In recent years, there has been a demographic shift towards a more diverse population within workplaces. Research conducted by the Pew Research Center estimates that by 2055, the United States will no longer have a particular race or ethnic majority. Therefore, organizations that learn to embrace and promote cultural diversity within their organizations will hold a distinct advantage in terms of expanding their businesses internationally. Cultural diversity refers to the existence of a variety of differences among individuals within the same organization. These differences may be a result of the race, sexual orientation, religion, citizenship status, mental and physical conditions, and gender. Diversity does not only encompass how an individual identifies themselves but also how others discern them. Managing a diverse population can be a major challenge, especially if one lacks suitable administrative skills. It is natural to want a manual on how to approach diversity. Unfortunately, there is no particular strategy that fits all situations in different or similar contexts. In this reality, management must evolve from the traditional practices and approaches of recruitment, retention, and motivation of women and ethnic minorities.
Advantages of cultural diversity
Having a diverse and multicultural workplace increases creativity and productivity. Different people come in with different ideas and perspectives of doing things. These put together result in better solutions for existing problems. A more diverse workforce means there are more talents with a broader range of skills to choose from. Division of labor is made possible in an organization where the administrator hires workers from different cultural backgrounds. Hiring workers from different cultural orientations results in a wide pool of workers who are specialized in different fields within the organization ( Bacud, 2020, p. 162). This will result in the organization reaching the target financial target and obtaining the best out of the workers.
It also increases cultural awareness, enabling a company to appropriately deal with the numerous nuances of a global market. For example, a company that intends to expand its business to China and has an employee who speaks Mandarin/becomes an asset and gives them an advantage in creating better work relations with their new Chinese partners. Reputations play a major role in the success of an organization.
Administrative approaches and strategies for managing cultural diversity
Discrimination and fairness approach
In this approach, the administration aims at eliminating all forms of bias, prejudice, and discrimination by making proactive plans to create equal and fair opportunities for everybody within the organization. This makes the organization congenial to both personal and professional wellbeing and also improves how all the employees understand and accept the cultural differences present. For this approach to be successful, organizations introduce counseling and monitoring and career development plans for all employees. The employees may be diversified to either a great or small extent, but their work never gets diversified. It is important for an administrator in an organization to take advantage of the strengths of different workers by delegating duties to them to which they are best suited (Kuzubov et al., 2018, p. 622).
Access and legitimacy approach
In this approach, the management focuses on making their employees accept all the individual differences and channelizing them into a beneficial manner. For example, cultural differences could be used to serve the diverse group of people that would be willing to consume their products or services. Therefore, the essence of this approach is to create an environment with a better understanding of diversity so that they can achieve a better understanding of the customers. Its main focus is on celebrating the differences with zeal and enthusiasm and assigning duties to the employees according to their cultural backgrounds (Dahanayake et al., 2018).
Learning and effectiveness approach
This approach unites the different individuals associated with an organization to improve their learning ability through the cultural differences among them. Organizations using this approach focus on having open discussions and ensuring that the existing differences are valued and respected by everybody. They aim to enhance the employees’ effectiveness by understanding their thoughts and perspective. Having interpersonal learning among the workers enhances the growth of the organization, therefore, improving the team spirit within the organization. Workers from different backgrounds relate together and they share their different outlooks and approaches in life and this will provide deeper insight and understanding into each other’s culture (Roberson, 2019, p. 73). An administrator should plan and organize the working schedule in a manner that allows different cultural backgrounds to work together and this way creates harmony, creates a sense of belonging, and therefore boosts the motivation of workers. This team spirit created is essential for the success of the fundamental operations of the business.
In conclusion, accommodating different cultural backgrounds is important in an organization as workers with different cultural orientations work together for the prosperity and profitability of the business. Therefore, the business should be centered in a manner that accommodates the different cultural orientations to facilitate the maximum performance of each employee to achieve the business goals. A business needs to have cultural diversity as it is not the differences that divide the employees but rather the refusal to accept and embrace the differences.
Bacud, S. A. D. (2020). Henri Fayol’s Principles of Management and Its Effect on Organizational Leadership and Governance. Journal of Critical Reviews, 7(11), 162-167.
Dahanayake, P., Rajendran, D., Selvarajah, C., & Ballantyne, G. (2018). Justice and fairness in the workplace: a trajectory for managing diversity. Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion: An International Journal.
Gomez, L. E., & Bernet, P. (2019). Diversity improves performance and outcomes. Journal of the National Medical Association, 111(4), 383-392.
Kuzubov, A. A., Shashlo, N. V., Petruk, G. V., & Korostelev, A. A. (2018). Developing a supply chain subsystem to manage the process of obstacle elimination for the innovative development of business entities. International Journal of Supply Chain Management, 7(5), 621-631.
Roberson, Q. M. (2019). Diversity in the Workplace: A review, synthesis, and future research agenda. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 6, 69-88.
Siddiqui, A (2020). Management of Cultural Diversity at Workplace. K.G. Publications