Workforce diversity is one of the most important and broad-based challenges currently facing organizations. While globalization focuses on differences between people from different countries, workforce diversity addresses differences among people within given countries. Workforce diversity means that organizations are becoming more heterogeneous in terms of gender, race, and ethnicity (Exhibit 1– 4). It is an issue in Canada, Australia, South Africa, Japan, and Europe as well as the United States. 2. Embracing Diversity A melting-pot approach assumed people who were different would automatically assimilate. Employees do not set aside their cultural values and lifestyle preferences when they come to work. The melting pot assumption is replaced by one that recognizes and values differences. 3. Changing U. S. Demographics
Members of diverse groups were a small percentage of theworkforce and were, for the most part, ignored by largeorganizations. Todayo47 percent of the U.S. labor force are women.oHispanics, Blacks, and Asians make up 28 percent but willgrow to 49 percent by 2050. othe labor force is aging. By 2014, those 55 and older willmake up 20 percent of the labor force. oworkforce diversity has important implications formanagement practice. 4.Implicationsorganizations have shifted to recognizing differences andresponding to those differences. companies are providing diversity training and revamping benefitprograms to accommodate the different needs of employees. D.Improving Quality and ProductivityAlmost every industry suffers from excess capacity. Excess capacitytranslates into increased competition that forces managers to reducecosts and improve productivity and quality at the same time. Implement quality management programs driven by the constantattainment of customer satisfaction through continuous improvement. To improve productivity and quality, managers must include employees. E.Responding to the Coming Labor ShortageIf trends continue as expected, the United States will have a laborshortage for the next 10-15 years (particularly in skilled positions). The labor shortage is a function of low birth rates and labor participationrates (immigration does little to solve the problem). Wages and benefits are not enough to keep talented workers. Managersmust understand human behavior and treat employees properly. F.Improving Customer ServiceToday the majority of employees in developed countries work in servicejobs. Eighty percent of the U.S. labor force is in the service industry. Examples include technical support reps, fast food counter workers,waiters, nurses, financial planners, and flight attendants. Employee attitudes and behavior are associated with customersatisfaction. G.Improving People SkillsPeople skills are essential to managerial effectiveness. OB provides the concepts and theories that allow managers to predictemployee behavior in given situations. H.Empowering PeopleToday managers are being called coaches, advisers, sponsors, orfacilitators, and in many organizations, employees are now calledassociates.
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- Spring '18
- Jane Sochs
- Management, Organizational studies