What is workforce diversity, and what challenges does it create for Supervisors?


What is workforce diversity, and what challenges does it create for Supervisors?


Diversity means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along. the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.

Answer and Explanation:

Workforce diversity refers to people with different skills, ideas, knowledge etc. who work collaboratively to meet the goals and objectives. Workforce diversity are very useful in proper functioning of the organization. It is very important to build trust and maintain cooperation by diverse workforce.

The two major form of workforce diversity are:

1. Surface-level diversity

2. Deep-level diversity

Surface-level diversity refers to the human differences that can be seen easily in terms of ethnicity, race, age, sex, gender, etc. Examples are workforce consisting of older workers and younger workers, workforce consisting of male and female employees and workforce consisting of employees of different religions.

Deep-level diversity refers to the differences in values, personalities and work preferences that are not seen easily but can be determined when people get to know each other. Examples are workforce consisting of people prefer to do night shifts and day shifts, workforce consisting of people who prefer to work in a group and people who work independently and workforce consisting of people adaptable to change and people resistant to change.

It is very important for management to be aware of and manage diversity because:

Diverse workforce includes people with different skill sets which help the organization to drive innovation.

Diverse workforce attract best talents who perform well and contribute towards meeting the organization goal. This in turn improve customer service.

Having a diverse workforce, make the organization competitive and thus companies focus on hiring talents which will be beneficial for the organization in the long run.

Diverse workforce makes both the employees and customers get accustomed to different cultures and values.

There are some potential threats that reduce cooperation and negatively affect workforce diversity. They are:-

Hindrance to team work - there are few people with different personalities who don't get along easily. These type of people can affect the work force diversity negatively.

Difference in opinion - difference in opinion leads to arguments that affect the work force diversity negatively.

Discrimination at work place - people at work place might get encountered with discrimination as per sex, age, race etc. This affect the work force diversity negatively.

Ineffective customer service - different people have different level of commitment to work. Every one might not focus on providing same level of customer satisfaction. This can affect the workplace negatively.

Thus it is very important for management to create a diverse workforce and manage them effectively for both the betterment of organization and society.

Learn more about this topic:

What is Diversity? - Definition & Meaning


Chapter 1 / Lesson 11

Explore diversity. Learn the definition of diversity, and understand the value of embracing it. Discover the different types of diversity, and find its examples.

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