policies of the management of the company must be consistent with the basic norms of the AA and the EEO and this will provide diversity in the workplace. (What is Diversity?)

Recent studies have shown that there is a major crisis situation taking place in most contemporary business places where the lack of motivation is a major issue that is giving sleepless nights to most managers. A large amount of funds has gone into researching the reasons for the lack of motivation in work places and the fundamental discovery was that most people did enjoy working but enjoyed life more. In other words, work-life balance was getting upset and life became more important and work was considered 'work' and nothing else. This was recognized for the dangerous trend that it actually was and measures are being taken to improve the situation and make employees feel more motivated into giving their best for the companies they work for, thereby benefiting themselves as well as the company they work for. (Motivation -- the Reason for the Crisis)

Human Resources Manager would essentially have to get his work finished through his employees, and he would have to motivate his employees to do their jobs well. In other words, he would have to motivate his team of workers into completing their jobs efficiently and quickly. Despite the fact that a lot of research has gone into understanding the basic concept of motivation, the fact remains that it is a least understood and least applied idea in a place of business. A basic understanding of human nature is an absolute necessity to understand and grasp the concept of motivation. It is a well-known fact that people have to be generally motivated into doing their best at a workplace either by motivating form within or by offering external stimuli; they will not do it on their own steam. (Employee Motivation in the Workplace)

Some people are in fact born motivated and some are not. Those people who do not have an innate sense of motivation would have to be pushed into doing things to the best of their abilities, and this would directly impact the business they are employed in. This optimum performance is taken as a combination of both function and ability. Therefore, job performance = f (ability) (motivation). The ability of a person is dependant on many factors, some of which are training, education and talents. While ability can only be improved very gradually, motivation can be improved dramatically over short periods of time. (Employee Motivation in the Workplace)

Human Resources Manager can learn the following general guidelines in order to find out how he will be able to motivate his employees. He must be able to positively reinforce his expectations in his employees. (Employee Motivation in the Workplace) He must, however, be wary of falling into the trap of high expectations whereby he might treat employees who have a lower level of ability with less respect and less eye contact and with less concern. He might smile less at them, share less office affairs with them, and give them lower assignments. This behavior will end up creating disparity between employees and make him less popular in his workplace, and he would do well to avoid communicating his high expectations to them. The manager must also be capable of and willing to mete out effective disciplinary measures to those employees that have committed any sort of offense. (The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy or Pygmalion Effect)

This is a powerful tool of motivation in the workplace and the other employees would be satisfied that justice has been upheld and there has been fair treatment in their place of work. Employees are people with diverse needs and the secret of a good manager lies in the manner in which he handles these needs. The more aware of his employee's needs the manager is, the better he will be able to motivate his workers, and he would be capable of setting up realistic work related goals for them. When these goals are achieved, the worker will naturally achieve a sense of self-satisfaction and contentment, and feel himself motivated and encouraged to continue to do better in his work. (The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy or Pygmalion Effect) successful manager must be knowledgeable in the area of re-structuring jobs; in other words, he must know how to go about the process of 'job designing' whereby he would be able to gain the maximum possible output from his employees with the utilization of a minimum of resources. In essence, job design is the explanation in detail of the content and the methodology of going about a job and the relationship of one job to another within the workplace in a manner that would bring about a successful combination of the satisfaction of having fulfilled organizational and technological expectations, as well as the self achievement of the employees of the organization. When there is good job design in the company, the employees would automatically feel better motivated and involved in doing their jobs well, and there will be significantly less absenteeism in the workplace. (Job Design and Work Organization)

The most important method of motivation for a manager is, however, Money. The concept of giving rewards and incentives in the form of money to employees in order to motivate them is extremely good one and all managers would do well to follow this rewarding system. It is a proven fact that the world is, after all, a material one, dependant on material benefits and comforts. Whatever be the motivation for an employee, the manager would find instant success in offering monetary rewards for work well done, or work to be well…

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