Challenges Of Developing Workplace Diversity Programs

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CHALLENGES OF DEVELOPING WORKPLACE DIVERSITY PROGRAMS While the business case for highly developed and well maintained diversity programs has been documented by countless sources, a fully functional, equitable diversity management program comes with challenges. While there is a certain value in assimilation into a company, it can be difficult to fully get all employees on board when they come from different demographic groups due to the different life experiences they have had. With total assimilation into a standard norm of behaviors and expectations, there is also the possibility for loss of the expression of different perspectives when there is an expectation that all should share the same values, thought patterns and frames of…show more content…
(Canas, 2014) But meaningful change is nearly impossible to achieve without employees buying into the new system. Mitchell Holt identified three common challenges to effective implementation of diversity initiatives: resistance, poor communication, and disorganization. (Holt) Interestingly enough, communication problems not only come about due to lack of clarity from management, it is also a side effect of a diverse workforce as well. Perceptual, cultural, and language barriers need to be overcome in order to effectively communicate to diverse groups. (Greenberg, 2004) In order to effectively communicate to a diverse group of employees, it is prudent to use a broad range of communication techniques. “People from some cultures don 't trust information that comes directly from a manager, for example, preferring that the word comes instead from a leader of the employee group, a headman, or shop foreman.” (Ribbick, 2003) Even when workers come from a homogeneous cultural background, the method to effectively communicate with them can vary drastically. Members of the Baby Boomer generation may prefer an in person chat or a phone call while Millennials prefer e-mails or text messaging. (How to Manage Different Generations, n.d.) Millennials and members of Generation X are known for their dislike of the formality of large in person meetings, especially when there
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