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Workplace Diversity - Business Discipline

Essay by   •  January 23, 2012  •  Essay  •  956 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,227 Views

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Workplace Diversity is a business discipline that today's organisations recognize as a priority. Businesses recognize that diverse, talented employees are critical to organisations' success. Rooted in social justice and civil rights legislation, diversity has evolved from a term first associated with fair hiring practices and inequality to an imperative business strategy for many organisations.

Diversity can be defined as all the ways in which people differ. This includes the demographic differences such as age, race, gender, ethnicity, religion and culture; and differences in personality, values, talents, skills and perspectives.

With the advent of globalization, the exponential increase in technology and the rise in competition, maximizing and capitalizing on workplace diversity is an important issue for businesses today. Organisations derive benefits in people management, organisational performance and in business strategy. These approaches are reflected in the policies and practices of the organisations. One such policy supporting this is the staffing policy which includes recruitment and selection as well as promotion and career development.

Organisations with strong recruitment, promotion and career development policies identify diversity as an asset and seek to incorporate it in every aspect of the organisation's framework. These policies are aimed at expanding the pool of qualified candidates from which to create a workforce better representative of the community or client base the company serves.

When staff diversity is a main focus, organisations have the ability to:

* Respond to changing workforce demographics including greater participation by all groups within the company structure

* Strengthen collaborative modes of working by accentuating interdependence, partnerships and alliances

* Build innovation, creativity and problem solving through supporting multi-cultural and multi- disciplinary teams

* Advance social justice and equality

* Improve retention and hiring of highly qualified staff

* Excel in performance and reputation

The staffing policy should incorporate the organisation's guide regarding the sourcing of candidates through the recruitment process. This includes the way the organisation advertises for vacancies. To attract and encourage a greater diverse range of applicants, the company should seek to advertise through both the traditional main stream media as well as directly targeting specialist recruitment groups. For example disability recruitment agencies, local and regional media and face to face recruitment drives aimed towards diverse associations.

An organisation's selection process should guard against consciously or subconsciously choosing an applicant because of his or her similarities while similarly discriminating due to differences. Given the focus on interpersonal communication during the process, it is important that the selection panel eliminate personal biases and discrimination when evaluating candidates. This is particularly important when selecting for traditional 'gender type' positions. For example selecting a female candidate over a male candidate for the position of a secretary based solely on gender, as jobs should not be specific to gender or any specific group. Moreover, when designing compensation packages,

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