Diversity at Work
If you ok around your office and everyone is just like you, that’s probably not a good thing. the demographics of the American workforce have drastically changed over the past 50 years. Times have been changing in this country at a very fast pace. In the 1950’s, more than 60% of the American workforce consisted of white males. During that time, these men were the sole breadwinners in their households and retired by the age of 65 to lie a life full of leisurely activities. Today, the American workforce is a more accurate reflection of the population with it’s diverse mixture of genders, race, religion, and age.
Long-term success of any business calls for a largely diverse body of talent that is full of fresh new, innovative ideas and perspectives. However, the challenge that diversity does pose is enabling managers to capitalize on the mixture of genders, ages, lifestyles, and cultural backgrounds to respond to business opportunities more creatively.
Diversity is no longer a black/white, male/female, young/old issue. It is much more complicated and interesting than those limitations. In the book, In The Future of Diversity and the Work Ahead of Us, Harris Susan explains, “Diversity s about our relatedness, our connectedness, our interactions, where the lines cross. Diversity is many things – a bridge between organizational life and the reality of people’s lives, building corporate capability, the framework for interrelationships between people, a learning exchange, a strategic lens not eh world.”
Many companies still face challenges to this day around building a diverse environment. part of the reason being that the tendency to pgeonhol employees, placing them in a different situation based not heir diversity profile is an issue.In the real world, diversity cannot be simply categorized and those organizations that respond to human complexity by leveraging the talents of a broad workforce will be the most effective when improving and growing their businesses as well as their customer base.
A few guidelines and tips on how to develop the diversity strategy that gets results:
- Link diversity to the bottom line.
- Show respect and promote clear, open and positive responses and conversations while speaking about diversity.
- Broaden your efforts by expanding the definition of diversity.
- Remove artificial barriers to success. train your recruiters to understand the cultural components of interviews.
- Retain diversity at all levels.
R. Roosevelt Thomas defines managing diversity within the workplace as “a comprehensive managerial process for developing an environment that works for all employees.” Successful strategic diversity programs lead to increased profitability as well.
The long-term success of any business calls for a vast diverse body of talent that brings creative views and ideas from various different angles. A lack of diversity can affect the ability to communicate effetely wit diverse clients or customers. Linking diversity strategies to specific goals like morale, performance, retention, and the bottom line helps build your business with the most potential possible, and makes diversity work for you.