Elements Of Successful Organizational Diversity Management

2134 words - 9 pages

Elements of Successful Organizational Diversity Management Why is organizational diversity important? Historically, diversity in the workplace has been recognized as an employment equity issue. Now, however, diversity in the workplace is being recognized as a benefit that will contribute to an organization's bottom line. Increased employee and customer satisfaction end up as increased productivity, all of which are measurable outcomes (Goff, 1998). Diversity goes beyond employment equity to nurturing an environment that values the differences and maximizes the potential of all employees, one that stimulates employee creativity and innovativeness (U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (U.S. MSPB), 1993). To create an organizational culture that supports workforce diversity involves several important elements. These elements include a needs analysis, administrative and management support and commitment, education and training, culture and management systems changes and continuous follow-up and evaluation. Needs Analysis In many of my resources, a needs analysis was the second crucial element after senior management support and commitment. I feel a needs analysis should be prepared first to provide information to senior management in sequestering their support as well as to adequately determine workforce and organizational needs for creating a diverse workplace. First, find out what employees are concerned about. Most often used for this are focus groups and surveys. The needs and expectations of a diverse workforce can vary by organizational and functional levels, location, ethnicity, and gender (Baytos and Delatte, 1993). Second, determine the needs of the organization. By asking certain questions, an organization can determine its needs based on its culture and resources (U.S. MSPB, 1993). Does the organization have trouble retaining employees who would add to its diversity? In an organization with diversity, which, if any, areas of the workforce are being treated inappropriately? Has the organization impressed upon its leaders and managers the benefits that come from managing diversity appropriately? By using a survey that focuses on these questions you can ascertain where administration and management feel the organization presently is regarding diversity. Administrative and Management Commitment and Support Administrative and management support is critical for diversity change efforts. An important role for senior management is to provide leadership through development of a vision and goals for a diverse workplace (Lapid-Bogda, 1992). To gain support from administration you need to directly link diversity to the business. Be specific as to where the diversity issues lie. Are they employee or customer issues? Or both? Provide data regarding the diversity opportunities in the marketplace, workforce and organization (Prism International, 2000). Benchmarking best practices related to diversity from other organizations, demographic data, briefings...

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