The research examines elements of organizational diversity. The analysis of these elements focuses on understanding the benefits and challenges they have on the organization. The seven features include race, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, disability, and cultural orientation. The analysis of these elements will focus on understanding how they help managers and supervisors to recognize various ways of incorporating diversity management. A reflection on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of different elements of organizational diversity will determine how leaders manage a diverse workforce.
Infographic: Organizational Diversity
The globalized workplace environment finds it imperative to embrace diversity. Leaders engage in measures that consist of an inclusion program to enhance the company’s culture. The infographic in fig 1 below indicates that diversity consists of different related factors, such as cultural orientation, race, gender, social-economic status, disability, religious beliefs, and sexual orientation. Analyzing the seven elements reveals the foundation on which organizational diversity presents benefits and challenges to leaders in managing human resource initiatives.
|Weaknesses||High cost of infrastructural development|
|Opportunity||Increased employees engagement|
|Threats||Specialized training to achieve performance|
Disability characterizes challenges of mobility. Various forms of disability range from limitations in movement, and vision, mental health challenges, and learning abilities. The strength of disability to organizational diversity allows leaders to achieve an inclusive human resource environment. Leaders who promote diversity tend to accommodate people with disabilities. According to Dover, Kaiser, and Major (2019), organizations that embrace diversity thrive in the dynamic marketplace. Incorporating disability as part of managing diversity is significant in realizing various perspectives and enhancing employee engagement.
The weakness of diversity as an organizational diversity element is incurred costs to develop infrastructure such as ramps to make the workplace accessible. The wrong perception about disability may harm the working relationship among employees, affect work productivity, and damage morale, leading to stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. The leaders may use these prejudice and stereotypes to decide retention, hiring, and termination practices (Cletus et al., 2018). Thus, diversity in the workplace creates equal opportunities and fairness among employees.
Incorporating employees with disability into the organization creates different opportunities. Leaders who work with people with disability show equality and increased employee engagement strategies. The threat of implementing disability elements entails specialized training for employees. In most cases, employees with disability need training to allow them to deliver their services. Also, the leaders may find it a threat to hire consultants to train their employees with disability.
|Strength||Promotes unique perspectives.|
|Weaknesses||Poor communication because of the language barrier.|
|Opportunity||Enhances innovation and creativity|
|Threats||Deep-rooted bias creates disharmony among employees|
Race plays a critical role in diversity management. The sensitivity of racial discrimination has forced managers to promote equality and inclusion of people regardless of race or ethnicity. Engaging people from different racial groups bring unique perspectives to the organization. Higher innovation and creativity is the primary benefit of diversity in the workforce. Roberson (2019) outlines that diversity helps leaders and employees create the framework for learning. Organizations with racially diverse employees tend to have a higher competitive advantage.
The weakness of racial diversity is poor communication. Leaders who embrace diversity find communication a barrier with employees who speak different languages. Leaders that fail to manage racial diversity in the workplace may find issues with communication. Cletus et al. (2018) reiterate that poor communication leads to mistrust among employees, unintentional offense, and unclear practices among the teams.
Organizations with higher racial diversity enjoy the benefits of increased innovation and creativity. For this reason, racial diversity in the workplace enhances creativity, helps organizations expand their reach, and drives innovation. Businesses with proper diversity management have reported higher profitability from innovative products and services than those with less diverse leadership (Chang & Milkman, 2020). A leadership that can manage the discrepancies that come with people from different races sets significant circumstances for the supervision of human resource management.
The threats of judgment, discrimination, and favoritism may emerge in organizations with racial diversity. The deep-rooted bias creates disharmony and suspicion, affecting organizational performance. The definite challenge is helping employees feel a sense of belonging or even making a smooth transition in the workplace.
|Strength||Organizational efficiency and creativity.|
|Opportunity||High innovation and creativity|
Age creates generational beliefs. Most human resource practitioners categorize employees as baby boomers, generation X, Y, Z, or millennials. People from different age groups have diverse perspectives. The strength of age diversity in workplace efficiency and teamwork coordination.
The weakness of age diversity is conflict because of divergent worldviews. Age diversity may create a challenge in managing conflicts. Leaders in contemporary organizations are likely to encounter conflict among employees from different generations.
Age diversity provides organizations with opportunities for creativity and employees engagement. Therefore, the principle is that employees from diverse age groups and generations can bring fresh perspectives to the organization’s operations. The emerging threat is the generational conflict between younger employees and old employees. Age differences create the likelihood of misunderstanding, miscommunication, and conflict in people from different social backgrounds.
|Strength||Promotes tolerance and equality.|
|Opportunity||Teamwork and cooperation.|
|Threats||Negative attitudes and mistrust.|
Employees may belong to diverse religious outfits. Spiritual beliefs and practices determine people’s way of life. A company that promotes religious diversity promotes tolerance and equality in the workplace. As a result, the leaders will have designated places for prayers and respect different religious celebrations. All these will create a diverse work culture and achieve job satisfaction.
