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Cultural Diversity (at work)

            Nowadays, many companies, government, school, and etc. hire lots of employees that came for various countries because we live in the worldwide. Not only US resident, but also people whom came from Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe. They are from so many backgrounds, different cultures, different language and different experience. Communication and the way of working are the problems if they didn't know each other before. How can they work together without the problem, how can they be a good teamwork? Culture Diversity is come up to the mind of every manager's level.

            What is Culture Diversity?

            Diversity is formally defined as a "point of respect in which things differ." A more specific definition of diversity is that all cultures have different beliefs, values, arts, morals, habits, and customs. (6,p. 1) We are all different from one another individually as well as in groups. Cultural Diversity, or Multiculturalism, as it is sometimes called, is a process designed to promote awareness, understanding, and appreciation among people of various cultures. Cultural Diversity includes not only workers' ethnicity. Age, gender, race, religion, physical abilities and even sexual orientation also are factors. Our ethnicity, race, gender, class, religion, sexual orientation, physical ability - as well as other visible and invisible aspect - make us all unique individuals with different contributions to make to societies of which we are a part. (9, p. 1)

            Why is Culture Diversity important?

            The ultimate goal of cultural diversity is to create a workplace where workers of diverse backgrounds work together and feel appreciated - has the opportunity to flourish, based on performance. The concept of diversity, as opposed to affirmative action, does not result in more jobs for blacks, rather if it were being wholeheartedly embraced, it would translates into a work environment that welcomes people of different backgrounds, whether the differences are based on sex, race or physical disability.

            Diversity in the workplace is important because it contributes to organization decision making, effectiveness, and responsiveness. Organizations can benefit from experiences, insights, approaches, and values of diverse populations

            Cultural Diversity in organizations means including people of different cultures, races, genders, nationalities, styles, and other attributes. More importantly, a culturally diverse organization recognizes, supports, values, and utilizes people's differences and similarities in support of the organization's objectives. People vary in many ways, some subtle and some not so subtle. While we also often have substantial similarities, each of us is ultimately unique. Aspects of our uniqueness may be of an individual nature, or an element of identity that ties us to others. Organizations should learn to harness aspects of uniqueness. Leaders can value differences as a source of strength and creativity for the organization. Results demonstrate that utilizing people's uniqueness enhances communication, problem-solving, and decision-making skills, thereby improving organizational productivity and performance. (5, p. 1)

            How to deal with it?

            Increased workforce diversity, communication, globalization of information and technology have made significant changes in the governance structure of organizations. To successfully address these changes nine essential facets within the organizations must change to transform the governance of the business.

            The 9 facets are: 1) values, 2) structures, 3) leadership, 4) management processes, 5) information, 6) relationships, 7) competencies, 8) controls, and 9) pay systems.

            Training is the most important to increased workforce diversity. Training professionals in human resource management must develop cultural diversity programs with an awareness of the changing demographic shift in the workplace.

            The purpose of diversity training is to help individuals and organizations to examine their assumptions about diversity and to assist them to become more culturally competent. Training goals on the individual level include the following:

            On the organizational level, diversity training examines systemic issues that impede disparate employees from becoming as productive as possible. It helps participants develop strategies for making the organization more effective and successful, by creating an affirming environment where all employees can contribute to their fullest. Organizations that value and take advantage of their diversity, both among their employees and clientele, will be better prepared to build a cohesive and effective workforce to serve and emerging markets.

Diversity training helps individuals and organizations to:

Nine steps to make Culture Diversity successful

        a)  Listen with respect and openness
        b)  Look at the situation from the other person's perspective
        c)  Let the other person hear an explanation of your perspective
        d)  Recognize similarities and differences
        e)  Acknowledge any cultural differences
        f)  Look for common ground
        g)  Recommend action. Be creative
        h)  Determine what adaptations each person is willing to make to find a satisfactory
        i)  Negotiate an agreement (7, p. 1)

            Cross-Cultural Communication is the one way to deal with cultural diversity. Organizations with a diverse workforce are at risk of not being as productive as they can be if co-workers and managers have little understanding of the diversity in communication styles. They should:

1.learn the basics of communication theory;

2.heighten their awareness of cross-cultural communication patterns;

3.enhance their effectiveness in cross cultural communication; and

4.gain skills to effectively interrupt inappropriate speech and behavior.

The firm should have culture diversity following these areas:

            Managing cultural diversity in health care makes good business sense. Cultural care provides quality care. Your employees, through sensitivity to other cultures, can help patients of all cultures return to the optimum level of health, rather than prolonging illness. Managing diversity in the workplace is good business and good for business. (8, p. 1)

            Finally, people from diverse backgrounds are inherently able to work and live together with respect and harmony. The companies will get lot of benefit from managing diversity (at work), and it is a good way for human being.



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