Diversity Issues in Organizations

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Introduction

In the current world, globalization has resulted in the integration of people from different places to live and work together in various organizations. Firms generally rely on the skills and experience of workers to achieve the growth objective of the company. This prompts them to hire professionals with different abilities to provide the services. In the process, employees from varied ethnic, gender, religious, and cultural backgrounds find themselves together working for a single entity. Individuals come with varied worldviews and cultural perceptions that are completely unique in the workplace. Understanding diversity issues in a diverse society is crucial for organizations and individuals because it promotes productivity and positive growth.

Understanding Diversity

Generally, the term diversity refers to having a range of people with different features such as experiences, education, cultural background, gender, culture, and ethnic group. In the organization’s context, it implies the existence of employees with different viewpoints represented within the departments (Hofstra et al., 2020). The workers are completely diverse in the same working environment. For instance, a company that employs males and females practices gender diversity in the workplace.

Organizations tend to fit into the diverse society by incorporating the aspect of diversity. Employers value embracing and enhancing different cultures within the workplace. The hiring of people from different cultural backgrounds presents the firm with arrays of advantages that the company can explore to maximize its benefits. Employees themselves interact and learn more from each other to better their knowledge concerning their beliefs. Bringing individuals with different skills and experiences is critical for a company’s growth (Myrtle, 2017). When workers combine their varied techniques, they easily solve technical problems an organization might face. The combination also improves the firm’s decision-making since ideas are generated from miscellaneous perceptions allowing the management to have a deep understanding of the problem before making the appropriate choice.

Furthermore, a diverse organization can easily create and foster a strong sense of togetherness amongst the group of employees who are underrepresented in the workplace. When individuals realize they are not the only women or persons with different skin colors, then they will definitely feel incorporated and part of the team (Scarborough et al., 2019). In return, the level of engagement improves, thus increasing their creativity and lowering the turnover rate.

Despite the significance associated with diversity in the workplace, there are some challenges that individuals and organizations encounter, which make the process more challenging to incorporate. In most cases, it is difficult for people to understand and embrace beliefs they are not accustomed to. This leads to improper inclusion, which might affect the productivity of individual employees and the success of the corporation. Most organizations’ reputation is destroyed if the management fails to ensure workers comprehend the aspect of heterogeneity in the work environment.

Diversity Issues

Discrimination Issue

Discrimination is a key challenge that organizations face when they diversify their teams. Biases and harassment are most common in the workplace, and the majority of employees have witnessed them based on age, gender, race, and ethnicity. This issue involves treating individual workers differently from other categories of employees. Discernment is very effective and can make employees feel withdrawn from the corporation leading to reduced productivity (Romani et al., 2019). When individuals are discriminated against, they tend to hide their authentic selves, and thus their level of innovativeness, teamwork, and creativity diminishes. This would affect the overall performance of the employees and also hinder the organization from obtaining the best services from them. The reputation of the firm will decline because most of the workers will blame the management for not doing the necessary to eliminate the aspect of negative judgment.

Therefore, it is necessary for the organization to ensure they communicate the importance of diversifying the workplace to the teams to promote inclusivity. A guiding code of conduct should be set to allow people to meet expectations and practice embracing one another. Managers should address diversity during recruitment and every meeting with employees to increase their awareness of a diverse workplace. By continuously addressing staff members, they would be informed about the importance of variety in the growth and performance of the company.

Communication Problem

In diverse teams, this communication issue is common and can affect the group’s performance. Such factors as language barriers, hearing problems, inability to communicate, various styles of information transfer, and preferences can be a challenge to both the organization and its employees. People from different backgrounds are more likely to have varied ways of passing and receiving messages. The uniqueness may cause a total misunderstanding among them when working together as teammates. Without prior identification of similar situations in an organization, there would be unclear criteria for communicating between workers, making the operational activities difficult because of misunderstanding.

