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Diversity

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Diversity in the workplace is a reality for all employers. Managing that diversity is an idea whose time has come. Employers of all kinds are awakening to the fact that a diverse work force is not a burden, but it can actually be a strength.

One of the reasons for this development is the increasing diverse marketplace. For example, today when you call many airlines to make flight reservations, the automated attendant asks if you would feel more comfortable talking to a Spanish-speaking customer service representative.

The question is “Who can best understand and serve this changing market?”

It takes a diverse work force at all levels.

The goal of workplace diversity is to respond to these realities and to unleash every employee's potential. The most obvious reason to implement it, then, is to get the most out of a workforce. Additional reasons to diversify a workforce include:

Talent Shortage

Range of customer needs

Demographics

Globalization

Talent Shortage - In an era of critical skills shortages, organizations are finding that they must attract, retain, motivate and utilize their valuable human assets effectively if they are to be competitive and efficient. One theory or concept that this relates to is Job Analysis which comes from Fredrick Taylor. Diversity management can reduce unwelcome turnover. Gene Tucker, who is the Director of Equal Employment Opportunity and Workforce Diversity in Schering-Plough's Pharmaceutical Division, said "In order to ensure that we are competitive with anyone in the global marketplace, we have to be sure that we're getting the best help we can. If you exclude any particular group, by gender, race, or religion, you would be excluding the person who's going to discover the next blockbuster product or someone who can contribute in another meaningful way in marketing, engineering, or elsewhere." So it’s all about gathering talent from everywhere to increase productivity and efficiency.

Range of customer needs - In recent years, organizations have recognized that they can better serve customers in many different markets with a more diverse workforce. Even if the home base of an organization is located in a culturally and ethnically homogenous market, there may be substantial numbers of customers located in other, more diverse communities, either in its home country or abroad.

For example, in communities where other languages dominate, businesses benefit from hiring employees who speak the dominant language. Businesses can also benefit from having diverse workforces design and deliver products in ways that appeal to diverse customers, and from making strategic decisions based on an understanding of how different groups of customers perceive their organizations.

Basically,

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