In this research paper, I review some aspects of workforce diversity that any human resource manager should have in mind before undertaking to develop an efficient and sustainable workforce diversity program. This is important for any organization that dreams of achieving its organizational goals and objectives. The papers in my research volume, however, address only a few of these aspects but more can be done for one to fully understand workforce diversity effectively.
Workforce diversity can be defined as the similarities and differences that employees in any firm possess in regard to their age, religion, work experience, physical abilities, gender, cultural backgrounds, likes, and dislikes.
Maintaining a diverse workforce
In achieving and maintaining a diverse workforce, successfully attracting and hiring the desired employee mix is only the first step. The next most important step for the organization is to win the loyalty of its employees. This ensures that they remain committed to its mission and vision statement. It can only be done by maintaining a well-motivated workforce. The following are some of the elements that ensure a well motive workforce:
Serene working environment
Such an environment is one that is employees friendly, it allows employees to perform their duties under minimum stress. In order for an organization to achieve such an environment, first, it should ensure that the required tools and equipment to perform different tasks are not only available but also adequate.
Second, the management should be well versed with the laws and regulations that govern workforce diversity as they are in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It should also be well provided with leadership skills in order to efficiently lead a diverse workforce while appreciating the role of diversity in goal achievement.
Employees with special physical disabilities should also be considered for special arrangements such as accommodation if such arrangements do not cost-ineffective. This will help them to deliver their services to the organization conveniently and aptly.
In addition, an organization will be required to maintain a program that encourages its employees to advance their skills, this is done through such programs as promotions based on academic merit and bursary funds for those wishing to further their education.
Besides, an organization can develop mentoring programs for its employees. Organizations also undertake to train all its employees through investing in training. This also keeps employees motivated since they feel esteemed.
Team building is also one major element that helps to maintain a diverse workforce. This is done through such activities as social retreats where employees come together in a social setup outside the job place. As they participate in different social activities they appreciate their diversity, hence building a stronger team.
Remuneration of the employees is also a major element in maintaining a diverse work force. The systems that reward and engage employees are key to maintaining a diverse, high-quality workforce. All people desire to see their efforts acknowledged. An organization with a fair remuneration policy will have a lower rate of employees turn over than one with a biased remuneration policy. This helps an organization to cut down on the cost of training new employees.
Legal requirements for a diverse workforce
The EEOC requires that managers and supervisors should ensure that they come up with equal employment opportunity programs that comply to federal law. This is requires that:
- Regular meetings between the management and the head of the organizations in which the EEO goals are discussed.
- Diversity should be given priority in the performance of any organization.
- Organizations should increase leadership and management training on workforce diversity.
- Organizations should carry out regular performance evaluations on their employees to determine the ones best qualified for promotions.
Monitoring workforce diversity
The clear indication of success in diversity is when it becomes an organization’s culture. This can be done through a good monitoring system. A monitoring system is used to ensure that the management remains dedicated to diversity. To monitor this continuity, the following must be done,
The organization must carry out periodic analyses of the workforce profile. This helps the management to know how effective it has been in achieving its diversity goals.
The organization must also work closely with the civil rights offices to monitor national complaints with regard to EEO in the organization.
Organizations should carry out regular trend analyses of employees turnover on the basis of race, age, gender, and national origin.
The effectiveness of an organization’s publicity should also be well monitored
Workforce diversity is not only important to any organization that wishes to achieve its goals, but it is also a legal requirement.