The History About The Workforce Diversity Business Essay
First and foremost, organisations can utilise a diverse workforce to create competitive advantage by improving group creativity. As globalization is increasing in this era, workforce diversity will assist organisations to emerge into the international arena. By increasing the degree of diversity in the workforce, it enhances and improves group creativity and innovation (Lauring and Selmer, 2012). Workforce diversity foster creativity and creativity drives innovation. In a diverse workforce, there are different types of people who think in distinctive ways. The more diverse the workforce is, the more ideas can be generated during a brainstorming session. Although the quantity of ideas does not necessarily guarantee the quality of the ideas, but as there are more ideas contributed, the higher the chance of extracting good ideas from the workforce. The variety in the ways of thinking is a potential source for creativity and innovation. Diversity in the workforce provides a platform to extract and collect information from a large pool of knowledge. To be successful in this uncertain environment, organisations need to be able to innovate so that they can be differentiated from their competitors in the market. Otherwise, the organisation would be just a collection of uncreative people that produce uncreative products and services. A team that is built up from a variety of diverse characteristics individual, comes together collectively can spark creativity and innovation. Different groups of people can contribute non-overlapping resources including knowledge and skills to the group. However, it should be clarified that in order for the potential to be realized, effective group processes are necessary. The degree to which effective group processes can occur is determined by the workforce’s motivation. Members of the workforce must have a high level of epistemic motivation and be willing to put in the effort to think critically about the task in hand. Members of the group must also have a high level of pro-social motivation and be able to cooperate with others. In an organisation with diverse workforce, teamwork needs to be foster and implemented into every level of management in order to optimize the benefits that are brought about by a diverse workforce. Otherwise, instead of improving group creativity, the organisation may face communication problems and high level of conflict (Lauring and Selmer, 2012). Therefore, organisations with a diverse workforce can create competitive advantage by improving group creativity.
Besides that, an organisation can use diverse workforce to create competitive advantage by building a solid organisation reputation. By recruiting employees from diverse backgrounds, it shows that the management of the organisation is willing to embrace the concept of diversity. They are willing to give an equal chance and opportunity in the recruitment of new employees and the promotion of existing employees regardless of what are their race, ethnicity, religion, sex, colour, national origin, age and disability. As an organisation implement diversity policies in their management, it would enhance their reputation. Corporate reputation is stakeholders’ perceptions about an organisation’s ability to create value which differentiate them from other competitors. Reputation is a source of sustainable competitive advantage as it is one of the most important intangible resources of an organisation. When an organisation shows appreciation within the workplace, its reputation in the business community can improve. Reputations is built and fostered from time to time and it is nearly impossible to be imitated by competitors. In this globalization era, there are more investors who judge and value a company by its social and environmental responsibility. A great reputation becomes an additional plus point when investors are trying to find an organisation to invest in. It makes the organisation more attractive. It also helps the organisation remain competitive and remain an investment of choice. As the global economy is growing rapidly in the recent years, additional investments from investors are becoming relatively more important so that an organisation can continue to grow and expand parallel with the growing economy. With additional investments on hand, only then an organisation will be able to compete with its competitor. Additionally, if an organisation has a positive diversity reputation in the market, stakeholders or customers might be induced and attracted to purchase products and services that are provided by the organisation. This would indirectly increase the sales, revenue and profits of a company (Von Bergen et al., 2002). Reputation is essential for an organisation and it is based far more than just the financial performance and the quality of its products and services. Therefore, building a solid organisation reputation is another competitive advantage that is created by utilizing a diverse workforce in an organisation.
Furthermore, an organisation can utilize a diverse workforce to create competitive advantage by creating a climate of fairness and equity (Von Bergen et al., 2002). An organisation with a climate of fairness and equity will help the organisation to become an employer of choice. This is because an organisation which focuses on fairness and equity will value talents and employees in the workforce. The organisation will recruit new employees and promote existing employees purely based on their working ability. It would not discriminate any individual from any race, religion, sex, national origin and disability as long as that individual is beneficial to the organisation. With its reputation as an organisation that value integrity and socially responsible, it will develop a strong employment brand. It may experience a more diverse pool of applicants who can bring an amazing deal of talent into the workforce and give them an advantage in retaining their talent by providing the employees a workplace with a climate of fairness and equity. As an illustration, an organisation which has a workforce made up of mainly male employees in top positions would benefit from diversity through the employment of the top female graduates in the related fields of study. By recruiting more female graduates into the workforce, it creates an impression to the society that the organisation only hires the best regardless of gender. Jonsen, Tatli, Özbilgin and Bell (2013), also states that high racial diversity for organisations with a growth strategy was related to higher productivity. As we step into the globalization era, the globalization effect reflects that all top-class human resources and the very best talents are more likely to come from diverse backgrounds and orientation. If an organisation chooses to give up diversity in the workforce, they might miss the opportunity to recruit some of the best talent in the minority group, and thus loses the competitive advantage against their competitors. Jonsen, Tatli, Özbilgin and Bell (2013) claims that if organisations choose to ignore effective and thoughtful management of diversity, they may leave large numbers of people unemployed and their skills underutilized. Therefore, by creating a climate of fairness and equity, organisation can gain competitive advantage from a diverse workforce.
