Managing Workforce Diversity
The diverse workplace managers now encounter in the 21st century requires supervisors to have the skills to be able to effectively manage diverse people in the workforce. This presents a challenge for all supervisors at all levels. Diversity management can impact all aspects of an organization and should be viewed by supervisors as both a challenge and an opportunity. Diversity management now encompasses many different considerations, including legal, demographic, economic, generational, and political. Initiatives and efforts to better manage a diverse workforce are growing significantly, primarily due to the recognition that this area has become a vitally important aspect in the overall long term success of an organization.
Protected-group employees are usually classified by racial or ethical origin, gender, age, physical and mental impairment, and religion. Supervisors must be made aware of the legal protections these groups are afforded, as well as the role of legislation plays regarding the protected-group employees. When managing subordinates, racial/ ethnic minority employees, supervisors should try to reduce the impact of past discrimination. A supervisor needs to be mindful of cultural factors and language differences to encourage a supervisor’s sensitivities to minority employees.
Since women are now holding positions once only held by men, supervisors must try to ensure that women are provided fair opportunities as they advance into a greater variety of career fields. The avoidance of sexual harassment and stereotyping is mandatory in the workplace. Human resources policies must stress the importance of training and opportunities for women, nondiscriminatory treatment during pregnancy, and flexibility in resolving family care conflicts and problems, and equality in compensation.
The ADA, Americans with Disability, Act prohibits employment discrimination for individuals with physical and mental disabilities. The ADA does not allow certain pre-employment inquires and physical examinations of job applicants. This act also requires employers to reasonably accommodate employees with essentials for performing components of a job, for example, elevators in a two story building for a wheel chair bound individual.
The working environment of the twenty first century has proved to be one of the most generational diverse of our time. However, combining workers from different generations can be as volatile as mixing chemicals in a laboratory. Mixing seniority minded Baby Boomers who are focused on climbing to the top in one career with techno-savvy Millenials who are more prone to having two or three careers simultaneously it is no surprise that conflict is inevitable. While Baby Boomers and even some traditionalists seek the seniority and rewards they have earned for their long and loyal service, Generation X struggles to identify their place in the feeding chain. Then there are Millenials who enter the scene, bringing stellar technology skills with them that put their older more experienced counterparts to shame. Even with such diversity, there are definitely some strong attributes each generation brings to the workforce. The key to minimizing conflict between these generations in order to work as one cohesive unit is predicated upon identifying each other’s strengths and collectively implementing these strengths into daily tasks. In addition, it is also imperative to understand each generation’s values pertaining to work ethic s. By having each generation’s perspective in mind this can enhance productivity towards achieving work related goals and initiatives. With the understanding that there is not a superior generation in the work industry, each generation has contributed to making the work force as it is today good, bad, or indifferent. Altogether, it is unequivocal that these