Successful Management of a Diverse Workforce Essay examples

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Successful Management of a Diverse Workforce

Being successful at managing workforce diversity involves attracting and retaining the highest quality individuals in the talent pool. For managers it means learning how to manage human potential sensitively. It requires an ever-increasing awareness of how people from different backgrounds deal with authority, communication, overall business etiquette, and relate to their communities of affiliation. Successful management of workforce diversity is a process that takes place in many stages and on many levels. It requires managers to first recruit a competent and qualified staff, then to accommodate individual needs within the context of the work team and the organization.

However, the key
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Diversity is not an initiative, trend, or program. It is not tolerance, but acceptance. Diversity is a new reality, and failure to understand, value, and accept diversity can adversely affect an organization.

Erroneous Assumptions

Diversity is emerging as a major issue in the workplace today, yet most employers are not prepared to deal with it. Nor are their managers. Many managers grew up having little contact with other cultures. They are actually "culturally deprived," and their academic training did not cover the kinds of situations that arise in today's multicultural settings. (Copeland, 2004.)

Most traditional models of human behavior and management methods - as well as many of the recommendations in bestsellers such as The One-Minute Manager and In Search of Excellence – are based on implicit assumptions of a standardized white male workforce. The most widely taught theories of motivation mirror the white male's own experience and attitudes. Some of those methods can be startlingly counterproductive when applied to women or to blacks, Asians, Hispanics, or American Indians. HR specialist, Lennie Copeland (2004) cited the following examples (p143):

• A manager, thrilled with a new technique developed by one of his American Indian employees, rewarded her with great fanfare and congratulations in front of her peers - just as the management books suggest. Humiliated, she didn't