In the present days business world of cut throat competition, it is crucial that organizations place significance on their most important resources – employees. It is observed, that in the world characterized by cultural diversity, businesses should implement workforce diversity initiatives in their daily operation. As per experts, businesses which implement individuals from a diverse background, is better enabled to understand the market and the demographics of the consumers, rather than an organization which has a limited recruitment policy. Workforce diversity is achieved by an organization when it employs people hailing from diverse background and nationalities and provide a common platform and environment for them to interact and operate profitably.
As per scholar Taylor Cox Junior, organizations can be divided in three specific groups depending on their initiatives of workforce diversity. These types are – monolithic organization, where workforce diversity is minimal, and employees from one native background is favored; plural organization where some amount of diversity can be observed in comparison to monolithic organization and is characterized by one dominant background with presence of some other minorities and lastly multicultural organization, where individuals from very diverse groups are placed together and healthy conflict is encouraged amongst them.
Workplace diversity is promoted and encouraged by management groups of organizations, as such a phenomenon is associated with a number of benefits. Diversity in the workforce promotes better understanding of market situations and more efficient problem solving and decision making. Greater sense of innovation, creativity can be witnessed in a typical multicultural work environment. Stagnancy of the organization is effectively removed. One important benefit which propels workforce diversity, is better understanding of the market. When an organization is composed of employees of similar backgrounds, their market knowledge gets limited, and too much expertise on the same topic happens. On the other hand, individuals hailing from different background have diverse knowledge banks, understanding of their own and neighboring countries, cultures etc. Such knowledge helps the organization to enter new markets, understand specific cultures and modify their operations to suit such and enjoy profitability.
Though workforce diversity has a host of benefits, it has its own share of challenges too. As people coming from different backgrounds have their own set of beliefs and ideologies about any single aspect, more chance of conflict generation exists in a multicultural environment. Also another challenge for the organization is the process of inclusion of the culturally diverse members into its dominant workforce to result in a conducive environment. Managing diversity is a crucial challenge for the management, but if done in an effective fashion will reap a number of benefits for the same.