Friday, March 16, 2012

Diversity in the Workplace

Diversity in the Workplace
Susan Littlefield
Organizational Behavior Business 610
Robert Tielman
December 4, 2011
Diversity in the Workplace
When one looks to change diversity in the workplace one has to look at the positive aspects of having a diverse work environment where workers can learn about each other’s differences and learn new ways to achieve goals both personal and professional. “In Business Advantages of Diversity in the Workplace”, the author Michael Lee speaks to the fact of the importance of focusing on the positive aspects of how to bring diversity to the workplace that by, “Integrating workers from culturally diverse backgrounds into their workforce companies will become much stronger,”(Lee, 2011). Positive aspects that he discusses include the following increased creativity & productivity, new attitudes & processes and new solutions for solving different problems can affect the company in a positive way by learning about workplace diversity (Lee, 2011). Also looking to the proactive approach of defining how to initiate workplace diversity Rose Mary Wentling wrote in her research paper called, “Diversity Initiatives in the Workplace: Work in Progress at the University of Illinois” and she lists many aspects that can be used to transition a diversity program. New strategies for training through education and effective diversity tools –which means education for all workers, building teamwork with diverse a workforce and making the environment a happy one all these factors will have both a personal and professional impact on the company and its values (Wentling, 2011).
New Initiatives
            Lee speaks to the fact sometimes that we forget how lucky we are to have people who have different backgrounds than us because they will bring new ideas showing what concepts are important to them (Lee, 2011). The more ideas that one group has means that the stronger the end result will be, when in a group meeting someone may suggest a really great idea that another group of people would have never thought about. Having a team meeting will help to remind people that everyone is human and not a machine and that even though they are a team and may sit in different areas and speak to different people throughout the day that this is a great check-in time to discuss news. Diversity meetings should be scheduled weekly or monthly and then people will come to look forward to them and they would know that this is a safe place to voice ideas about improving diversity. Including food is always a plus, people will be happy to come to a meeting even though at first their thoughts are on getting fed the underlying factor will be this is time for the team. Having a leader who can go through the important parts of the diversity training will make the time be productive and sometimes having more than one person speak to the group will more advantageous.  The more comfortable people feel the more they will speak up in a group.
Introducing Training
            Diversity training should happen for sincere reasons, although some companies do it because it is social, legal or the “In thing,” we should look at the overall benefits that will help to bring workers who may feel left out such as women, people of color, those who have disabilities, older workers or gays and lesbians (Wentling, 2011). Some of the concepts that Wentling suggested include training and education programs to all workers and not just top management, mentoring minority employees- without judgment and offering compensation for a job well done that is not discriminatory (Wentling, 2011). People enjoy getting different types of rewards for doing their work for example pizza parties, an extra hour off at lunch or even a paid day off will be an incentive for and employee to work harder because some people want to know what is in it for them. Some people become lazy in their way of thinking just because something is the way it is does not mean that it can never change and through changing points of view people will know that they have control over what happens.
Future Trends
It is hard to change how a society thinks or what values a company will take on to get to the bottom-line, that sounds like such a ugly word because the people factor is not what is considered and that is why it is so important to study organizational behavior. If there were an easy way for a light switch to come off in people’s heads to help them with awareness, a move to spiritually, concern for each other and not just what is in it for me then people would actually be happy at work. Lee suggests that by adding diversity training to companies these following things will be achieved, professional goals, productivity will exceed past results, profits will be increased, and new approaches will be implemented, stronger teams will be built and companies who do promote diversity will be looked at as social leaders (Lee, 2011). These are all positives outcomes but do business people have time or want to make the effort to do this additional training? Some may think it is a waste of time, but the companies who are aware of the results and the payoffs will be more likely to spend time and take the initiative especially if the human factor is a plus for taking on a diversity program.


Lee, M. (2011, Decemeber 4). n business advantages of diversity in the workplace. Retrieved

Wentling, R. (2011, Decemeber 4). Diversity initiatives in the workplace: Work in progress at the university of illinois . Retrieved from Diversity Initiatives in the Workplace

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