MARKETING AFRICA MAL 18/17 mal 18:17 online - Page 86

• • • • Training is essential in institutionalizing diversity in the organization. A Diversity Council can be an effective culture change agent, if structured and staffed appropriately. Accountability for managing diversity is a shared responsibility, with expectations to be met. Measuring and celebrating the measures of organizational success. Benefits of Workplace Diversity An organization’s success and competitiveness depends upon its ability to embrace diversity and realize the benefits. When organizations actively assess their handling of workplace diversity issues, develop and implement diversity plans, multiple benefits are reported as enumerated here- under: Increased adaptability: Organizations employing a diverse workforce can supply a greater variety of solutions to problems in service, sourcing, and allocation of resources. Employees from diverse backgrounds bring individual talents and experiences in suggesting ideas that are flexible in adapting to fluctuating markets and customer demands. Broader service range: A diverse collection of skills and experiences (e.g. languages, cultural understanding) allows a company to provide service to customers on a global basis. Variety of viewpoints: A diverse workforce that feels comfortable communicating varying points of view provides a larger pool of ideas and experiences. The organization can draw from that pool to meet business strategy needs and the needs of customers more effectively. 84 MAL 18/17 ISSUE ‘‘ There are always employees who will refuse to accept the fact that the social and cultural makeup of their workplace is changing. They want to stick to the old way of doing things and this mentality silences new ideas and inhibits progress. ’’ More effective execution: Companies that encourage diversity in the workplace inspire all of their employees to perform to their highest ability. Company-wide strategies can then be executed well; resulting in higher productivity, profit, and return on investment. Challenges of Diversity in the Workplace Communication: Perceptual, cultural and language barriers need to be overcome for diversity programs to succeed. Ineffective communication of key objectives results in confusion, lack of teamwork, and low morale. Resistance to change: There are always employees who will refuse to accept the fact that the social and cultural makeup of their workplace is changing. They want to stick to the old way of doing things and this mentality silences new ideas and inhibits progress. Implementation of diversity in the workplace policies: This can be the overriding challenge to all diversity advocates. Armed with the results of employee as sessments and research data, they must build and implement a customized strategy to maximize the effects of diversity in the workplace for their particular organization. Successful Management of Diversity in the Workplace: Diversity training alone is not sufficient for the organization’s diversity management plan. A strategy must be created and implemented to create a culture of diversity that permeates every department and function of the organization. Steps for Implementing a Culture of Diversity Recommended steps that have been proven successful in world-class organizations include the ones listed here-under: Assessment of diversity in the workplace: Top companies make assessing and evaluating their diversity process an integral part of their management system. A customizable employee satisfaction survey can accomplish this assessment for the company efficiently and conveniently. It can help the management team determine which challenges and obstacles to diversity are present in the workplaces and which policies need to be added or eliminated. Re-assessment can then determine the success of the diversity in the workplace plan implementation. Development of diversity in the workplace plan: Choosing a survey provider that provides comprehensive reporting is a key decision. That report will be the beginning structure of diversity in the workplace plan. The plan must be comprehensive, attainable and measurable. An organization must decide what changes need to be made and a timeline for that change to be attained. Implementation of diversity in