Valuing Diversity in the Workplace

Valuing Diversity in the Workplace

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Managers continuously strive for organizational improvements both financially and throughout the workplace. I believe it is important for Managers to value the diversity in the workplace by recognizing their workplace composition, and the cross-culture differences and similarities.

Valuing diversity in the workforce can assist a manager or an organization in developing and utilizing all of the human resources available. Valuing diversity can be defined as, “valuing the vast differences between people within an organization.” Our text defines valuing diversity as: “means putting an end to the assumption that everyone who is not a member of the dominant group must assimilate.” In today’s work environment the workforce may consist of numerous employee’s with various ethnic backgrounds and ages. These diversities give an organization the opportunity to obtain new ideas or alternative solutions to a complex problem. Organizations that value diversity tend to have more creative, motivated and productive employee’s. The employee’s feel more valued and tend to have less interpersonal conflicts and have a greater sense of teamwork. An example of a Company that expresses the importance in Valuing Diversity would have to be Home Depot. If you view the following link: https://careers.homedepot.com/cg/content.do?p=divinitiatives Home Depot openly expresses their Value on Diversity. During an interview with a Human Resource Manager at Home Depot he openly stated how they value each employee by acknowledging that within the workforce there is a vast diversity in culture, age and knowledge. At times management rely on this diversity to acquire solutions to complex problems. Valuing Diversity is an essential step to creating a stronger relationship between the employees and the organization.

Recognizing the workforce composition in an organization is important because there can be various races, sexes, and ages within the workplace. Certain people can be accidentally insulted if not properly informed of cultural behaviors. Culture is defined as, “is the set of shared values, often taken for granted, that help people in a group, organization, or society understand which actions are considered acceptable and which are deemed unacceptable.” An example of how important acknowledging culture in the workforce would be comparing Thai and American Culture. In the Thai Culture people tend to speak low tones, never touch another person’s head, and never point with their feet or show the bottom of their feet to another individual. Feet are considered spiritually as well as physically the lowest part of the body.

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Another important thing to remember is that greeting in Thailand is done saying the person’s first name followed by Khun and then bowing clasping your hands together as if in prayer. In America we tend to speak loudly at times, if we are close to an individual we may knuckle rub another person’s head, and occasionally prop up our feet on a coffee table exposing our feet to other individuals. These actions if done towards a Thai individual would appear to be very insulting and disrespectful. These very same actions if done in the workplace towards a Thai Individual would be insulting and could destroy a business relationship.

The cross-culture differences and similarities are important to acknowledge as it involves human behavior. Through general observations one can observe similarities and differences among cultures and use this knowledge to incorporate it to improve an organization. An example of a cultural similarity would be how the Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Korean and people from Taiwan bow as a gesture of respect. Another similarity in the cultures in Japan, China, Thailand, Korea and Taiwan is about Buddhism and how with the right thinking and self-denial will enable the soul to reach nirvana. These cultural similarities can be used to create and strengthen relationships with potential investors. An investor in America can use this knowledge in cultural similarities by bowing respectfully to an Asian investor gaining respect by showing respect. With that stated knowing the differences in cultures can also assist in creating a respectful workplace. For example a person from America may view meetings a place for being punctual; however, in Thailand it is acceptable to be late for a meeting due to traffic conditions. If the individual from America didn’t know the culture of Thailand it may be misunderstood as the Thai individual is not reliable. So as one can see knowing the similarities and differences in cultures is important to consider.

Valuing Diversity is important to consider. Globalization has allowed business to perform business deals domestically and internationally. The workforce is made up of various cultures and each culture is unique. It is impossible to please everyone in an organization but by acknowledging that there are similarities and difference it is the first step in creating a respectful workplace.



Works Cited

“Thailand Culture and the People of Thailand.” Horizon Thai Boxing Camp Ltd. 2006. At http://www.horizonmuaythai.com/Thailand/culture.html#business_customs
“The Linguistics Journal.” Linguistics journal. 1999 – 2009. At http://www.linguistics-journal.com/June2006_pc.php
“Doing Business in Thailand/Thai Social and Business Culture.” Communicaid Group Ltd. 2009. At http://www.communicaid.com/access/pdf/library/culture/doing-business-in/Doing%20Business%20in%20Thailand.pdf
Griffin, R., & Moorhead, G. (2010) (pg.231). Organizational Behavior (9th Ed.). Mason: South-Western.
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