Moreover, an organisation can utilize a diverse workforce to create competitive advantage by having a better marketing strategy. A diverse workforce has a better responsiveness to social and demographic changes (Von Bergen et al., 2002) and thus the organisation will be able to develop a better marketing strategy. A better marketing strategy can help an organisation to increase the sales and revenues and thus increase the profits of an organisation by expanding the market and fulfill the needs of the market. The world is becoming smaller every day. The developments of technology such as the internet, mass media and telecommunication have contributed to the shrinking of international market. Traditional barriers are being broken down. Many organisations try to involve in international trade so that they can grow and become successful. An organisation need to have a very diverse market for their products so that they can be competitive. They need to increase their sales volumes by identifying the needs of their customers. New markets are opening across the world and these increase business opportunities as well as competition. Growing markets in regions such as Latin America, Asia and Central Europe are important markets in the global trade. They are traditionally the minorities in the workforce. By having a diversified workforce in an organisation, it helps the organisation to understand the culture and customs for a particular region or ethnicity. Individuals who came from different ethnic background have different culture and attitudes. They have different perspective towards different products and the products have to be tailored to suit the culture of a particular country. For example, McDonalds in Malaysia does not offer pork in their menu while McDonalds in India does not offer beef in their menu. It is also a fact that customers prefer to buy products and services from an organisation that understand their needs and have a strong commitment to the society. By having a diverse workforce, all the needs and demands of a particular country including the minorities would be taken into account while developing a product. Additionally, with a diverse workforce, organisations which plan to expand their business into the global markets will benefit from language diversity in the workplace. For example, an organisation with employees fluent in Japanese and Chinese can open a new market more easily for their products in Japan and China because it would be easier for them to communicate with representatives from the targeted country. Therefore, an organisation with a diverse workforce can create competitive advantage by having a better marketing strategy.
Last but not least, an organisation can utilize a diverse workforce to create competitive advantage by enhancing personal effectiveness and interpersonal communications among employees (Von Bergen et al., 2002). People who are different from one another may tend to not get along very well. However, in a diverse workforce, if they are required to work together and collaborate with each other, this tends to help them improve their communication and soft skills. The employees have no choice but to communicate with people from other diversities in order to complete a particular task given to them. They learn to adapt better to other people in the workplace. As organisation become more and more diverse, it is essential that interpersonal communications among employees is good. Employees should have the strong ability to communicate, work well and cooperate with people from different cultural background. Employees in a diverse workforce also learn to tolerate with each other. They start to realize and accept the differences of other people instead of judging them all the time. Additionally, an organisation with a diverse workforce can foster a feeling of inclusiveness among the employees. Inclusivity is the degree to which the organisation is open to anyone who can perform a job, regardless of race, sexual preference, gender or other diversity attribute (Schermerhorn et al., 2011). It is the key issue in the culture of any organisation. The feeling of inclusiveness among employees is vital as it can boost their morale and increase their productivity. An organisation with a diverse workforce creates a sense of belonging among the employees and the employees will be motivated to work harder for the benefit of the organisation. The good interpersonal communications among employees will create a comfortable work environment that encourages employees to remain faithful to the organisation. This situation can avoid the high employees’ turnover rates which is harmful to the organisation. If an organisation can retain qualified employees for a long run, it will decrease the turnover-related costs. The costs include future potential contribution of employee who has left and the time involved in recruitment, hiring and training of new employees. Therefore, an organisation can create competitive advantage by enhancing personal effectiveness and interpersonal communications among employees.
In conclusion, it is evident that organisations that have a diverse workforce will be able to create competitive advantage against their competitors. The concept of utilizing a diverse workforce will continue to be an important and intricate aspect of the business environments of today and in the future. As we step into the globalization era, organisations must embrace and understand the concept of diversity so that they can remain competitive in their field. As the world become smaller and smaller due to the development of technology, there are more new possibilities and opportunities in the business environment. Effectively utilizing diversity will be the key of success of an organisation in a competitive environment. In a diverse organization, employees are more likely to interact, share knowledge and debate their perspectives. The world today is more diverse than ever before. Ethnicity, religion, gender, life experiences and other personal attributes make every person in the world a unique individual. Learning, accepting and respecting the differences among people will make the world a better place to live in. With different skills and talents, a diverse workforce can cooperate and improve the performance of an organisation. Therefore, organisations can utilize a diverse workforce to create competitive advantage by improving group creativity, building a solid organisation reputation, creating a climate of fairness and equity in the organisation, having a better marketing strategy and enhancing personal effectiveness and interpersonal communications among employees.