Managing Diversity in the Workplace

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There is no doubt that the business world is changing rapidly and that many factors are also simultaneously interacting. Perhaps these factors are created by cultural diversity. The online dictionary source, http://en.wiktionary.org defines diversity in the social context as a business strategy encouraging differences in order to compete in a marketplace with a heterogeneous customer base. Diversity in the general population, the work force and the market place give many benefits for organizations. Global managers gain more knowledge on internal diversity in order to maximize the efficiency of their workforce and increase profit margins for their companies. Diversification of the American workforce has changed the way managers interact with their employees. This diversification is due, in part to tighter labor markets, increased immigration, and women entering the workforce. Cultural factors, not present before, have caused managers to develop new methods of tasking, motivating, and educating these diverse employees. Essentially these new methods have been a change in interpersonal behavior, or the way a manager acts and re-acts to employees. This change in behavior was necessary to increase productivity and maintain a competitive edge in the marketplace. Culture is an organized system of learned behavior patterns, always made manifest in a group, making that group distinctive from other groups. This definition has the key element of what culture is; a system of behavior distinctive to a particular group of people. These behaviors range from cultural norms to religious beliefs. In business, the effectiveness of an organization rests on the ability of the management to interact with its employees and to motivate the wo... ... middle of paper ... ... such as accurate interpretations, formal expectations, and positive reinforcement can improve the relationship between manager and employee. Diversity in business today is unavoidable. Due to labor markets, immigration, and the increase in women in the workforce, managers must develop new strategies and behaviors to effectively manage these diverse workers. As culturally different people enter the workforce, organizations need to take advantage of this labor pool. Not only does this resource solve declining labor growth, but it also gives the organization a different perspective in the industry and will potentially bring new diverse customers. Managers who change their interpersonal behavior towards diverse employees and learn to understand the cultural differences between them will undoubtedly increase productivity and gain a competitive edge in the market place.

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