In relation to communication preference, based on age difference, young employees may prefer to communicate using a different system than older workers. It is effective to understand the needs of every group and formulate a possible way of including all their fondness. For both categories to remain and feel included, the management may choose to have methods of communication and provide guidance on how the respective members would use the platforms to communicate (Dale-Olsen & Finseraas, 2020). For instance, a corporation that has both young and old generation workers may face the issue where younger team members prefer using Slack while the other colleagues may want to use the phone. To enhance inclusivity, both preferences should be used to make employees feel included.

In case of a hearing problem or language barrier, the organization should ensure clear instructions are given during meetings or delegation of duties. Similarly, proper linguistic should be used so that everybody understands. In extreme cases, interpretation would be required to enable uniform comprehension. When workers can communicate effectively, the rate of teamwork and cooperation will be optimal, and the correlation between them will be improved. Addressing the needs of every staff member would make them more aligned with the organization, and their work productivity would increase to the benefit of the entity.

Slow Decision Making

Generally, diversity brings people with different ideas and perceptions together. When an organization wants to improve its operation, it will be required to conduct internal research among its employees to seek the best reliable path to take. In the process, since most of the workers may have various points of view, several opinions can be generated that would need the management to reconsider before making the ultimate choice. Diverse opinions are beneficial for innovation and enhancing creativity, but the time taken to consolidate them may slow down the firm’s progress toward meeting its goals.

It is important for the corporation to provide adequate time for its staff members to contribute to matters concerning its operations. There should be an open forum for contributing different opinions, even in areas where employees are not experts. This would advance their confidence and make them feel the organization value their ideas. The engagement would make workers motivated and become part of the system, making them deliver efficient services for the firm. Feeling recognized and acknowledged is essential for boosting the work morale of employees; hence they naturally increase their productivity which will significantly benefit the company and its overall reputation in the market.

Cultural Misunderstanding

In the organization, employees come from different cultural settings with different beliefs and values. They can easily misinterpret one another at the workplace, interfering with their relationship and output in general. For instance, looking someone directly in the eye may be perceived as disrespectful in some cultures, while others may view it as a sign of being attentive. When a such variation occurs within the company, it may become challenging for individuals to coexist and form effective teams.

Building a culture of inclusivity in the organization and educating workers about respecting other members’ cultural differences is essential for the firm to progress in a diverse society. When employees recognize and acknowledge that there is variation in beliefs and values from one person to the other, they would easily identify any form of misunderstanding and comprehend it is just that. When individuals are convinced their norms and ways of life are respected by their colleagues, in most cases of misinterpretation, they will allow room for the benefit of the doubt, which is essential in maintaining the relationship between them.

In addition, the organization can enhance and promote cultural education to enable members to have deep insight into other peoples’ beliefs. The aspect would ensure individuals understand why other people behave differently in similar situations. Comprehending each member would result in the formation of a strong workforce that can boost the productivity of the organization (Lall-Trail et al., 2021). Moreover, workers would be able to develop a friendly coexistence with others which is essential for improving their mental health. Therefore, entities should encourage staff members to engage in teaching their fellow colleagues norms to ensure there is inclusivity in the workplace.

Age Range

In the modern world, organizations employ individuals ranging from teenagers to senior adults. The age difference affects their cooperation and participation in most cases, especially when forming teamwork. An entity should be able to formulate ways by which the variation is incorporated effectively to ensure all staff members feel part of the system without discrimination based on their generation. When people respect one another irrespective of their age, personal confidence increases, and creativity also expands, making them more productive.

Acceptance of Alternative Lifestyle

A diversified workplace contains individuals with different lifestyles. Even though an individual’s way of living does not affect their work output, sometimes it becomes a challenge for other staff members to accept their colleagues’ standard of living. An alternative way of living attracts discrimination and disrespect, especially for gays and lesbians (Fletcher & Everly, 2020). When coworkers realize their status, some tend to despise them, leading to less morale and commitment to their roles in the organization. They become uncomfortable in such an environment, and their productivity level drops, affecting their career and the corporation’s performance.

