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 to successfully building a diverse, high-quality workforce for tomorrow begins with a strong leadership commitment and knowledge of where the organization is today. Moreover, experience has demonstrated that successful diversity initiatives depend on positioning the organization first.
Successful diversity management is about unleashing the rich and diverse potential of an entire workforce. Here are seven steps to build a better diversity strategy:
Define your terms. Everyone has a different idea about what diversity means. Beyond race and gender, it can also include but is not limited to considerations of age, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, mental and physical capabilities, gender identity, family status, language, opinions and working style. Define diversity for your organization as there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
Be realistic. When setting goals, involve everyone who has a responsibility for diversity, from the CEO on down, as buy-in is critical. But also manage their expectations. Diversity management is complex and not every company will advance at the same pace.
Build in metrics. Diversity management should measure progress toward specific, quantifiable long- and short-term goals.
Assemble your resources. You can’t achieve your goals as a company if you don’t have the right human or fiscal resources in place. Just by saying you want to become a diverse organization doesn’t guarantee that you will get there.
[sws_pullquote_right]”Successful diversity management is about unleashing the rich and diverse potential of an entire workforce.” [/sws_pullquote_right]
Set up a system. Talent acquisition is about attracting the best talent from a pool of outstanding individuals of diverse backgrounds. Once you’ve attracted the talent, you must enable them to become part of the established culture of your organization.
Educate. Everyone needs to be trained. Managers must be educated about the benefits of diversity and the processes necessary to achieve it. Employees must be given the coaching, mentoring and skills they need. Without training, you risk losing your best talent to your competitors.
Demonstrate CEO support. Employees take their cues from the top, so your most senior executive must be able to articulate the business case for diversity.
Diversity is the creation of an organizational culture where the best people want to work, where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, where people are promoted on their merits and where opportunities for success are available to all. Embedding the principles of diversity management in everything helps in achieving your company’s most ambitious business goals.
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