importance of the workplace diversity for the organization

 

Need to develop a better understanding of the importance of the workplace diversity for the organization “Happy smiles dental care” that would help the organization manage a diverse workforce and maximize the benefit from a diverse workforce.

 

Introduction

Diversity in the workplace is a part of every organization and this also especially true for the service sectors like health care as the way the people in the organization identify themselves and their perceptions of the others which affects the efficiency of the team and their service quality (McMahon, 2010). This is true in every workplace but in the healthcare sector, there is an extra dimension to the understanding diversity. The service quality and the perception of the needs of the different individuals are greatly influenced by the understanding of the workers about the differences of the individuals and respecting those differences (Schermerhorn et al., 2014). Therefore, for the organization, “Happy smiles dental care”, the report is not only important for the development of team cohesiveness and efficiency but also the care quality for the individuals by perceiving their specific needs. 

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Discussion

The diversity in a workplace can come from various dimensions and each of them has different levels of impact on the coordination and the understanding of the team and the development of the team cohesiveness. While the there are numerous factors that can be classified as diversity from an individual or group based view, they can be mainly classified in different dimensions like the race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion or socioeconomic status (Patrick & Kumar, 2012). The race, while being a social construct from a bygone era still has a huge impact on the way people identify themselves and stereotype each other. While being one of the most effective dimensions of workplace diversity this is an unscientific segregation (Bond & Haynes, 2014). The gender is also a dimension that is from an era when the women were not allowed to work and the diversity and personal perceptions are based on the professional skill and competency of the individual. The ethnicity while being a more scientific form of diversity based on actual differences that can be defined by culture and genetics are in no way any less effective in a team setting. The different ethnic and cultural factors of the individuals in a group setting often leads to lack of cohesion and coordination because of the perceptions of the cultural stereotypes (Bond & Haynes, 2014). These beliefs, often wrong, influence individual or group perceptions and behaviours towards an ethnic minority in the workplace that might not only lead to communication gap but also resentment. The religion is also another such belief that while being less important can lead to resentment and offence because of misconceptions about the different religions. The same is true for sexual orientation, which has no bearing whatsoever on the personal skills and competency of a worker but can affect the workplace environment adversely. 
The above differences that are explained are most of the cases are not based on fact but personal; views and beliefs which affect the interactions within the team which affects its cohesion and effectiveness. The differences while having no basis on the personal skills and professional competency, can affect the performance of the team as whole because of the lack of coordination and feelings of resentment towards coworkers. The issues, while being great, can be addressed easily by the team leaders and each member by facilitating understanding and fostering an environment of acceptance (Chrobot-Mason & Aramovich, 2013). In the personal aspect of the behaviour of an individual at work, the differences can be avoided by treating all fellow coworkers in the same manner without making any assumptions or cultural or other stereotyping to affect the personal communication. This can be facilitated on a personal level by forthcoming with information about the different forms of diversity. It can be done by doing research about the different factors causing diversity and the different myths about those factors that can cause offence to a coworker (Okoro & Washington, 2012). Respect an treating the individual based on their personal skills without making any assumptions about the different factors that might make them different as groups or an individual is the best way to address the issue. A person can precipitate the same by giving information about the different cultural beliefs or misconceptions that are existent about the different religions or sexual orientations. If a person is forthcoming in defending his beliefs or lifestyle choices by speaking against common misconceptions before they cause issues within the workplace can avert majority of the problems (Kalonaityte, 2010). 
Strategies for battling the different diversities within a workforce affecting the work environment and performance are based on information available about the factors that cause diversity. There are some simple precautions that can be taken to avert any such issue from affecting the performance and cohesion of the workforce. The preliminary standard procedure is for the implementation of a sensitivity training for the staff where they gain the knowledge on how to be sensitive to the personal differences and prevent them for inadvertently causing offence by ignorance (Babalola & Marques, 2013). This is only a preliminary preventive measure, the success of which is dependent on the willingness and flexibility of the individuals going under the training. Another strategy for the development of understanding about the differences is initial icebreaker sessions between the team members at the time of appointment that can be effective in disabusing stereotypes and develop the basic understanding of the differences that can help relate them to the common factors and thereby developing team cohesion. However, some of these beliefs and stereotypes are so embedded in the understanding of the individuals that the understanding cannot be developed in a session, which needs some disciplinary measures in place to ensure diversity acceptance (Chrobot-Mason & Aramovich, 2013).  The strategic move for a preventive and correctional measure, therefore, needs to be implemented in tandem to ensure the workplace diversity to effectively harness the full potential of the workforce and ensure good relations and cooperation within the team. 
Advantages of being a diverse workforce are many which make this report of great importance for the future performance of the organization as a whole and the individual's teams. The adaptability of the workforce is increased exponentially by the workplace diversity and the adaptability affects the knowledge base to manage the different customers who are for different backgrounds and thus give them specific service that is otherwise impossible. The team cohesion and personal understanding of the diversity of groups and individuals can also help broaden the service range that goes behind mere technical knowledge and this is especially important for the “Happy smiles dental care” as our customers are from different walks of society and even more diverse than our workforce. Thus, the customer satisfaction can be increased by diversity management policies of the workforce. As the different diverse segments of the workforce have their own unique viewpoints that address the different service areas there is diverse input regarding the service that results in all rounded development of the organization. This also influences the adaptability of the organization as a whole that makes the organization more progressive through the organizational culture that embraces change (Okoro & Washington, 2012). The diverse opinions of the workforce and the acceptance of the same from rest of the workforce also improve the overall capabilities of the workforce. The improved executive stance makes the organization-wide implementation of any strategic change more efficient and the negative effect of the same on service minimal.

