Organisational challenges - managing diversity, Business Management

Managing workforce diversity is one of the most difficult and pressing challenges of modern organisations (Henry and Evans 2007). This is because managing diversity is more than simply acknowledging differences in people. It involves recognizing the value of differences, combating discrimination, and promoting inclusiveness. Managers may also be challenged with losses in personnel and work productivity due to prejudice and discrimination and complaints and legal actions against the organisation (Devoe, 1999). Even though there are many advantages to diversity, it does not come without some difficulties. Business leaders need to maintain a balance between the needs of diverse groups and business objectives. Likewise, leaders need to be aware of the implications of business decisions, policies, and practices in regards to diversity and the legal system (McCuiston and Wooldridge, 2004). With more women entering the workforce, organisations need to make policies and accommodations to meet the needs of these individuals. Similarly, organisations need to take action against sexual harassment, discrimination, and unequal treatment that exists in the work environment (Elmuti, 2001). In the current workforce, the leaders may have employees from four generations consisting of seniors, Baby Boomers, and individuals from Generation X and Y. With wide range of ages, there are varying lifestyles, work styles, individual goals and perspectives, and demands. The diversity of ages offers challenges to building trust and commitment because everyone will be coming with different points of view (McCuiston and Wooldridge, 2004). It is also not uncommon that many people feel threatened by working with people of a different age, sex, or culture.

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