Workplace diversity refers to the differences between the employees working in an organisation. It might sound simple but diversity covers race, ethnicity, age, ethnic group, education, cultural background, personality and many other things. It has been found that managing diversity in a workplace is one of the key issues that haunt human resource managers as there are always issues related to management of diversity. Differences in perceptions, thinking, behaviour, personalities, etc. make it very difficult to keep a diverse workforce together but an organisation’s success or competiveness can be dependent upon its ability to manage workplace diversity and realizing the benefits of it (Multiculturaladvantage.com, 2016).
The present day companies are trying their best to recruit a diverse pool of talent as it helps them in adding competencies in their human resources. They have realized the benefits of having a diverse workforce and are trying their best to have a diverse workforce and manage it in the most appropriate way. The positive effects of diversity on a workplace are that diversity in the workplace helps in brining diverse talent from all around the world and the productivity increases when all of them get together and work for achieving common goals. People coming from diverse backgrounds and with diverse personalities have their own way of tacking the issues that are pertaining in the workplace (Patrick and Kumar, 2012). Therefore, diverse minds coming together foster a greater creativity in the workplace and can discover innovative ways to solve problems. Another major effect of diversity on the workplace is that it helps a workplace in gaining competitive edge in the market and makes it easier for the management to attract and retain talent. It also helps the workplace in increasing its business and capturing a greater market share because a diverse workforce is able to appeal to a greater customer base. The negative effects of workplace diversity are that diversity in the workplace means that there will be a lot many means of expression in the workplace. As employees originate from diverse backgrounds, they communicate in different ways and languages. Such a thing can cause confusion and frustration in the minds of the workforce (Smallbusiness.chron.com, 2016). Even though some people claim that workplace diversity can help in increasing the customer base and increasing the business of a company, some people have also experienced an increase in the initial operating costs as the workplace has to make heavy initial investments in order to accommodate diversity in the workplace. Some companies are not actually capable of managing diversity in the workplace. As a result, they end up implementing workplace diversity without any prepared strategy. Such companies can face a lot of legal problems as the employees start to discriminate amongst each other, which can have a lot of negative effects on the reputation of the workforce. A lot of diversity in the workplace can sometimes cause a lot of problems for the employees. Increased diversity can bring about a change in the relationships and nature of the workplace. Diversity changes in the workplace can cause stress amongst the employees as there are a number of cultures that exist in the workplace and the employees start to resist the culture of the other employees (Smallbusiness.chron.com, 2016). The role of managers has also become complicated since the concept of workplace diversity has become famous. The managers have to now manage a lot of diverse employees, which requires a lot of knowledge about cultures and communication styles. As we all know that people from diverse backgrounds have diverse cultures and communication styles, it becomes essential for the managers to have knowledge about them and establish coordination amongst all the employees (Darden, n.d.). Further, it has also become important for the managers to form teams comprising of diverse workforce and direct them towards achieving the organisational goals and objectives. It also falls upon the managers to handle the diversity carefully so that the chances of discrimination are reduced (Amaram, 2011).
Workplace diversity has positive as well as negative impacts on the workplace but with proper management and strategies, diversity can help companies in achieving a lot of competencies and market opportunities.
Boundless.com. (2016). [online] Available at: https://www.boundless.com/management/textbooks/boundless-management-textbook/diversity-in-a-global-business-world-15/creating-a-diverse-workforce-109/managing-organizational-diversity-500-10582/ [Accessed 26 Aug. 2016].
Smallbusiness.chron.com. (2016). [online] Available at: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/diversity-affect-workplace-10510.html [Accessed 26 Aug. 2016].
Smallbusiness.chron.com. (2016). [online] Available at: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/negative-effects-diversity-workplace-18443.html [Accessed 26 Aug. 2016].
Amaram, D. (2011). Cultural Diversity: Implications For Workplace Management. JDM, 2(4), p.1.
Multiculturaladvantage.com. (2016). Diversity in the Workplace: Benefits, Challenges and Solutions. [online] Available at: https://www.multiculturaladvantage.com/recruit/diversity/diversity-in-the-workplace-benefits-challenges-solutions.asp [Accessed 26 Aug. 2016].
Darden, D. (n.d.). Diversity in the Workplace. SSRN Electronic Journal.
Patrick, H. and Kumar, V. (2012). Managing Workplace Diversity: Issues and Challenges. SAGE Open, 2(2).
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