Conclusions and recommendations  

The diversity in the workforce, when managed correctly, can be an asset to the organization because of the various strengths of the workforce that promote the individual capabilities through acceptance and respect towards the differences of the individuals in the team setting. Therefore, diversity in the workforce can be an asset to the organization while management correctly and the same can hinder the operations (Neault & Mondair, 2011). The organizational policies that are in place for promotion of the diversity in the workplace need to be reviewed to ensure continuous improvement of the policies to include different diverse groups and minorities in the workforce. It is clear from the current understanding that disciplinary measures, while somewhat effective in developing acceptance of the diversity, can also increase resentment (Barak, 2016). The organization, therefore, should consider the other proactive measures like the introductory session for each staff and other team building exercises. The sensitivity training and controlling mechanism for the management of the diversity and inclusion of all employees in the organizational therefore needs to be formulated and then implemented to ensure that company can take advantage oft eh diverse viewpoints from the diverse workforce that broadens the service range of the of the organization (Yang & Konrad, 2011). Therefore, the organization needs to implement a set of diversity management rules along with proactive measures like training to utilize the workforce diversity fully for their competitive advantage. It is therefore expected that the company through the proposed changes would not only ensure optimal performance but also make the organization able to efficiently serve a more diverse customer base and ensure their satisfaction. 

References

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Barak, M. E. M. (2016). Managing diversity: Toward a globally inclusive workplace. Sage Publications.
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Chrobot-Mason, D., & Aramovich, N. P. (2013). The psychological benefits of creating an affirming climate for workplace diversity. Group & Organization Management, 38(6), 659-689.
Kalonaityte, V. (2010). The case of vanishing borders: Theorizing diversity management as internal border control. Organization, 17(1), 31-52.
McMahon, A. M. (2010). Does workplace diversity matter? A survey of empirical studies on diversity and firm performance, 2000-09. Journal of Diversity Management, 5(2), 37.
Neault, R. A., & Mondair, S. (2011). Supporting workplace diversity: Emerging roles for employment counselors. Journal of Employment Counseling, 48(2), 72-80.
Okoro, E. A., & Washington, M. C. (2012). Workforce diversity and organizational communication: Analysis of human capital performance and productivity. Journal of Diversity Management (Online), 7(1), 57.
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Schermerhorn, J., Davidson, P., Poole, D., Woods, P., Simon, A., & McBarron, E. (2014). Management: Foundations and Applications (2nd Asia-Pacific Edition). John Wiley & Sons.
Yang, Y., & Konrad, A. M. (2011). Understanding diversity management practices: Implications of institutional theory and resource-based theory. Group & Organization Management, 36(1), 6-38.

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