refers to any perceived difference among people: age, race, religion, functional specially, profession, sexual orientation, geographic origin, and lifestyle, tenure with the organization or position and any other perceived
difference. Diversity is more than equal employment and affirmative action.
Diversity management is ensuring that factors are in place to provide for and encourage the continued development of a diverse workforce by melding
these actual and perceived differences among workers to achieve maximum productivity. Diversity management involves creating a supportive culture where all employees can be effective. In creating this culture it is important that
top management strongly support workplace diversity as a company goal and include diversity initiatives in their companies' business strategies. It has grown out of the need for organization to recognize the changing workforce and
other social pressures that often result. Diversity is more than being politically correct; it is about fostering a culture that values individuals and their wide array of needs and contributions.
Why Diversity Management?
Employees of organizations are becoming increasingly heterogeneous. With the passing of days, diversity is going to be an important issue for the HR manager for the following reasons:
* A large number of women are joining the work-force.
* Work-force mobility is increasing.
* Young workers in the work-force are increasing.
Ethnic minorities' proportion constantly in the total work-force is increasing.
* International careers and expatriates are becoming common.
* Necessity of international experience is felt
for career progression to many top-level managerial positions.
Benefits of Diversity Management
More specially, diversity when built into organization at different levels, offers the following benefits:
* Easy entrance to a changing market situation.
* Large scale business transformation.
* High quality customer service.
* To give power to work-force.
* Total quality
* Alliances with suppliers and customers.
* Uninterrupted learning process.
Guidelines for Diversity Management
The following are some important guidelines to manage diversity effectively:
* To consider female employee needs, such as child care and job sharing, to prevent their turnover.
Commitment from top management towards value diversity is a pre-requisite.
* To arrange mentoring programme by senior managers to identify promising women and minority employees and play an important role in
nurturing their career progress.
* To arrange diversity training programmes to bring diversity awareness and educate employees on cultural and sex differences and how to respond to these in the workplace.
* There should be an apprenticeship programme to trained promising prospective employees properly before they are actually hired on a permanent basis.
* Employer should set up a support group to
provide a nurturing climate for employees who would otherwise feel isolated or alienated.
* To conduct diversity audit to review the effectiveness of an organization's diversity management programmes.
* There should be a proper communication which includes speeches by senior executives, inclusion of diversity in corporate vision statements, the publication of diversity brochure and inclusion of diversity as a topic in
new employee orientation.
* Managers need to be sensitive to the needs of working parents.
R. Mondy and Robert M. Noe, Human Resource Management, 9th
edition, Pearson Education, Delhi, 2006.
K. Aswathappa, Human Resource and Personnel Management, 4th edition, Tata McGraw-Hill, New Delhi, 2006.
Matti F. Dobbs, "Managing Diversity: Lessons from the
Private Sector", Public Personnel Management 25 (September 1996): 351.
Lin Grensing-Pophal, "Welcoming Diversity", Credit Union Management 25 (October 2002): 28-31.
"Diversity: A 'new' Tool for Retention", HR Focus 77 (June), 14.
C.W. Von Bergen, Barlow Soper and Teresa Foster, "Unintended Negative Effects of Diversity Management," Public Personnel Management 31 (Summer 2002): 239-251.
"Communications, Funding, Affinity Groups Fuel Diversity Program," HR Focus 80 (April 2003): 9
Melissa Solomon, "Create Diversity in Culture, Ideas", Computerworld 36 (May 6, 2002):42-43.
Suzanne C. de .Janasz, Interpersonal Skills in organization, McGraw-Hill, 2002, p-146.
Luis R. Gomez-Mejia, Managing Human Resource, PHI, 2003, p-139-145.