Human Resource Diversity as a Management Challenge

Introduction

The success of any business organization largely depends on the extent to which management is effective within a company. Some of the most successful businesses and multinational organizations derive their strength and progress from efficient management approaches. Such teams are usually spearheaded by qualified personnel and dedicated work force which operates round the clock to ensure that the organizational goals and objectives are adequately met. However, it is a fact worth noting that no organization goes through the day to day processes without facing challenges. Some of the management challenges are so colossal, that when they are not countered in time, may lead to the downfall of an organization. It is, therefore, up to the manager to come up with the necessary counter measures which would ensure that these challenges are minimized and efficiency enhanced within the fraternity. Taking into consideration various management challenges facing organizations today, this paper highlights the aspect of cultural diversity as one of the core challenges to effective management within organizations.

 

Diversity as a Management Challenge

As one of the key management objectives, a manager should install strategies that ensure a united and motivated workforce. The ability to bring the human resource together to operate towards a common objective acts as an effective strategy for successful management. These efforts are often challenged by the aspect of diversity within workforce. Diversity at work place can be caused by differences in age, class, educational backgrounds, gender as well as an individual position at work. Each of these groups are characterized by varied personalities, behaviors, beliefs and interests, etc. It may, therefore, be a complicated task for the management to enhance a collective workforce in the environment which is defined by diversity. This paper, therefore, highlights how diversity within workforce has been a management problem at my work place. The discussion also highlights some of the strategies that can be put in place to offer a long lasting solution to this challenge.

Diverse workforce may involve an organization comprising workers with different religious and cultural backgrounds. Such individuals are usually guided by different beliefs and values. On the other hand, an organization has its own set goals and objectives. It may therefore be a challenge to the manager if some of the values highlighted by the organization go against the religious beliefs of a worker. Diversity along religious and cultural lines has brought the lack of cohesion in certain management teams. The individuals not supported by these values tend to be reluctant in offering their best to the organization. Such cases may lead to low performance and poor motivation within the human resource department.

Secondly, diversity may be caused by differences in class and educational backgrounds. When individuals with different educational backgrounds come together, getting them to operate within the standard level which is effective for organizational progress is a key task. Such differences when not placed under proper control may lead to the development of negative attitudes towards one another. This culminates in poor performance since wrong attitudes give room for disunity and lack of collaboration at work place. Diversity due to class and educational backgrounds may, therefore, result in a disjointed human resource, hence a challenge to the management. For instance, depending on job description and professional experience, a supervisor may emerge to be less educated than the ones below. When members of the department establish that the one leading them has less educational achievements compared to them, there may be grumbles and complain among the workers. Such cases develop a volatile working environment which may be projected int poor performance as the case in most organizations today. In addition, those high in the organizational hierarchy may consider themselves of a higher class than the ones below. Such attitude leads to poor motivation and low self-confidence especially among the juniors within workforce. The variations within workforce caused by differences in class and educational backgrounds may serve as a challenge for the managers in their bid to enhance a united workforce.

The other challenge associated with a diverse human resource is the aspect of diversity in languages. An organization may comprise individuals who speak different languages. The native language of an individual has a strong link with their cultural orientations. Since most organizations employ workers from different cultures, the aspect of variation in languages is quite inevitable. Diversity along linguistic grounds results in the challenge of language barrier and poor communication. In order to enhance the success of any management strategies, managers should put in place the most effective and productive communication approaches. This implies that efficient communication within an organization remains the vital element in ensuring the smooth running of day to day activities. The aspect of language barrier within an organization caused by cultural diversity within workforce serves as the major challenge to most managers.

The last challenge which can be associated with diversity within workforce is the aspect of gender difference. We live in the world where certain societies still believing more in masculine power in comparison to feminine force. Such beliefs tend to grow into major management concerns, especially in the case where management positions are occupied by women. Due to the relatively huge gap between males and females in terms of representation within the corporate arena, diversity due to gender remains the major threat to effective management.  In some cases, employers discriminate the women and prefer men over them for certain responsibilities. This acts as a great hindrance to development and progress especially as witnessed by women within the corporate arena. Bringing males to work together within females has been a challenge to most managers. This is due to the popular belief that men is the best suited for certain responsibilities, hence women may never have a chance to work in such positions.

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Solutions

As highlighted in the discussions above, the aspect of diversity within workforce comes with a number of challenges. These challenges ought to be countered in good time using the right measures hence sustaining the organization. The main approach which can be put in place by the management involves bringing together the human resource. This strategy involves making the goals and objectives of the organization as clear as possible to the workers. As such, the challenge associated with diversity in beliefs and values can be appropriately mitigated. For instance, when the company goals are made aware to the employees, the strategy ensures that those who make a commitment to the company do so devotedly.

Secondly, the management should carry out activities which enhance team building. These can include exhibitions and conferences. During such avenues, the human resource is educated on the vital role of teamwork and proper cohesion within workplace. Such exposures minimize the challenge of disunity among workers caused by variations in class and educational backgrounds. Employees should be guided by their personal interests, qualification, beliefs and values. However, the organizational goals and objectives have to serve as the main guideline to each individual within organization. In addition, managers should put in place the right strategies which ensure effective communication within organization. The challenge of language barrier as a result of diversity within workforce can be countered by using the right communication tools. The right choice of media when it comes to communication ensures that the message passed is not distorted but reaches the intended audience appropriately.

From the discussion above, it can also be established that diversity may lead to low motivation among the members of human resource department. Wrong attitudes and beliefs coupled with disarray within workforce leads to poor motivation among employees. Poorly motivated workers are likely to perform poorly. As a counter measure, the management ought to establish the root cause of poor motivation among workers and hence, come up with strategies that would see the confidence and enthusiasm within the workforce revived.

Conclusion

The aspect of diversity within workforce may lead to various management challenges, hence the need for counter measures. Diversity may emerge from differences in culture, class, educational backgrounds, languages and gender etc. It is, therefore, one of the core responsibilities of the management team to ensure a united workforce despite the mentioned variations. Unity within workforce can be established through appropriate avenues which may include trainings and exposure on various workplace aspects. When  manager enhances the unity at work, the motivation among employees is likely to increase, and hence an improvement in the performance. The success of an organization is basically pegged to the efficiency of the management approaches put in place by the leadership. It would equally be important to note that there are inevitable challenges one is bound to meet in the execution of duties. The right counter measures should be set up in order to ensure that the management challenge does not let the organization down.

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Oct 8, 2020 in Research
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