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Managing Employee Diversity. Diversity. It describes a wide spectrum differences between people. Groups of individuals share characteristics that distinguish them from other groups. The differences between groups are smaller than the differences within groups.

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  • It describes a wide spectrum differences between people.
  • Groups of individuals share characteristics that distinguish them from other groups.
  • The differences between groups are smaller than the differences within groups.
  • Classifying people into group types often leads to false stereotypes because it incorrectly assumes that group averages apply to all individuals in the group.
melting pot or a salad bowl
Melting Pot?Or a Salad Bowl?

Melting Pot Theory

Salad Bowl Theory

newly arrived immigrants do not lose the unique aspects of their cultures- they retain them.

accounts for the retention of the "something-American" hyphenation when identifying cultural identity

Called pluralism

  • peoples from various cultures come to America and contribute aspects of their culture to create a new, unique American culture.
  • contributions from many cultures are indistinguishable from one another and are effectively "melted" together
diversity in the organization
Diversity in the organization
  • A powerful competitive edge
  • The ability to foster creativity
  • Improve problem solving
  • Provide greater flexibility
  • Makes the firm more attractive to a broad labor market
the faces of diversity

Better market access

Better Team Performance

Improved International Competition

Multiple points of view


Pressure towards homogenization

Lower cohesiveness

Confusing diversity with Affirmative Action

Interpersonal Conflict and Tension

The Faces of Diversity
the u s workforce a mosaic of diverse cultures and groups
The U.S. workforce : a mosaic of diverse cultures and groups
  • Older Workers
    • The average age of the U.S. workforce is expected to reach 42 by 2010.
    • Negative stereotypes: inflexible, resisting to learning new skills, and coasting until retirement
  • African Americans
    • 11.3 % population
    • 11.8 % workforce
  • Asian Americans
    • 3.6 % population
    • Wide variety of races ethnic groups and nationalities
  • Women
    • Half of the labor force is female
    • Glass ceiling and sexual harassment issues
  • Disabled Americans
    • 50 million Americans
    • 55.8% are employed
    • Accommodating disabled employees is less expensive
  • Homosexuals:
    • Estimated to be between 1 to 10 percent of the population
    • No federal laws to protect
  • Foreign-Born Americans
    • About 10 percent of U.S. population
    • About 820,000 immigrants enter the U.S. legally every year
  • Hispanic Americans
    • About 28 million people (10 percent of U.S. population)
    • Actual number is around 40 million people
building on diversity
Building on Diversity

Management Commitment:

    • Top management commitment
    • Linking diversity initiatives to business strategies and objectives
    • Management responsibility and accountability

Diversity audits

  • Developmental activities
  • Encouraging diversity networks
  • Accommodating family needs
top management commitment
Top Management Commitment

Question to improve diversity:

  • How can we develop all employees so that they are ready for opportunities that arise in the company?
  • How can we be sure that minorities and women gain access to better jobs, as they become available?
  • How can we make sure that we give minorities and women opportunities without discriminating against white men?
  • How can we show all employees that we value their contributions?
  • How can we change attitudes of both employees and customers?
  • Will the same approach work for new employees and those with many years of service?
linking diversity to strategies and objectives
Linking Diversity to Strategies and Objectives
  • Should be key components of corporate mission statements
  • Inclusion in corporate handbooks
  • Examples:
    • Diversity briefing for senior management
    • Networking groups
    • Linking diversity performance to other corporate objectives
    • Benchmarking with other companies
management responsibility and accountability
Management Responsibility and Accountability

“Diversity is not likely to become part of management and employee priorities without real accountability for specific objectives.”

  • 360-degree feedback – multirater feedback from peers, suppliers, other levels of management, and internal and external customers
  • Employee surveys
  • Performance appraisals
  • Self-evaluation
diversity audits
Diversity Audits
  • Can help reveal possible sources of bias
  • Indicators or factors used in the audit can also be used to measure whether corrective actions have the desired effects
developmental activities
Developmental Activities
  • Diversity Training
      • Diversity is about each person coming to terms with attitudes, beliefs, and expectations
      • It is big enough to include everyone
      • No is the target to blame
      • Human beings are ethnocentric
      • The human species resists change
      • Human beings find comfort and trust in likeness
      • It is difficult for people to share power
  • Senior Mentoring
  • Diversity Learning Labs
  • Apprenticeships
encouraging diversity networks
Encouraging diversity networks
  • Offers a nurturing environment to people
  • Company leaders may encourage employees to become part of international teams
accommodating family needs
Accommodating Family Needs
  • Day-care assistance
  • Flexible work schedules
  • Compressed work weeks
  • Job sharing
  • Telecommuting
  • Care assistance for elderly dependents
  • Paid time off to care for family members who are ill
  • Paid parental leave
  • Keeping relocations to a minimum
  • Giving a high priority to finding a position for spouse within the firm
  • Job search assistance to relocated spouses