To promote acceptance of individuals with an alternative lifestyle, the organization should ensure it cultivates a culture of respect amongst its workers. When individuals feel respected, irrespective of their life choices, they become confident and effective in delivering their services (Ng & Sears, 2020). Organizations should formulate different techniques to accommodate such individuals by providing necessary support and education about their rights as human beings. This would enable the organization to succeed in a diverse society.

Conflict amongst Individuals

When people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds come together, there are high chances of racism, discrimination, and prejudice finding their way through to the working environment. In such circumstances, the likelihood of disrespect escalates, which prompts the emergence of conflict among the people. If the organization does not find an immediate solution to the issue, it can become violent and interrupt the operational activities of the company. Similarly, frequent feuds at the workplace would make the setting uncomfortable for most individuals, leading to a high turnover rate.

Effective diversity training would help an organization minimize the chances of conflict occurring within the corporation. When employees are well informed and have the ability to coexist with each other irrespective of race, nation, culture, or even religion, they would feel aligned with the system, and their connection develops to better levels. In such an environment, the productivity of people will be increased, and the work morale will be high as well. Proper education and frequent training would make an entity effectively operate and survive in a diverse society.

Religion Issue

Diversity in the workplace brings people with varied religious backgrounds together as coworkers. Sometimes the variation in practices may cause misunderstanding leading to discrimination of an individual based on faith. Such perception can make a person less focused and demotivated to work for an organization. Fostering respect and embracing each other religious beliefs would enable a corporation to enhance a diversified work environment where people feel respected irrespective of their convictions. For example, an entity that employs both Christians and Muslims should ensure the atmosphere is favorable for them to exercise their beliefs accordingly.

Conclusion

In summary, diversity plays a significant role in promoting the growth and success of both organizations and individuals. Having people with diverse skills and knowledge is essential for solving complex problems a company may encounter. It increases creativity through continuous learning and making coordinated decisions from people with varied experiences. Despite the advantages of heterogeneity in the workplace, it brings several challenges to the corporation. For example, diversifying the work environment may lead to an increased rate of discrimination as the employees would evaluate each other based on their race, ethnicity, gender, and cultural background. It can also result in cultural misunderstandings, communication problems, and religious issues, which can greatly impact the overall performance of the workers and the reputation of the organization. Therefore, it is vital for companies to formulate effective ways of creating a diverse workplace where respect and tolerance are critical for enhancing inclusivity. The management should ensure individuals properly comprehend and embrace each other irrespective of their situations to improve their confidence and productivity.

References

Dale-Olsen, H., & Finseraas, H. (2020). Linguistic diversity and workplace productivity. Labour Economics, 64, 101813. Web.

Fletcher, L., & Everly, B. A. (2021). Perceived lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) supportive practices and the life satisfaction of LGBT employees: The roles of disclosure, authenticity at work, and identity centrality. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 94(3), 485-508. Web.

Hofstra, B., Kulkarni, V. V., Galvez, S. M. N., He, B., Jurafsky, D., & McFarland, D. A. (2020). The diversity–innovation paradox in science. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(17), 9284-9291. Web.

Lall-Trail, S. F., Salter, N. P., & Xu, X. (2021). How personality relates to attitudes toward diversity and workplace diversity initiatives. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Web.

Myrtle, B. (2017). Diversity in organizations – with mindtap access (3rd ed.). Cengage Learning.

Ng, E. S., & Sears, G. J. (2020). Walking the talk on diversity: CEO beliefs, moral values, and the implementation of workplace diversity practices. Journal of Business Ethics, 164(3), 437-450. Web.

Romani, L., Holck, L., & Risberg, A. (2019). Benevolent discrimination: Explaining how human resources professionals can be blind to the harm of diversity initiatives. Organization, 26(3), 371-390. Web.

Scarborough, W. J., Lambouths III, D. L., & Holbrook, A. L. (2019). Support of workplace diversity policies: The role of race, gender, and beliefs about inequality. Social Science Research, 79, 194-210. Web.

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