Global workforce diversity management

08/10/2021 1 By indiafreenotes

Workforce Diversity is a term that refers to a situation where employers appreciate and value individual differences within the workplace, where heterogeneous workforce is established as well as allowed to perform to it potentials in an equitable work environment. Cascio (2010) refers to it as a pragmatic business strategy that focuses on maximizing the productivity, creativity, and commitment of the diverse workforce while meeting the needs of diverse consumer groups. However, the challenge of a diverse workforce to most 21st century organizations is on how to create a work setting in which each person can have an opportunity to perform to his or her full potential and therefore compete for promotion and other rewards on merit alone. Hence, the concept of workforce diversity has been the result of different forces from global business environment.

In the 21st century, workforce diversity has become a major competitive factor for many organizations that are to become global competitors than the others. Hence, carefully creating an environment that is inclusive of a diverse workforce, companies will be in a position to outperform their rival one. The contributions that a diverse workforce has to overall global organization’s growth in the 21st century is as discussed in details as follows:

It is notable according to Lieber (2010) that when companies discover that they can communicate better with their customers through employees who are similar to their customers, hence those companies realize that they have increased their internal diversity and as the result they are able to retain both employees and their consumers.

In connection to that, the study by the society for Human Resource Management by Aghazadeh (2004) found that:

(a) 91% of employees reported that diversity initiatives helped their organizations compete in the marketplace.

(b) 79% believed that their diversity programs improved corporate culture.

(c) 77% said that diversity programs improved recruitment efforts.

(d) 52% indicated that diversity programs facilitated more effective client contact.

Enhance on organizational performance

The current literature reveals the fact that the relationship between diversity and organizational or group performance can be either positively correlated or negatively correlated. Diversity according to Gandossy et al. (2006) can be classified in two perspectives such as demographic and cognitive, and demographic diversity includes things like gender, age, race and ethnicity and on the other hand cognitive diversity includes knowledge, education, values, perception, affection and personality characteristics of an individual from a diverse work group.

Hence, the attributes, knowledge, education, perception as well as personality that an individual or group brings to the workplace if well managed, is considered to have positive contribution to the overall organization’s effectiveness and performance. That’s why Bergen (2005) noted that there have been many contemporary studies on demographic diversity and its effect on organization’s performance. It is notable according to Roberson and Parks (2006) that a diverse workforce results in higher perceived levels of overall company’s performance, profitability and return on equity. This is because diversity results in greater knowledge, creativity and innovation and thus, organizations tend to become more competitive than its competitor.

Moreover, organizations with the inclusion work environment tend to attract and retain the best talent available who are the key ingredient for generating creative ideas that in turn impact on organization’s performance. The fund so accrued due to lower turnover and fewer lawsuits as the result of retention through diversity inclusion programs enhances organization ability to increase more investments that in turn affect positively organization performance. This is because according to Deloitte (2011), an environment where employees feel valued and given freedom to pursue at their best tends to yield greater commitment as well as motivation to succeed and this means that fewer resources spend on grievances, turnover and the replacement costs that in turn re-invested to more projects.

For companies want to take role in global diversity, there are two possible approaches to take, which will depend on the organization’s structure and culture. One approach/role is a multicountry approach, where programs and initiatives are developed and implemented by people in various locales. This model is typically exercised by much decentralized companies, and can be beneficial because local leaders take ownership of the initiatives. And these leaders and councils look for detailed local knowledge of customs, laws and cultural issues that require to be addressed. Local commitment tends to be higher in experiencing this approach. On the contrary, however, the lack of overarching corporate guidance may mean unsuitable levels of work across regions. And typically, companies using this model do not have dedicated global diversity staff, but rather personnel that are working on diversity in their spare time. A second approach to global diversity that is more suitable for more centralized organizations is a topdown approach where diversity is hard-wired into all business units from the corporate level.

Companies experiencing this approach maybe sure about consistency in message and offer assistance with development and implementation of programs. However, care must be taken to ensure that local commitment is implemented.

Currently many companies with multinational operations have started to consider diversity as a global initiative, have developed a global business case, and have implemented some programs outside the US. They usually have a dedicated global diversity staff that provides assistance worldwide. But while there is clearly increased focus on diversity outside the US, for many companies it is less apparent how to approach the challenge, and many organizations struggle with how to expand their ongoing domestic efforts outside the US.