Ignorance of religious and spiritual beliefs may lead to conflict and lack of coordination in teams. As a result, they will not ensure that employees integrate into different roles and positions. Organizations that embrace religious diversity tend to have a rich organizational culture. The outcome is that leaders operate in an environment that enhances decision-making and achieves problem-solving.
The threat of religious diversity may entail suspicious among employees that affect productivity. Also, managers may face the challenges of dealing with work productivity and personnel losses because of complaints from diverse perspectives, prejudice, and discrimination among employees (Dover, Kaiser, & Major, 2019). For this reason, differences in religion capture the extent to which negative attitudes and behavior are barriers to organizational diversity.
|Strength||High performance due to competitiveness.|
|Weaknesses||Harassment and discrimination.|
|Opportunity||Employee retention and job satisfaction.|
Sexual orientation entails the attraction that employees of the opposite gender have with their counterparts. Although it aligns with personal affairs, the main strength is allowing employees to be highly competitive. Employees with different perspectives are likely to compete globally, strengthening the organization’s reputation and brand.
The weakness of sexual orientation diversity is increased workplace harassment and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Sexual diversity holds the key to organizational success. The learning and integration perspective posits that diversity enhances the skills, skill experiences, and attitudes of people from diverse environments.
Sexuality allows the organization to create safety for diverse sexual orientations, such as LGBTQ. As a result, the workplace increases employee retention and job satisfaction. Human resource personnel encouraging integration into the workplace tend to be more committed to the organization (Roberson, 2019). Leaders who appreciate heterogeneity in the company’s human resource tends to realize higher productivity, enhance their performance and allow the organization to meet its goals. The threat of sexual orientation includes harassment.
|Weaknesses||Gender gap pay.|
|Opportunity||Teamwork and cooperation.|
Gender indicates the representation of women and men in the workplace. Gender diversity is about promoting equality between men and women. Therefore, the strength of this element of diversity is to address the gender gap in pay, where both men and women receive equal pay. Gender diversity management is a continuous process that applies a set of procedures. Therefore, leaders must ensure that the human resource management strategy cultivates innovation and harmony in the organization (Chang & Milkman, 2020). It emerges that effective management of diversity in the workplace ensures that minority groups, such as women, participate in its day-to-day operations.
There is a weakness in gender diversity. For instance, men might receive more pay than their female counterparts. This input sometimes leads to organizational conflicts and challenges leaders to combat discrimination and promote inclusiveness. Promoting gender diversity creates opportunities for teamwork. As a result, there is a likelihood of fairness and equity in managing human resource factors.
|Strength||Equality, fairness, and inclusion.|
|Weaknesses||Negative attitudes and discrimination.|
|Opportunity||Teamwork and cooperation.|
Diversity in the socioeconomic backgrounds of employees shapes the attitudes and behaviors that these employees adopt. The significance of managing socioeconomic diversity touch on promoting fairness and equality. Leaders need to develop aspects that strengthen the workforce’s commitment to equal opportunities in promotion and hiring. Through workplace diversity, the leaders in an organization ensure that programs promote equality and fairness.
The main weakness is the problem of integration. Dover, Kaiser, and Major (2019) indicate that some leaders may find issues integrating diverse employees. The problem manifests when organizations fail to develop effective programs to help with diversity management for employees with different socioeconomic dimensions.
Diversity management ensures that organizations yield higher innovation among employees, increase creativity, promote employee engagement, and provide different perspectives among teams. The impact of diversity is increased productivity, brand reputation, and the leader’s ability to attract, recruit and retain the best talents in the organization. However, leaders face challenges in managing diversity, which falls on the spectrum of discrimination. Managers need to develop programs that can enhance communication and integrate the differences that emerge from the diversity of employees.
Chang, E. H., & Milkman, K. L. (2020). Improving decisions that affect gender equality in the workplace. Organizational Dynamics, 49(1), 100709.
Cletus, H. E., Mahmood, N. A., Umar, A., & Ibrahim, A. D. (2018). Prospects and challenges of workplace diversity in modern-day organizations: A critical review. HOLISTICA–Journal of Business and Public Administration, 9(2), 35-52.
Dover, T. L., Kaiser, C. R., & Major, B. (2019). Mixed signals: The unintended effects of diversity initiatives.
Roberson, Q. M. (2019). Diversity in the Workplace: A review, synthesis, and future research agenda. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 6, 69-88.