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Diversity In Human Resources

Diversity in human resources management is extremely important. First we need to establish just what exactly diversity is. Diversity is the sum total of all the differences which make individuals who they are and their ability to contribute to the goals of an organization. Managing diversity is a commitment and a conscious choice by an organization to value these differences by using diversity as a source of strength to achieve certain goals.

According to Ruth Mayhew, “Workplace diversity affects the development of interpersonal relationships, how supervisors and managers interact with staff and how employees relate to each other. (Mayhew, 2016) Diversity also affects human resource functions such as training, hiring, and record keeping. It seems that workplace diversity actually increase human resource responsibilities and holds that department responsible for abiding by the laws. There have been several laws created to make sure that employers do not discriminate their employees.

Some are: • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967- This law was created to prohibit discriminating against people 40 years of age or older in all aspects of employment. The law is enforced to encourage the employment of people based on their ability rather than their age. The Equal Pay Act of 1963- This law was created to prohibit employers from paying different salaries to people of the opposite sex for doing the same tasks and having the same responsibilities.

• The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990- The law was created to prohibit discrimination against qualified people with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, or discharge of employees, employee compensation, and job training. • Pregnancy Discrimination Act- This act was created to prohibit discrimination if the employee is pregnant, giving childbirth, or has a related illness in terms of employment opportunity or sick leave plans.

In most human resource departments, employer’s must post posters in common areas such as the work room or break room that display the laws that protect the employee’s rights. HR usually has to conduct periodic walk-throughs to ensure the poster are correct and visible to the employees. According to Mayhew, “Workplace diversity goals can require modifications to recruitment strategy or outreach to identify a diverse pool of qualified applicants.

For example, recruiting from historically black colleges and universities may yield diverse candidates as will joining the Organization of Women Architects and Design Professionals to gain access to qualified women in a predominately male profession. In addition, posting requirements such as “equal opportunity employer” are HR functions that encourage diverse applicants to submit their resumes for consideration. ” (Mayhew, 2016) Employers now have to be very cautious and have to really pay attention to their recruiting strategy to ensure they are able to get the most diverse group of employees.

When most people think of diversity they only think of race or ethnicity but diversity also can include gender and age. A lot of times an employer only likes to hire one gender and in some cases such as dental hygienist, that is all that is available. It is important though that employer does specifically want their employees to all be the same gender and they turn away qualified employees of the opposite gender. Yes, race is a huge problem in employment but gender is as well especially in terms of promotions. Training is a big aspect in keeping diversity the workplace.

If you are a company who is hiring employees that are from a different culture and speak a different language, you now have to make sure you have trainers that will help those employees learn the best that they can. You will need trainers who are bilingual and will be able to make sure that the new employees are proficient in English. One of the biggest headaches as a customer is getting an employee, either over the phone or in person, who does not understand what you are saying and you cannot understand them.

Not only can language be a problem but also, everyone has different learning styles. The more diverse your staff is, the more knowledge your trainers will have to have. This is a big part to having a diverse work place and it run smoothly and being as efficient as possible. HR is involved in making diversity training required if the state law does not inforce it. This is an important decision and HR has to determine whether supervisors and managers would benefit from mandatory training or if informal activities are sufficient to support the company’s workplace diversity.

Managers who are trained in diversity gain a competitive edge on their competition especially globally. When they are equipped with the proper cultural skills, they are able to better perform their duties and are able to more assist their employees. It is good to have the HR’s knowledge when determining where candidates are placed in the company so that they are used to their fullest potential. Diversity in the workplace has numerous advantages such as growth and learning among employees but it can also have its disadvantages. Some disadvantages are communication issues and integrational issues.

Obviously if you have employees from other countries and cultures and they do not speak English, you are going to have some communication issues. This can go back to making sure you have the proper training for those employees. The other disadvantage is social integration. This is a problem that can only be fixed to a certain degree. It is natural for people to form cliques and bonds with people of their same cultural or ethnicity. This can often cause turmoil among coworkers when others are left out or feel rejected because of their appearance, age or color or their skin.

This can hinder the effectiveness of sharing knowledge, skills and experience, thus hinder the production of the company as a whole. (Ingram, 2016) In conclusion, diversity in human resources is ultimately needed and required. Not only are there several laws preventing discrimination in the workplace but it also helps spread knowledge and experience among the company making them more well- rounded. It can provide an edge up on the competition and allows employees to truly get a job because they are the most qualified for the position.

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