Diversity in Management : The Future is Now
Diversity management is one effective technique to address talent shortages and is the solution for success in a highly competitive global market. The concept refers to organizational efforts designed to cultivate a sense of inclusion and belonging for employees from diverse backgrounds. In many ways diversity management is viewed as a form of human resource management. In 2020, the use of technology became an essential function for business operations during the pandemic, and dramatically impacted the global talent market. Therefore, diversity management and employer branding strategies are a necessary response to the global diversification of the workforce.
Today, companies can hire and manage employees around the world and in different time zones thanks to advancements in technology. Businesses are designing programs to promote employee inclusion and retention, with an eye toward diversity. However, interest in creating and executing inclusion and diversity programs dates to Lyndon B. Johnson’s Civil Rights Act of 1964 which made employment, school, and voter discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, and national origin illegal. Research into the concept of diversity and the benefits of diversity management has been attracted by the globalization of the world economy and the spread of multinational corporations. Effective diversity management practices focus on creating open environments that engage a global workforce that is cultivated within and between multiple countries.
Categories of Diversity For Management
International diversity management
International diversity management involves managing a workforce that includes citizens or residents of different countries. This can also involve hiring immigrant workers who desire employment.
In one example, a U.S.-based company with branches in Ghana, China and Dubai will establish diversity programs and policies that apply to its U.S. headquarters as well as its international sites.
The main challenge is that multinational companies must deal with the challenge of adhering to the laws and customs of countries where they operate.
Intranational diversity management
Intranational diversity management involves managing a workforce that includes both citizens and immigrants within a single national context. Diversity programs aim to recruit employees from historically underrepresented populations or people that have recently immigrated.
For example, a South African company may implement policies and programs aimed at increasing sensitivity toward minority ethnic groups, as well as their employment.
Classifications of Diversity in Management
Self-Initiated and Voluntary
Many diversity management programs are self-initiated measures that are defined by the leaders within an organization; and there are no incentives from the government or other entities to encourage organizations to implement such programs. Unlike sanctions, which are imposed by the government for failure to adhere to diversity policies and legislation.
The benefits are quantifiable
In the past, diversity management was viewed as a legal constraint. Now, companies use the strategy to tap into their employees’ potential and give the company a competitive advantage in its industry. A diverse workforce enables the organization to better serve clients from all over the world—a diverse workforce can understand their clients’ needs better than one that is not.
Best Practices of Diversity in Management
Organizations should implement the following best practices to maintain a competitive edge and also take advantage of their diverse workforce:
Recognize that diversity and affirmative action are not the same thing
While affirmative action programs have been implemented in various nations, organizations must keep in mind that such programs are not the same as diversity.
Diversity management is more than simply regulating the absence of discriminatory practices concerning factors like hiring processes, benefits, time off and holidays. But rather it is an intentional process that requires a shift in organizational culture. People with diverse cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds bring unique work styles, thoughts, and perspectives to organizations that add value to the overall workplace environment. When managing a global workforce, all those important factors should be considered.
Identify talent in new places
With more people leaving the workforce than joining it, organizations must employ fresh talents immediately. Most companies prefer to recruit fresh talent from within their own industry through competitor organizations and graduate schools. Enabling workforce agility with a particular focus on the internal mobility of diverse talent within the organization is an excellent idea.
Furthermore, to better meet the needs of a global market, companies should consider looking beyond traditional sources when hiring new employees. They should also identify transferable skills and look to other talent pools, such as veterans exiting the military and historically underrepresented groups. Hiring individuals with diverse skills and knowledge can help companies to deliver better quality services. Moreover, companies should adopt fact-based assessments that review information on candidates’ key strengths and talents, combined with sophisticated algorithms to improve the fairness and quality of the hiring process.
Diversity should be a key component of the company’s objectives
Organizations should not be afraid to show the world that they embrace diversity and work with people from all backgrounds. Authentic corporate social responsibility initiatives enhance employees’ identification with their organization, improve retention rates, and promote cross-cultural engagement between the global workforces.
Create a safe space for dialogue on diversity-related issues.
Organizations should create affinity resource groups to help employees from similar backgrounds connect and find a sense of belonging. These groups are an excellent way for diverse employees, and their allies, to find support.
When employees feel connected to their colleagues and supervisors, they’re engaged in their work and more likely to perform well. One way to increase employee engagement is to create opportunities for mentorship, networking, and socializing among the staff. Successful employees can show new hires how they found success at the organization and mentor them as their careers progress. Establishing these informal connections with fellow colleagues will encourage them to stay with the organization.
Top-level commitment to initiatives
Organizational leaders should identify accountability measures to insure progress towards established goals. Workplace diversity can thrive only when the top management of a company buys into it. Senior executives have the power to establish diversity policies and can weaken or strengthen those policies by their commitment (or lack thereof) to them.
The goal of diversity management is usually to create a more inclusive workplace, where employees can feel comfortable expressing themselves freely and bringing their whole selves to work. This is especially important for companies that want to attract and retain top talent, but it’s also important for any company that wants to be able to adapt quickly in an ever-changing world.
For organizations to create a truly diverse environment, they need strategies that go beyond simply hiring people who look different: they need strategies that include everyone in meaningful ways and allow them all to thrive.