It is well known that individual behavior is influenced by environmental settings and circumstances. Ethnicity, Geographical differences, social-economic status, and religion which are aspects of the environment are among many other factors which influence individual behavior. As businesses become diverse it becomes absolutely significant for these organizations and companies to comprehend and handle this diversity. Individuals from different settings such as religion, races, and so on make up a diverse workforce.
Several research findings have shown that it is an added advantage to an organization if it has a diversity of workforce because this aspect brings into the organization different ideas and creativity which then puts the organization at an upper hand over its counterparts (Taylor, 1993).
Ethnicity defines an individual’s behavior. In trying to describe how ethnicity or different culture affects an individual’s behavior it is important fast to mention that the world is made up of numerous ethnicity or culture. The numerous ethnicities have well-defined values which influence the selection of modes of action. The attitude which is an aspect of ethnicity enables an individual to react or act in a particular way towards something. Individuals usually behave in a distinctive way as a result of the value they attach to life and the environment around them.
Culture influences an individual’s behavior not by offering the ultimate values towards which the individual behavior is oriented but by shaping the tool kit of styles or skills from which the individual constructs strategies to initiate a certain action that might allow him or her to achieve different goals in his or her life. Hence ethnicity and behavior orientation are linked in one way or another (Odette et. al, 1994).
The world’s vast geographical setup comes along with it different variability which has an influence on an individual’s behavior. When one tries to study this variability along which continental or even national diversity he or she will find that every geographical place or region is made up of different people and this different person has different behaviors. Different regions comprise different types of communication modes or languages, communal cohesion systems such as collectiveness and individualism, emotional or neutral moods, and attitudes.
These entire different dimensions possess certain analytical power hence making a whole setup of community and especially personal behavior. Several researchers have tried to elaborate how the daily activities or individual undertakings can be understood to be an outcome of processes in which they are constrained by the geographical accessibility of the locations with which they interact. Research findings have also found out that the spatial and temporal sequences of actions of an individual usually follow a distinct pattern in certain types of environments. Many of the diverse individual behavior we have in many regions of the world are a result of characteristics of the place’s intersection of the person and his or her immediate environment constraint by the opportunities for interaction.
It is absolutely obvious that individual behavior is closely linked to the social and economic culture in which the individual lives and that the way an individual behaves is strong as a result of the social-economic environment he or she is exposed to in his or her entire life. It is usually hard to separate the various activities an individual involves in every particular day from how one solely behaves.
One of the well-known individual behaviors that are associated with an individual’s socioeconomic status is the smoking of a cigarette. Various researches have shown that the behavior of Smoking is usually high in people especially females with low or no income than those with high income. Also when looking at the abuse of drugs as a behavior it has also been found out that poor people are more likely to abuse illegal drugs than individuals who are high income.
Children who are from well to do families are more likely to have different individual behaviors than their counterparts from low-income families, since the availability of finances can be an influential factor to the kind of lifestyle the children might live which on the other hand impacts heavily on how they might carry themselves along and behave.
How Religion Influence an individuals Behavior
Religion is an important part of an individual’s social life. By the time an individual becomes an adult, he or she can comfortably look back into time and see what religion did in shaping his or her life, especially when considering several challenging he or she was exposed to will realty make him or she understand that religion has a major influence on the individual’s behavior.
Religion is the first sense of individuality which is the main reason for mutual understanding of other people. a religious person always acts with clear conscience and rationality when dealing or associating with other people. Religion makes an individual; develop and natural traits such as integrity, accountability duty to serve others, honesty, and responsibility.
There are examples of the fundamental behaviors which are impacted by religion in an individual’s life. One of them is sexuality; many religions such as Christianity always teach their followers the principles of sexuality and marriage hence this teaching with time enables an individual to behave in a manner that goes hand in hand with these teachings as far as sexuality is concerned.
Importance of a Culturally Diverse Workforce in the Business Environment
Diversity in the workforce means that the organization or company consists of various demographic differences such as age differences, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, gender, religion, and so on. Individuals with different cultural diversity in an organization make up a diverse workforce.
Hence it is becoming vital for companies to understand these kinds of differences and know how to control them. It is imperative for the organization to handle the diversity in personnel and practice sensitivity when managing this person since each one of them has a different personality and behavior in order to obtain the best performance from them. Hence the managers should be trained on strategies of handling a diverse labor force (John, F., 1991).
Benefits of Culturally Diverse Workforce
A culturally Diverse Workforce has potential benefits to a business or an organization. An organization with a diverse workforce will be rich in ideas when it comes to decision-making. There will always be a workable answer to an arising challenge in the organization since there will be a diversity in thinking coming from the diversity of the workforce which makes up the organization.
Exponentially once individuals from different cultures come together toward achieving a certain goal they will defiantly succeed. A good example is that foreign workers and executives have made many of the American companies to be extremely productive. Most Europeans who have come to work in the USA have done well in high-level work which needed more professional experiences. This is possibly due to the qualitative skills that these foreigners bring with them to the United States of America Increased productivity is an obvious advantage of diversity in the workplace (Taylor, 1993).
Organizations that adopt the use of the available cultural diversity increase effectiveness. The organization is able to lift the worker’s morale, make it easy to access new market segments and improve productivity. Research done in Canada found out that most of the Canadian organizations and companies which have excelled in integrating cultural diversity in their management have increased their capability to appreciate and access new markets both in Canada and in foreign countries (Odette, 1994). This benefit is said to come from the cultural diversity of the workforce and by having a positive perspective to the benefits that workers from different identities could effect (John, F., 1991).
It has also come to be understood that organizations have recognized that competing successfully in new world markets needs more than just a state-of-the-art technology of doing business or having the best products in the market and the best production and marketing strategies. The success of penetrating many global markets and conquering them involves the ability to retain, boost morale by motivating and having employees of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
The concept of having a Cultural Diverse Workforce is gaining popularity in almost all parts of the world especially Canada, the USA, and Europe. Many organizations have realized that having a diverse workforce does not only reduce cultural & ethical discrimination but also is an important ingredient of the organization producing a good performance.
Organizations should acclimatize with the cultural diversity of their workforce by being sensitive to aspects such as age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, and so on. They should also enhance communication between these different people in order to enable them to work as a team.
Taylor, Cox Jr., (1993). Ethnic work force diversity in organizations, koehler – berrett publishers.
John, Fernandez, P., (1991). Control of a diverse work force, Lexington books.
Odette, P. and Gonzalez, R., (1994). Diversity dynamics: Strategies for Organizations, Crisp publishers.