diversity an multiculturalism

Topics: Hearst Corporation, Business, Houston Chronicle Pages: 16 (2772 words) Published: October 10, 2013
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Workplace Diversity
Advantages and Disadvantages of Diversity in Workplace
by David Ingram, Demand Media

Managing workplace diversity can strengthen work teams.
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Diversity in the workplace encompasses a range of elements. Differences in national origin, primary language, religion, social status and age can benefit or harm organizations. Managing diversity effectively is the key to leveraging the advantages and minimizing the disadvantages of diversity in the workplace. Ads by Google

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Markup P&IDs to instantly share process feedback. Free Trial.www.bluebeam.com Diverse Experience

Co-workers with diverse cultural backgrounds bring unique experiences and perceptions to the table in groups and work teams. Pooling the diverse knowledge and skills of culturally distinct workers together can benefit companies by strengthening teams' productivity and responsiveness to changing conditions.

Each employee in a diverse workplace possesses unique strengths and weaknesses derived from their culture in addition to their individuality. When managed properly, diversity in the workplace can leverage the strengths and complement the weaknesses of each worker to make the impact of the workforce greater than the sum of its parts. Learning And Growth

Another advantage of workplace diversity is the opportunity for employees' personal growth. Being exposed to new ideas, cultures and perspectives can help individuals to reach out intellectually and gain a clearer view of their surroundings and their place in the world. Spending time with culturally diverse co-workers can slowly break down the subconscious barriers of ethnocentrism and xenophobia, encouraging employees to be more well-rounded members of society. Communication Issues

Diversity impacts workplace communication in positive and negative ways. Between co-workers, diversity can place impediments in the way of effective communication, which can directly dampen productivity and the cohesiveness of small groups. Spending time with diverse employees can break down communication barriers over the long-term, but first impressions and co-workers' orientation periods can be difficult to control when cultures clash.

Diversity can strengthen your company's relationships with specific customer groups by making communication more effective. Customer service representatives can be paired up with customers from their specific demographic, making the customer feel comfortable with the representative, and thus with the company. A number of companies in the southwest United States, for example, prefer to hire bi-lingual customer service reps to deal with Spanish-speaking customers in their native language. Integration Issues

Social integration at work can only be influenced to a small degree. The formation of cliques and exclusive social groups is a natural process that can be impossible to control at times. Because of this, companies can experience informal divisions in their staff, creating a situation where culturally diverse employees avoid...
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